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NHL Stadium Series

Flyers, Penguins celebrate history during Alumni Game

Energetic crowd takes in reunion of 'Legion of Doom,' likely sendoff for 'LCB Line'

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Bobby Clarke said he made sure he took a few extra moments to soak up the atmosphere at a sold-out Wells Fargo Center during the 50th Anniversary Alumni Game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Clarke was joined by his linemates Bill Barber and Reggie Leach for what likely was their final game as the "LCB Line." 

Video: Flyers and Penguins Alumni play to 3-3 tie

"I think when you're playing and you know it's your last game, you appreciate it," said Clarke, 67. "It's the same way for someone like myself, who's probably played his last alumni game. And in front of a crowd like this, I don't know how that happens, but it's special."

The "LCB Line" was one of the most prolific of the 1970s and helped the Flyers win the Stanley Cup in 1975 and reach the Final in 1976. In 1975-76, Leach led the NHL with 61 goals, Clarke was second in the League with 119 points and won the Hart Trophy, and Barber finished tied for fifth with 50 goals and fourth with 112 points.

They didn't have any points Saturday when the Flyers and Penguins finished in a 3-3 tie. But there only were smiles in both locker rooms. 

"I know that this is going to be our last chance to skate together with Billy and Bobby," Leach said. "It was great. You look around and it was just crazy out there."

Tyler Kennedy, who played 50 games for the New Jersey Devils last season, scored the game-tying goal at 16:00 of the third period. Ryan Malone scored two goals for the Penguins. Jean-Sebastian Aubin and Jocelyn Thibault combined to make 37 saves. 

"I didn't play this year and it's nice when you can strap on the skates, especially with a lot of legends," Kennedy, 30, said. 

Video: PIT@PHI Alumni: Kennedy rips one in off crossbar

Dave Brown, Daniel Briere and Eric Desjardins scored for the Flyers, and Brian Boucher and Neil Little made 29 saves.

The Flyers and Penguins are celebrating their 50th anniversary seasons. The current teams will play in the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Feb. 25.

That crowd should be as energized as the sold-out crowd of 19,727 that filled Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

"It's hard to explain how you can draw that many people for an alumni game," Barber said. "Kudos to our fans."

After the players were introduced before the game a memorial video was shown to honor players and other members of the organization who had died. The final person to be shown was founder and chairman Ed Snider, who died April 11, 2016.

"We were awful close," Clarke said. "He hasn't deserted me at all yet. I still think of him a lot."

Nine members of the first Flyers team from 1967-68 were honored, including defenseman Joe Watson, 73, who played in the game. Lou Angotti, the first Flyers captain, dropped the ceremonial puck.

The game featured Flyers players every decade of the franchise's existence, including a reunion of the "Legion of Doom" line of Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Mikael Renberg.

"Many of the best years I had here with Johnny and [Renberg]," Lindros said. "We lived close by, saw each other every day. We have a great friendship. We don't get to see each other as much as we'd like. When we do have a chance to come to something like this we're looking forward to it. We enjoy the time we get to see each other."

There also were some family ties. The Penguins featured the father-and-son tandem of Greg Malone and Ryan Malone. And Leach got to play against his son, Jamie Leach, a forward on the Penguins' 1991 and 1992 Cup championship teams. 

"It's great pride for myself to have a son that played in the National Hockey League," Reggie Leach said. "He only played a few years but he's got two Stanley Cups. But to play in Philadelphia where he grew up, it was just great."

Clarke and the Penguins' Bryan Trottier then took the opening faceoff, which Clarke won with little competition. It's a far cry from when they battled as players during the 1970s and 1980s.

"I love Bobby," Trottier said. "Bobby is a classy man … tough competitor. He can be mean. It was a good battle when you played against him, a 60-minute battle. So it was really wonderful not to have to put that face on tonight. … Now we can go out there, enjoy skating around, be remembered a little bit. For the fans, hopefully they go home with some memories."

The players also took home some great memories. 

"Certain players understand they're amongst giants," former Flyers forward Todd Fedoruk said. "The beauty of it is inside the room we're all equals. That's the way that they treat us all. We are like family. But I've got to tell you, I was geeking out a little bit to see the 'LCB Line.'"

Fedoruk wasn't the only one. 

"I think those guys could still go out in a couple years and kick it around nicely and play," Lindros said. "They know what they're doing. They say they're done but maybe we can talk them into it."

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