March 18 in Philadelphia Flyers history: Lindros manhandles Panthers, Hartnell beats OT clock and Pens

Bruce Bennett

A sometimes-frequent look back at how the Philadelphia Flyers have fared on calendar days, 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 Chicago Blackhawks at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers have a 10-6-4-0 all-time mark in 20 games played on March 18. The Flyers had won four consecutive games played on this day from 2006 through 2012, before dropping a 4-2 decision to the Lightning last year in Tampa Bay..

This will be the third March 18 meeting between Philadelphia and Chicago, with the Hawks having been victorious in the first -- a 5-1 win at Chicago Stadium in 1981 -- and the other ending in a 4-4 deadlock the following year in Philadelphia.

1971 -- Bobby Clarke beat Gilles Villemure with a third period game-winning goal just 28 seconds after Walt Tkaczuk had tied the game for the Rangers in a 2-1 Flyers' victory over New York at the Spectrum.

Goaltender Bruce Gamble stopped 30 of 31 shots to pick up his first win with Philadelphia since dropping his first four decisions after being acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a late-January trade that sent Bernie Parent north of the border.

1973 -- Bill Flett becomes the second Flyer ever to hit the 40-goal mark, but Pete Mahovlich beats Doug Favell for his second goal of the game with 3:10 left in the final period to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-4 tie at the Spectrum.

1975 -- Rick MacLeish nets his fifth career hat trick and five points, while Reggie Leach and Bobby Clarke each score a goal and set up another pair as the Flyers bomb the Washington Capitals, 7-2, at the Cap Center.

1976 -- Goals 1:23 apart from Jack McIlhargey, Reggie Leach, and Dave Schultz erase a two-goal second period deficit and propel the Flyers to a 3-2 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks at the Spectrum. The win makes it 23 straight games without a loss for the team (17-0-6), tying the then-NHL record held by the Boston Bruins.

Vancouver dominated play in the opening frame, outshooting Philadelphia by a 20-8 count and taking a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

But Flyers' goalie Wayne Stephenson wouldn't allow another goal the rest of the way, finishing the contest with 39 saves to post his 40th win of the season. The victory also made it 17 consecutive games without suffering a defeat for Stephenson, who improved to 13-0-4 during that stretch.

After McIlhargey got Philadelphia on the board midway through regulation, Leach notched his 54th of the year to knot the score at 2-2 and Schultz provided the game-winner just 14 seconds later.

Bill Barber registered an assist on Leach's goal, becoming just the third Flyer in franchise history to record 100 points in a single NHL season.

The 23-game unbeaten streak would eventually be topped by the 1977/78 Montreal Canadiens (28 games), then by the 1979/80 Flyers with the current 35-game undefeated standard.

1979 -- Bill Barber snapped a 2-2 tie early in the third period and Blake Dunlop's second goal of the game just over 12 minutes later would prove to be the game-winner as the Flyers went on to drop the St. Louis Blues 5-3 at the Spectrum.

On the strength of goals from Paul Holmgren and Dunlop Philadelphia held a 2-1 lead entering the third period, but Larry Patey tied it up just 41 seconds into the final stanza. Barber answered just 48 seconds later, giving the Flyers a lead they would not relinquish.

Robbie Moore made 21 saves to remain perfect after two NHL starts for the Flyers.

1982 -- Darryl Sittler scored his second goal of the game with 22 seconds remaining in the third period to help the Flyers salvage a point in a 4-4 deadlock with the Chicago Blackhawks at the Spectrum.

Second period goals from Al Hill and Glen Cochrane turned a one-goal deficit into a 3-2 Philadelphia lead. But Chicago bounced back with a late-second period strike from Darryl Sutter and an early-third period power play tally from Tom Lysiak to take a 4-3 advantage to set the stage for Sittler's late-game heroics.

Though spared the loss, the tie kept first-year Philly netminder Pelle Lindbergh -- who finished the contest with 31 saves -- winless in his first five NHL starts (0-3-2). At the other end of the rink Murray Bannerman was beseiged with 48 Flyers' shots -- 10 off the stick of Sittler -- stopping all but four.

1990 -- The line of Murray Craven (goal, two assists), Ron Sutter (two goals, assist), and Rick Tocchet (goal, three assists) accounted for 10 points as the Flyers downed the Los Angeles Kings 7-4 at the Spectrum.

Knotted at 3-3 through two periods, markers from Keith Acton, Craven, and Craig Berube in the first six minutes of the final stanza vaulted Philadelphia to a three-goal lead.

Ken Wregget made 29 saves to pick up the win for the Flyers.

1995 -- Eric Lindros was a one-man wrecking crew as he figured in on all of the Flyers' goals, recording the game-winner in overtime to complete his sixth career hat trick in a 4-3 triumph -- Philly's seventh consecutive win -- over the Florida Panthers in Miami.

Lindros kicked off the scoring with a bang -- literally -- as he flattened Florida defenseman Brian Benning behind the Panthers' cage, then sent a cross-crease pass to Mikael Renberg for a power play tap-in goal to make it 1-0 Philadelphia.

The 'Big E' then notched a pair of tallies in the middle frame to give Philly a 3-1 lead, before Jesse Belanger cut the lead to one prior to the second intermission, and Bill Lindsay evened things up with 6:16 left in regulation time.

There was some controversy on the game-winner, as Lindros drilled Stu Barnes at center ice and picked the top corner over John Vanbiesbrouck's glove-side shoulder on the ensueing rush to give the Flyers the 4-3 victory. Florida players were all over referee Lance Roberts for the non-call on the Lindros hit on Barnes, and Panthers' fans showered the ice with a healthy chorus of boos.

Lindros' extra session goal made a winner of goalie Dominic Roussel, who stopped 25 of 28 Florida offerings.

2006 -- R.J. Umberger scored late in the second period for what would prove to be the game-winning goal as Antero Niittymaki defeated fellow-Finnish countryman Kari Lehtonen and the Atlanta Thrashers, 4-2, at Philips Arena.

Niittymaki had to be especially good in the third period, as Atlanta carried play and outshot Philadelphia, 12-4. But the only player to light the lamp would be wearing Orange-and-Black, as Niko Dimitrakos gave the Flyers a two-goal cushion early in the frame to set the final score.

2008 -- Vinny Prospal's goal midway through the third period would become the eventual game-winner as the Flyers dominated play for much of their 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at the Wachovia Center. It was Philly's 10th consecutive win over Atlanta, dating back to November of 2005.

Even though goals by Mike Richards and Jeff Carter staked Philadelphia to a 2-1 lead, it was a bit frustrating to only be up by a goal after outshooting the Thrashers by a 34-12 count over the first forty minutes.

Kari Lehtonen was fantastic in keeping his club in a game in which they had no business having any chance to pick up points, and Atlanta almost did just that.

Following Prospal's goal that made it 3-1, Ilya Kovalchuk beat Antero Niitymaki for his 50th goal of the season with just 30 seconds left to make it a one-goal game. The Russian sniper nealry pulled off a miracle in the closing moments of the game when his last-second effort was turned away by Niittymaki just before the final buzzer sounded.

2010 -- Scott Hartnell snapped a 2-2 tie midway through the third period and Brian Boucher made 27 saves to lift the Flyers to a 3-2 triumph over the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Arena.

Steve Ott scored a pair of first period goals sandwiched around one from Simon Gagne for Philadelphia to give Dallas a 2-1 lead after one, but Mike Richards capped off a two-on-one rush by sending Gagne's pass through Kari Lehtonen -- who would drop to 0-9-1 in his career against the Flyers -- to knot the game heading into the final twenty minutes.

Boucher's efforts were huge in his new role as number one goaltender, shortly after it was announced that Michael Leighton would miss at least eight weeks with a high-ankle sprain suffered two days earlier in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Predators in Nashville. Boucher would be the starter down the regular season stretch as the club battled for one of the remaining postseason spots.

2012 -- Scott Hartnell scored the game-tying goal in the third then notched the game-winner with 0.9 seconds remaining in overtime to cap off a furious Flyers' comeback from a two-goal third period deficit in a 3-2 victory over the arch-rival Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center. The win shattered an 11-game Penguins' winning streak. longest in the NHL that season.

Trailing 2-0 through two periods on Pittsburgh goals from Craig Adams and Evgeni Malkin, Philly was hardly doing enough to put up a fight. They went 18 straight minutes without recording a shot on goal, and managed just two in the middle frame. The Pens held a 27-10 shots advantage heading into the third period.

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen kick-started Philadelphia on the comeback trail with a power play marker just 31 seconds into the third stanza before Hartnell's tying tally just over four minutes later.

With time running out in the extra session Danny Briere sent a pass to Hartnell in the slot, and the mop-topped winger whipped a one-timer between Marc-Andre Fleury's glove and left pad with just under a second left on the clock to give the Flyers the win and avoid going to a shootout.

Ilya Bryzgalov was sensational in the victory, stopping 38 of the 40 Pittsburgh shots sent his direction.

March 18 Flyers' birthday

Kimmo Timonen was born in Kuopio, Finland on this day in 1975. Over 506 regular season games with Philadelphia since his acquisition from the Nashville Predators in 2007, the defender has posted 36 goals, 262 points, a +45 rating, and 304 PIMs.

One of the best blue liners to ever lace 'em up for Philly, Timonen's franchise rankings for defensemen are proof-positive: Games played -- 11th (506, will be top-10 when he passes Brad Marsh -- April 3 if he does not miss any games); Goals -- 36 (8th, two behind Joe Watson and trails Kim Johnsson by four); Assists -- 3rd (226, behind only Mark Howe and Eric Desjardins); Points -- 3rd (262, also trailing just Howe and Desjardins); Shorthanded goals -- 2nd (5, behind just Howe).

This is the seventh season he's played at an elite level, all the while staying out of the penalty box. Timonen's 304 PIMs is 24th all-time among Philadelphia defenders.

Even at 39 years of age Timonen today remains one of the top players on the Flyers' blue line, as well as one of the most valued members of the club's leadership group as the team makes a push for a postseason position this spring.

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