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Today in Philadelphia Flyers history: Clarke's Gordie Howe trick, Recchi's hat trick, Gagne's first

Clarke's Gordie Howe hat trick ties Rangers at MSG; 'Frosty' freezes Pens in Igloo; first NHL goals for Schultz, Saleski, Renberg, and Gagne; Recchi hat trick and JR spearhead comeback win in Calgary; Meszaros third period GWG tops Canucks

Bruce Bennett

An almost-daily column that takes a 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 regular season home opener with the Florida Panthers, the Flyers are 8-7-1-0 all-time in October 12 games. Following a three-game losing streak (1996-2000), the team has won their last two of their last three October 12 tilts.

1972 – Simon Nolet scored twice and Doug Favell made 24 saves to make the 1972/73 home opener against the Vancouver Canucks a 7-3 success at the Spectrum. Philadelphia also received offensive support from Gary Dornhoefer, Bill Flett, Bobby Clarke, Dave Schultz, and Don Saleski.

The goals for rookies Schultz and Saleski were the first in the NHL for both, while Clarke added a pair of helpers.

1974 – Terry Crisp scored twice and figured in on four goals while Bernie Parent was only called upon to face 17 shots in a 6-1 drubbing of the Buffalo Sabres at the Spectrum.

Tom Bladon and Bobby Clarke also scored, while Reggie Leach, who the reigning Stanley Cup champions acquired from the California Golden Seals over the summer, notched his first goal as a Flyer.

Philadelphia dominated the Sabres throughout, outshooting Buffalo 22-8 over the last two periods of play, and 36-17 for the game.

1975 – Reggie Leach scored twice against his former teammates and Bobby Clarke chipped in with a goal and assist to lead the Flyers over the California Golden Seals by a 4-1 score at the Spectrum. Defenseman Jimmy Watson assisted on two Philadelphia goals.

Don Saleski also beat Seals’ goaltender Gilles Meloche, who faced 37 shots. Flyers’ Wayne Stephenson stopped 17 of 18 shots, and had his shutout bid ruined on a power play goal from rookie Dave Hrechkosy with 2:27 left in the third.

1978 – Bobby Clarke’s Gordie Howe hat trick helped Philadelphia storm back from a 3-0 deficit and Bernie Parent made 27 saves to lift the Flyers into a 3-3 deadlock with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Goals by Steve Vickers, Pat Hickey, and Mike McEwen staked John Davidson to a three-goal lead after one, but Clarke did it all in the middle period to lead the Philly comeback. He scored an early power play goal, fought Dave Maloney midway through the frame, then assisted on Paul Holmgren’s man advantage tally with just over a minute left in the stanza.

Parent had excellent in the final period as the Rangers outshot the Flyers, 12-3, but the future Hall-of-Famer didn’t break to help his team hang on for a point in the standings.

1985 – Bob Froese stopped 42 of 44 shots and Murray Craven’s late third goal snapped a 2-2 tie to give the Flyers a 4-2 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Igloo.

Goals by Peter Zezel and Brian Propp gave the visitors a 2-0 lead early in the second, but Pittsburgh even the score with strikes from Tom O’Regan and Terry Ruskowski just over a minute apart to deadlock the score heading into the third.

Froese was especially spectacular in the final frame, stopping all 18 shots the Pens sent his way. Roberto Romano made 29 saves in the loss.

Captain Dave Poulin sealed the victory with an empty net goal with 12 seconds remaining.

1989 – Rick Tocchet notched a goal and an assist in a first period in which Philadelphia built a 3-0 lead, and Ken Wregget made 19 saves to as the Flyers defeated the Quebec Nordiques by a 4-2 count at the Spectrum.

Tocchet, Mike Bullard, and Ron Sutter were able to beat Ron Tugnutt in the opening stanza, and the 3-0 lead carried into the third. Quebec’s Mario Mario and Daniel Dore each answered early in the final period to make it a one-goal game, before Pelle Eklund put the game away midway through the session.

Brian Propp assisted on two of the Flyers' first period goals.

1993 – Eric Lindros had a goal and two assists during a four-goal third period to lead Philadelphia to a 5-3 comeback victory over the Buffalo Sabres at the Spectrum.

After Flyers’ rookie Mikael Renberg scored his first NHL goal and Buffalo’s Petr Svoboda answered in the first period, the Sabres grabbed a 3-1 lead on second period goals by Randy Wood and Dale Hawerchuk heading into the third.

The home team came out of the second intermission with a purpose, attacking the Buffalo net in waves. Mark Recchi started the Philly resurgence at 2:41 of the frame, before power play goals from Josef Beranek and Lindros turned the one-goal deficit into a 4-3 lead. Brent Fedyk iced the game with just under four minutes left in regulation to set the final score.

The Flyers outshot the Sabres by a 16-4 count in the third period to defeat Grant Fuhr – who saw 35 total shots during the contest -- while Dominic Roussel made 22 saves to pick up the win.

1999 – Despite the first two goals of Simon Gagne’s NHL career and four assists from Mark Recchi, the visiting Flyers dropped a 5-4 decision to the Washington Capitals thanks to a Petr Bondra hat trick and 26 saves by Olaf Kolzig.

Gagne opened the game with a PP goal after just 51 seconds for his first-ever regular season goal, then doubled the Flyers’ lead at 4:31 before Washington roared back with three goals of their own from Steve Konowalchuk, Richard Zednik, and Bondra.

Eric Lindros and Valeri Zelepukin also scored the only goals of the middle frame to give Philadelphia a 4-3 lead, but Bondra beat John Vanbiesbrouck twice in less than a minute late in the third to snatch away the victory.

Vanbiesbrouck faced just 19 shots in the game, stopping 14.

2002 – Mark Recchi was a one-man wrecking crew as he notched a hat trick and co-authored a three-goal third period comeback with Jeremy Roenick to lift visiting Philadelphia past the Calgary Flames, 5-4.

Goals by Justin Williams and Recchi (shorthanded) gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead midway through regulation, but Calgary scored three power play goals in the span of 2:35 – two from Martin Gelinas and the last being Jarome Iginla’s with one tick of the second period clock remaining – to give goalie Roman Turek and the Flames a seemingly-comfortable 4-2 lead after two.

But Recchi cashed in on a pair in just over a minute and a half to tie it up with 4:02 left – with JR picking up assists on both -- before setting up Roenick for the PP game-winner with just 1:10 remaining.

The turn of events made a winner of Philly netminder Roman Cechmanek, who made 21 stops.

2011Andrej Meszaros beat Roberto Luongo for the the game-winning goal 4:40 into the third period, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 36 saves to give Philadelphia a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks at the Wells Fargo Center.

Goals from Claude Giroux, Chris Pronger, James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek gave the Flyers a 4-3 lead heading into the third period but Daniel Sedin tied it up early in the frame, setting up Meszaros’ heroics.

Sean Couturier, the eighth-overall pick in the 2011 draft, picked up his first NHL point with an assist on Voracek’s second period marker.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Brad McCrimmon, the former-Flyers defenseman who was in the tragic plane crash that took the lives of 28 players, two coaches (McCrimmon was head coach), and seven staffers of the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club.

October 12 Flyers Birthdays

Dave Brown, 1962 -- The 6' 5", 222-pounder now holds the title of Flyers' Head of Pro Scouting, but he was one of the most feared NHL heavyweights during the 1980's. Brown protected the club's skill players in two tours of duty over parts of 11 seasons, and was a member of the two 80's Philadelphia clubs that finished runner-up to the Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup teams in 1985 and 1987. Brown was traded to those same Oilers in February of 1989 for Keith Acton, and was on the Stanley Cup-winning team in 1990. As is the case with so many former-Flyers, Brown was brought back to Philadelphia in May of 1991. He was part of a three-way deal with Edmonton and the Los Angeles Kings that saw the Flyers send out current head coach Craig Berube, Scott Mellanby, and two others in exchange for Brown, Steve Duchesne, and Steve Kasper. Brown finished out his playing career with the San Jose Sharks in 1995/96.

J.J. Daigneault, 1965 -- Daigneault was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks during the summer of 1986 in exchange for Rich Sutter and Dave Richter. His stay in the city was brief, but he scored one of the most memorable Flyers goals of the 1980's. With Philadelphia down 3-2 to the Edmonton Oilers in the 1987 Stanley Cup Final and trailing 2-1 in the third period of Game 6 at the Spectrum, Brian Propp tied the score in the latter stages of regulation. With the Flyers rejuvenated and swarming the Oilers' zone, Daigneault's one-time point blast of a failed Edmonton clearing attempt found its way through a Scott Mellanby screen and past goaltender Grant Fuhr for the game-winner as Philadelphia forced an improbable Game 7. Many who were present at the Spectrum through the years say the noise-level in the building at that moment may have been the loudest they had ever heard. Daigneault's play was disappointing the next season as he shuttled between the Hershey Bears and Flyers before being dealt to the Montreal Canadiens for a minor-league defender in November of 1988.

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