Despite dropping the first three and losing three of their last four October 11 contests, the Flyers still manage to hold a very respectable 11-7-3 record on this day heading into tonight’s tilt against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Wells Fargo Center.
Included in the team’s good fortunes associated with this day are winning streaks of five (1973-1981) and four (1990-1998) games over the course of 21 October 11 outings.
1967 – The Flyers lost their inaugural NHL game to the California Golden Seals, another expansion team playing their initial contest, by a 5-1 score at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena.
Trailing 1-0 midway through the second period, Bill Sutherland scored the first goal in franchise history to tie the score. Instead of helping Philly build momentum the goal seemed to awaken the Seals, however, as they scored twice in less than two minutes after Sutherland’s tally.
Goaltender Bernie Parent was under siege from the start as California pumped 17 shots in his direction in the first period alone. Parent finished the contest with 28 saves while absorbing the defeat.
1969 – Philadelphia opened their third season with a 4-0 loss to Cesare Maniago and the Minnesota North Stars at the Metropolitan Sports Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The game marked the first NHL contest for 20-year-old center Bobby Clarke, the club’s second-round pick in the previous summer’s draft.
Bernie Parent stopped 30 of 34 shots in the loss.
1970 – Third period goals by Mickey Redmond and Bill Collins broke a scoreless tie as the Montreal Canadiens held on for a 2-1 victory over the Flyers at the Spectrum.
Defenseman Barry Ashbee, who was acquired in a trade with the Boston Bruins the previous spring, scored the lone Philadelphia goal -- his first as a Flyer in only his second game with the club.
1973 – Good-luck charm Kate Smith appeared live at the Spectrum for the first time to sing "God Bless America", perhaps bringing with her the blessing of the hockey gods, in a 2-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs
Terry Crisp and Bill Barber provided all of the offense, and Bernie Parent, whose rights were reacquired from Toronto during the summer, stopped all 28 shots he faced in his first game back with the Orange-and-Black.
1975 -- Bobby Clarke scored a goal and assisted on four others as the high-octane Flyers' offense connected for five power play goals and buried the Minnesota North Stars 9-5 at the Met Center.
Philadelphia outshot the home team by a 19-8 margin in the opening 20 minutes, but only led 4-3 at the first intermission. Gary Dornhoefer, Rick MacLeish (eventual GWG), and Clarke all tallied while the Flyers skated with the man advantage in the middle session to put the game out of reach.
Defenseman Andre Dupont added a pair of goals and an assist, while Wayne Stephenson stopped 20 of 25 North Stars shots to pick up the win.
1979 -- Paul Holmgren and Rick MacLeish each posted a goal and an assist and Phil Myre made 32 saves as the Flyers opened up their 13th NHL season with a 5-2 victory over Billy Smith and the New York Islanders at the Spectrum.
Philadelphia got a first period strike from MacLeish and second period goals from Holmgren, Brian Propp, and Al Hill to take a commanding 4-0 lead into the final stanza.
New York finally solved Myre in the third when Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier markers brought the Isles back to within two at 4-2, but Tom Gorence clinched the triumph with 3:26 remaining.
The second period goal from Propp, the club’s first-round selection (14th-overall) in that summer’s draft, was the first regular season tally of his NHL career. The Lanigan, Saskatchewan-native would go on to record eight seasons of 30-or-more goals with the Flyers, four in which he reached the 40-goal plateau or better.
Philadelphia honored Bernie Parent by retiring his #1 jersey, after the greatest goaltender in franchise history was forced to retire prematurely after taking an accidental stick in the eye late in the previous season.
1980 – Reggie Leach and Tom Gorence each potted a pair of goals and Pete Peeters stopped 28 of 29 shots as Philadelphia drilled the Blues 5-1 at the Checkerdome in St. Louis.
Paul Holmgren opened the scoring early in the first period before St. Louis’ Bernie Federko knotted the game before the first intermission. Two Gorence goals and Leach’s first of the night made it 4-1 after two, before Leach closed out the ledger by beating Blues’ starter Mike Liut in the first half minute of the third.
1981 – Reggie Leach’s first of two goals snapped a 2-2 second period tie and Philadelphia dropped a five-spot in the third as the Flyers bombed the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-2 at the Spectrum.
Pittsburgh held a 2-1 lead thanks to goals from Rick Kehoe and Greg Malone 1:01 apart midway through the opening frame, but Bill Barber notched his third in two games just 1:27 later to tie things up after one.
Following Leach’s go-ahead marker in the middle session Philadelphia took a two-goal lead on Brian Propp’s first of the year, then broke the game wide open with four goals within a span of 1:22.
Ilkka Sinisalo, playing in his second NHL contest, became the first player to score his first-ever goal via penalty shot late in the third period. Sinisalo also recorded an assist for his initial NHL point on Barber’s first period marker.
Pete Peeters stopped 31 of 33 Penguins’ shots, while Paul Harrison was shelled for all eight goals on 35 Flyers’ shots.
1984 – Tim Kerr’s goal with 1:39 remaining in regulation lifted the Flyers to a 2-2 tie with the Washington Capitals at the Spectrum on opening night of the 1984/85 season.
Rookie forwards Peter Zezel and Derrick Smith each recorded their first NHL points when they assisted on Ilkka Sinisalo’s second period tally.
Pelle Lindbergh made 30 saves – including three in overtime – to garner first star honors.
1986 – Tim Kerr scored twice in a four-goal Flyers’ first period and rookie Ron Hextall stopped 34 of 35 shots in a 6-1 victory over former-Philadelphia netminder Pete Peeters and the Washington Capitals at the Cap Center.
Peter Zezel (shorthanded), Derrick Smith, Murray Craven, and Scott Mellanby also lit the lamp for the visiting Flyers, with Mellanby’s being the first of his NHL career.
1990 – Jiri Latal scored a pair of goals and Ken Wregget stopped nine of 11 shots after relieving Ron Hextall as Philadelphia defeated the New Jersey Devils, 7-4.
Rick Tocchet, Normand Lacombe, Gord Murphy, Ron Sutter, and Tim Kerr also scored for the Flyers, while Tony Horacek recorded three assists and fought New Jersey heavyweight Troy Crowder.
Flyers legends Bill Barber was honored prior to the game when his #7 was retired and raised to the Spectrum rafters, with the Hall-of-Fame left winger giving his "I was, I am, and always will be a Philadelphia Flyer" speech.
1995 – Rod Brind’Amour’s shorthanded goal midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner and Ron Hextall stopped 25 of 26 shots as Philadelphia defeated the Washington Capitals, 2-1, at the Spectrum.
1997 – John LeClair notched the eighth hat trick of his career and added a pair of assists against his former team, and Ron Hextall made 21 saves to lead the visiting Flyers to a 6-2 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens.
Eric Lindros and Dainius Zubrus each added a goal and two assists, while Dan Kordic also scored for Philadelphia.
1998 – Eric Lindros scored twice and added an assist and John LeClair added a goal and a pair of helpers to lead Philadelphia to a 4-1 victory over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the Flyers home opener at the First Union Center.
Rod Brind’Amour also scored a goal and rookie Dmitri Tertyshny, playing in his first game, picked up an assist for his first NHL point.
John Vanbiesbrouck made 21 saves to record the win.
Miroslav Dvorak 1951 – The Flyers selected the older (31 years old at the time), diminutive Czechoslovakian defender in the third round of the 1982 draft, and he came over to the U.S. and played three seasons in Philadelphia. In 193 games, Dvorak posted 11 goals, 85 points, and was a +58. Dvorak passed away in June of 2008 at the age of 56.