Maybe it's the team's orange and black signature colors or Bobby Clarke's jack-o-latern grin that seemed to put the Philadelphia Flyers in the spirit of Halloween throughout franchise history. For whatever reason, some of the strangest and most memorable games in team history have been played on October 31.
Along the way, there have been plenty of treats, as the Flyers have gone 10-5 with three ties, including six games in which the Flyers scored six or more goals. There have a few tricks, too, and not just the hat tricks scored by Simon Nolet (1971) and Kevin Dineen (1993) or a six-point game recorded by Clarke (1976).
For instance, two of the highest-scoring wins in franchise history - 9-1 over the Minnesota North Stars in 1976 and 9-6 over the Chicago Blackhawks in 1993 - took place on Halloween. So did losses of 8-4 to the Vancouver Canucks in 1981 and 7-4 to the Hartford Whalers in 1987.
In the meantime, it was Halloween 1971 that Flyers goaltender Doug Favell became the first goalie in the NHL to sport a painted mask, debuting a mask entirely spray-painted in Flyers orange in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. In 2001, Flyers forward Jeremy Roenick dressed as Bobby Clarke for Halloween, sporting a curly blond wig, a Clarke jersey and a pair of Cooperalls for pregame warmups before a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
October 31: Through the Years
- 1971: Trailing the storied Montreal Canadiens by a 2-0 count at the second intermission, the Flyers thrill a crowd of 14,626 at the Spectrum by exploding for five third period goals and skating off with a 5-3 victory. Simon Nolet does most of the damage against Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden (26 saves on 30 shots), recording a hat trick and assisting on a Bill Lesuk goal. Jim Johnson also scores for the victorious Flyers.
- 1976: The Flyers celebrate Halloween with a 9-1 romp at the Spectrum over the Minnesota North Stars. Bobby Clarke leads the way, racking up six points with shorthanded and even strength goals as well as four assists.
- 1982: Overcoming a slow start and an early 1-0 deficit, the Flyers push back in the second period for two goals by Brian Propp (7th and 8th of the season) and one by Tim Kerr (7th) for a gritty 3-2 road win against the Winnipeg Jets.
- 1993: Team captain Kevin Dineen enjoys the best offensive game of his Flyers' career, shredding the host Chicago Blackhawks for four goals and an assist in a wide-open 9-6 win for Philadelphia. It is the fourth hat trick of Dineen's Flyers career. The Flyers also get multi-point efforts from linemates Rod Brind'Amour (one goal, three assists) and Josef Beranek (three assists) as well as the top line trio of Eric Lindros (one goal, one assist), Mark Recchi (one goal, two assists) and rookie Mikael Renberg (two assists).
- 1995: The Legion of Doom strikes for two early goals, as both John LeClair and Eric Lindros tally power play in the first period. However, the Tampa Bay Lightning -- the Flyers' eventual opponent in the first round of the playoffs -- battle back for a 2-2 tie at the Spectrum.
- 2001: Brian Boucher records a 27-save shutout (the eighth of his NHL career) in a 3-0 home win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mark Recchi (one goal, one assist), John LeClair (one goal), Jeremy Roenick (two assists) and Dan McGillis (power play goal) supply the offensive support. Boucher, who blanked the Washington Capitals on Oct. 30 becomes the first goaltender in Flyers franchise history to record shutouts on back-to-back calendar days within a season.
- 2009: The Flyers skate to a 6-1 home Halloween matinee romp over the Carolina Huricanes, strafing former -- and future, later the same season -- Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton for six goals on 28 shots. Ray Emery stops 29 of 30 shots to earn the win. Braydon Coburn enjoys a two-goal game, while Matt Carle (one goal, one assist), James van Riesmdyk, Scott Hartnell and David Laliberte score once apiece.
- 2013: The Flyers reacquire Steve Downie from the Colorado Avalanche in a one-for-one trade for checking forward Max Talbot.
October 31: Flyers Birthday
- Brief-tenured defenseman Steve Eminger was born in Woodbridge, Ontario, on October 31, 1981.