Today in Philadelphia Flyers history: 'Rifle' hat trick, 'Beast's' first goal in Philly, 'Beezer' shutout

Bruce Bennett

Clement's first NHL goal beats Habs, 'Rifle' X 3, 'Beast's' first Flyer goal a GWG, Lindros, LeClair head win in Giguere's NHL debut, 'Beezer' blanks Leafs, Renberg-Gratton trade X 2, Primeau's 600th NHL point headline December 12 in team history

An almost-daily look back at how the Philadelphia Flyers have fared on this day, recalling some of the more memorable moments, achievements, and events that shaped the organization throughout the club's storied history

Heading into tonight's contest with the Montreal Canadiens at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers have a 9-8-4-0 all-time mark in 21 games played on December 12. The Flyers were blanked 1-0 in their first two games layed on this day, and they have dropped their last two December 12 outings.

This will be the third December 12 meeting between Philadelphia and the Canadiens -- all played on Philly home ice -- with the Flyers being victorious in the previous two (1971, 1985) with a combined score of 10-4.

1971 -- Bill Clement, recalled from the AHL's Richmond Robins two days earlier and playing in only his second contest with the Flyers, made his first NHL goal a big one when he scored the game-winning goal in a 4-1 triumph over Ken Dryden and the Montreal Canadiens at the Spectrum. The native of Thurso, Quebec assisted on an Ed Van Impe tally earlier to post his first NHL point.

Bill Lesuk and Lew Morrison also scored for Philadelphia, while Michel Parizeau recorded a pair of helpers. Doug Favell turned away all but one of Montreal's 31 shots, yielding just a second period marker by Marc Tardif.

The win gave Philly a 3-1-2 mark against the Habs in their six tilts during the calendar year of 1971, which followed a miserable 0-12-2 stretch in their previous 14 meetings.

1973 -- Second period goals from Rick MacLeish and Gary Dornhoefer erased a 2-0 deficit and Bernie Parent made 31 saves to give the Flyers a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium.

1974 -- Reggie Leach posted his second hat trick in two weeks and Bernie Parent thwarted all 22 shots he faced to record his 27th Flyers' shutout in a 6-0 thumping of the Minnesota North Stars at the Spectrum.

Leach scored twice in a four-goal Flyers' first, then completed the three-goal performance in the second period against Minnesota goaltender Pete LoPresti.

It was Parent's second shutout in the last five outings, during which he allowed just seven goals.

Rick MacLeish, Gary Dornhoefer, and Bill Clement also scored for Philadelphia, who extended their unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1).

1976 -- Orest Kindrachuk and Don Saleski each scored a pair of goals and Bernie Parent stopped 33 of 37 shots in a 7-4 pasting of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Spectrum.

Trailing 1-0 at the first intermission, Philadelphia got things going offensively in a hurry in the second when Bill Barber tied the game just 14 seconds into the middle frame. Rick MacLeish, Kindrachuk, and Saleski would all score before the period ended, giving the Flyers a 4-2 lead through 40 minutes.

Saleski made it a 5-2 game early in the final session, but strikes from Inge Hammarstrom and Claire Alexander (first NHL goal) drew the visitors to within a goal with just under six minutes remaining. Philly snatched away any thoughts of a tying goal from the Leafs when Ross Lonsberry and Kindrachuk each scored within a 22-second span to put the game out of reach.

The win made it 11 straight games without a loss (8-0-3) for both Parent and the Flyers.

1982 -- Brad McCrimmon -- acquired from the Boston Bruins in exchange for goaltender Pete Peeters during the offseason -- scored his first goal as a Flyer midway through the third period and Pelle Lindbergh made 19 saves in a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Spectrum.

Goals from Paul Holmgren, Ron Flockhart, and Ilkka Sinisalo staked Lindbergh to a 3-2 lead at the second intermission, when McCrimmon blasted a slap shot past Penguins' netminder Michel Dion to give Philadelphia a two-goal cushion. McCrimmon's strike would prove to be the game-winner when rugged defenseman Paul Baxter beat Lindbergh for his second marker of the contest with 20 seconds remaining.

The win continued the Flyers' mastery over the Penguins at the Spectrum, giving the Orange-and-Black a 19-0-2 record against Pittsburgh since a January 20, 1974 loss.

1985 -- Tim Kerr scored a pair of goals during a five-goal Flyers' second period and Darren Jensen turned aside 23 of 26 shots to lead Philadelphia to a 6-3 triumph over Patrick Roy and the Montreal Canadiens at the Spectrum.

Enforcer Dave Brown got the Flyers on the board first when he beat Roy just 34 seconds after the opening faceoff in what turned out to be the only offensive output by either squad in the first period.

Defenseman Mark Howe doubled Philly's lead early in the middle stanza with his third goal in the last two games, and Kerr made it 3-0 with Montreal's Rick Green in the penalty box for tripping midway through the period. In addition to Kerr's second of the game, Peter Zezel and Dave Poulin also would score before the second intermission to give the home team a 6-1 lead heading into the third. Jean Perron pulled Roy in favor of Steve Penney to begin the final frame.

1996 -- Second period goals from Eric Lindros and John LeClair helped the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Hartford Whalers at the CoreStates Center, spoiling the NHL debut of netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Philadelphia carried play for much of the first 40 minutes, but the 19-year-old Giguere kept the Whalers in the game. Despite being outshot 27-11 at the second intermission, Hartford only trailed by a 3-2 score.

The visitors spent a good portion of the final stanza in the Flyers' end, but Ron Hextall made eight of his 17 saves to preserve the win.

Pat Falloon also scored for Philly, the first NHLer to ever score a goal on Giguere with a first period marker.

1997 -- Garth Snow came up with a spectacular 30-save performance and goals by Chris Gratton and Colin Forbes within a 13-second span in the third period gave the Flyers a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.

Chicago came out flying and for on the board 20 seconds into the affair on a goal by Alexei Zhamnov, but that's all Snow would allow in the opening stanza as he turned away 17 more Blackhawk shots. John LeClair knotted the score when he beat Andrei Trefilov late in the period, and thanks to Snow the game remained that way until the third.

Chicago outshot Philly by a 23-11 margin heading into the deciding frame, when the Flyers gained some amount of equilibrium.

Philadelphia took their first lead of the tilt on the strength of some fine work in the corners by Dainius Zubrus. He came out of a battle with the puck and promptly fed Gratton in the slot, and the first-year Flyer snapped the 1-1 tie.

Following the ensuing faceoff, Forbes turned defenseman Michal Sykora and got a good shot on Trefilov, who made the initial save. Forbes continued to the net and knocked home the eventual game-winner just 13 ticks of the clock after Gratton's marker.

1998 -- John LeClair scored one goal and set up another, while John Vanbiesbrouck provided an air-tight seal around the Flyers' cage in posting his second shutout of the year in a 3-0 whitewash of the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Philadelphia built a two-goal first period cushion for 'Beezer' when both Valeri Zelepukin and Eric Lindros beat Curtis Joseph, and LeClair connected for an insurance marker in the first minute of the third period.

2002 -- Simon Gagne and Eric Desjardins scored third period goals 62 seconds apart and Roman Cechmanek stopped 18 of 19 shots to lift the Flyers to a 2-1 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the First Union Center.

Cechmanek and Ed Belfour were both excellent in keeping the contest scoreless into the final stanza, which was pretty familiar territory from the Philadelphia end of things. 'Eddie The Eagle' had blanked them in both of the team's previous meetings, which came within a seven-day span at the end of November. The Flyers looked to have finally broken through Belfour's seemingly-impenetrable defenses in the first period, but Donald Brashear's apparent tally was waived off when it was determined the official's whistle had blown prior to the puck crossing the goal line.

Gagne made sure the next one counted when he one-timed an Eric Weinrich pass from the left circle that found the back of the net, giving the home squad a 1-0 lead 7:10 into the third period. Gagne then started the sequence for the next goal shortly thereafter, sending a shot on goal that Belfour managed to stop. The netminder, however, couldn't control the rebound, and Desjardins put the puck past him to double the lead.

The goals came just after Jeremy Roenick was nailed for a charging major. when he drilled Leafs' defenseman Robert Svehla into the boards. Both teams skated at even strength, though, because Tomas Kaberle was called for roughing Roenick in retaliation for the big hit on Svehla.

The second Philly goal would become very important when former-Flyer Mikael Renberg -- playing in his 100th game for Toronto -- was credited with a goal when his bad angle shot deflected past Cechmanek off of Desjardins' skate less than two minutes later.

2003 -- Sami Kapanen had a goal and two assists and Keith Primeau scored the game-tying goal late in regulation in a 3-3 draw with the New Jersey Devils at Continental Airlines Arena. It was another game that Philadelphia should have won if not for the goaltending of Martin Brodeur, who finished with 37 saves.

Primeau, who missed the previous game with a sprained wrist, also assisted on Kapanen's second period goal. The helper gave the Flyers' captain 600 points in his NHL career.

December 12 Flyers' trade

On this day in 1998, the Flyers reacquired former 'Legion of Doom' member Mikael Renberg from the Tampa Bay Lightning -- along with Daymond Langkow -- in exchange for Chris Gratton and Mike Sillinger. This deal was an attempt to correct what turned out to be a mistake in forcing Tampa's hand into dealing Gratton to Philadelphia in the first place, when Bob Clarke inked the RFA to an offer sheet in August of 1997. The Flyers ended up sending Renberg and defenseman Karl Dykhuis to the Bolts in return for Gratton and not matching the offer sheet. Gratton was a highly-sought after commodity at the time following a 30-goal year in which he seemed on the brink of becoming one of the premier power forwards in the league. Things didn't quite work out that way in Philly, and Gratton's 16-month odyssey ended with 23 goals, 70 points, and 200 PIMs in 108 regular season contests, and a pair of goals and 10 PIMs in five playoff appearances. Prior to the first trade, Renberg's productivity in Philadelphia had dropped off significantly after suffering a nagging abdominal injury during the 1995/96 campaign, eventually requiring offseason surgery in May of 1996. He never came close to matching his early success when he posted 38 goals and 82 points as a rookie in 1993/94, and 26 goals and 57 points during the lockout-abbreviated 1994/95. Unfortunately, his return to the City of Brotherly Love from Tampa Bay was unable to rekindle his old scoring touch, and after putting up just 19 goals and 55 points in 108 games over parts of the next two seasons, Renberg was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes with another former-Flyer, Rick Tocchet, being brought back for a return engagement.

Broad Street Bash

If you would like to meet many of the Flyers' legends you read about in these daily looks back, make sure to attend the Broad Street Bash on January 25th!


When? · Saturday, January 25, 6-9 p.m.

Where? · XFINITY Live! Philadelphia

· Live performance by Dropkick Murphys

· Tickets on sale now @ ($250 general admission; $500 VIP which includes a meet-and-greet with alumni in Spectrum Grille)

· Included in the price of a ticket: all-you-can eat menu, open bar & Carnival ticket

Click here to find out the details.

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