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Today in Philadelphia Flyers history: Bladon record night, comeback for the ages, Richards beats Thomas, OT clock

A half-dozen hat tricks, including two in the same game, Bladon sets NHL record for points in a game by a defender, a couple of Gordie Howe hat tricks, Gagne caps a comeback for the ages, and Richards beats Thomas and the clock highlight December 11 in franchise 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 New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers own an 8-8-1-1 all-time mark in 18 games played on December 11. They had won their last three December 11 outings prior to last year's 7-2 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center, with two coming in extra time. This will be the first December 11 meeting between these two franchises.

1969 -- Andre Lacroix posted a hat trick and four points and Bernie Parent turned aside 37 of 40 shots as the Flyers doubled up the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 at the Spectrum.

Bobby Clarke, Earl Heiskala, and Gary Dornhoefer also put the puck behind Marv Edwards, as Philadelphia won for just the second time in the last 10 outings (2-4-4).

Lacroix scored a pair of goals during a wild opening period that saw the Flyers ahead 4-3, then completed the hat trick with 37 seconds left in the third period.

1976 -- Bill Barber's second goal of the game with 1:49 remaining in the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and lifted the Flyers to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum. It was the third win in a row, and made it 10 straight games without a loss (7-0-3).

Barber gave Philadelphia an early lead when he scored just 4:40 after the opening faceoff, but despite being outshot the Bruins would claim the next three markers. Don Marcotte, Peter McNab, and Rick Middleton all managed to beat Bernie Parent to stake Gerry Cheevers and Boston to a 3-1 lead late in the middle frame.

Sophomore center Mel Bridgman kickstarted the comeback with a power play goal just over two minutes after Middleton's tally to make it a one-goal contest at the second intermission.

The Flyers were all over Cheevers in the third -- outshooting the Bruins by a 16-2 count -- but the goalie was spectacular and held the lead. until Gary Dornhoefer was finally able to score the game-tying marker with just 3:01 remaining.

1977 -- Tom Bladon set an NHL record for points by a defenseman in one game with four goals and eight points as the Flyers drubbed the Cleveland Barons 11-1 at the Spectrum.

Bladon became the first Philadelphia defender to score more than two goals, and just the fourth player in league history to record eight points or more in one game (Maurice 'Rocket' Richard, Bert Olmstead, and Darryl Sittler, all Hall-of-Famers). Bladon topped the previous record of seven points by a blue liner set by Bobby Orr, who had a hat trick and four assists during a 10-3 win over the New York Rangers during the 1973/74 campaign.

Rick MacLeish (twice), Reggie Leach, Don Saleski, Mel Bridgman, Paul Holmgren, and Bill Barber also scored for the Flyers, who built an 11-0 lead late in the third period.

Bladon recorded a goal and a pair of helpers in each of the first and third periods, and scored twice in the middle frame.

Bernie Parent, who stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced, lost his bid for a shutout when Dennis Maruk scored with the man advantage with just 1:15 left in the game.

1984 -- Ron Sutter posted a Gordie Howe hat trick and Ilkka Sinisalo scored the game-tying goal with two ticks of the clock remaining in regulation, but Paul MacLean scored the game-winner in overtime to give the Winnipeg Jets a 6-5 win at Winnipeg Arena. Sutter scored a second period goal, then fought Laurie Boschman and assisted on a Lindsay Carson goal during the third to register the second Gordie Howe hattie of his career.

1986 -- Lindsay Carson scored the only two goals of the third period and Ron Hextall made 18 saves to give the Flyers a 5-3 triumph over the Calgary Flames at the Spectrum.

Philadelphia had taken a 3-1 lead early in the second period on goals by Pelle Eklund, Dave Poulin, and Derrick Smith, but Calgary evened the score at 3-3 on tallies from Al MacInnis and Mike Bullard by the second intermission.

It was all Flyers in the third, as Philly outshot the visitors by an 18-5 margin. Carson beat Reggie Lemelin with 6:47 left, then hit the empty net with 20 seconds remaining to clinch the outcome.

1987 -- Brian Propp had a goal and an assist, but Bob Probert beat Mark Laforest with 6:50 remaining in the third period to help the Detroit Red Wings gain a 3-3 tie with the Flyers at Joe Louis Arena.

1997 -- Eric Lindros scored his third goal of the game with 1:27 remaining in regulation for the 10th regular season hat trick of his career to give the Flyers a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders at the CoreStates Center.

Lindros beat Tommy Salo for a first period power play marker to knot the game at 1-1, then gave Philly a 3-2 lead midway through the third before recording the game-winner. John LeClair also scored for Philadelphia, who won for the first time in five games (1-1-3).

1999 -- Eric Lindros notched a Gordie Howe hat trick, but it wasn't enough as the Toronto Maple Leafs skated to a 6-4 win over the Flyers at Air Canada Centre. Lindros assisted on a first period Keith Jones goal, fought Alexander Karpovtsev during a second period melee, then scored a third period goal to complete the fifth Gordie Howe hat trick of his career.

2007 -- Joffrey Lupul posted a hat trick and six points and R.J. Umberger a hat trick and five points as the Flyers blasted the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-2 at the Wachovia Center. It was the first time Philadelphia had two players post a hat trick in the same game since December of 1986, when Tim Kerr and Dave Poulin turned the trick.

Mike Knuble and Brydon Coburn also scored for Philadelphia, who improved to 3-0 for the year against their bitter cross-state rivals after dropping all eight the previous season.

Lupul scored twice in the first and once in the final stanza, while Umberger had two in the second and one in the third.

Mike Richards, who finished with three helpers, recorded the 100th point of his career when he earned an assist on Lupul's second tally of the opening period.

2008 -- Scott Hartnell recorded his fourth NHL hat trick and third as a Flyer, while Simon Gagne scored the game-tying goal with 1:44 remaining and the game-winner in the shootout as the Flyers staged one of the greatest comebacks in franchise history by erasing a 5-1 third period deficit in an improbable 6-5 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes before a delirious crowd at the Wachovia Center.

Hartnell had scored in the second period, but it looked like a laugher when Eric Staal ripped a one-timer past Antero Niittymaki for his second goal of the night late in the middle session to give the visitors a 5-1 lead.

Philadelphia wouldn't go easily and outshot the Hurricanes 15-6 in the third, and Hartnell got the fans back into the game when he completed the hat trick with a pair of markers less than eight minutes into the stanza. Scottie Upshall made it a 5-4 game with less than five minutes left, before Gagne completed the comeback.

Niittymaki made several outstanding stops in the third period and overtime, giving Philly a chance to remain in the contest.

Gagne and Richards each beat Michael Leighton in the shootout, while Niittymaki stopped both Tuomo Ruutu and Rod Brind'Amour to steal the extra point for the Flyers in one of the more memorable regular season games in recent history.

2010 - Mike Richards beat Tim Thomas for the game-winning goal with just three seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Flyers to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Richards' winner came just three days after having an apparent goal in the closing seconds of overtime against the San Jose Sharks disallowed after video review revealed the puck hadn't crossed the goal line until just after time had expired.

Philadelphia had taken a 1-0 lead late in the second period on a goal by James van Riemsdyk, and it looked as though Brian Boucher was going to post a shutout until Nathan Horton knotted the score midway through the third. Boucher finished with 35 saves in the victory.

December 11 Flyers' birthday

Current Flyers' defenseman Mark Streit was born in Bern, Switzerland on this day in 1977. The rights to the blue liner were acquired from the New York Islanders last June, and the pending UFA was signed by GM Paul Holmgren to a four-year contract extension. In his first 108 contests with the organization, Streit has 14 goals, 59 points, a +6 rating, and 56 PIMs.

In memorium

Pat Hannigan, a member of the original expansion Flyers team in 1967/68, passed away on this day in 2007 at the age of 71. In parts of two seasons, Hannigan posted 11 goals, 27 points, and 58 PIMs in 72 regular season games, and a goal, three points, and nine PIMs in seven playoff contests. When he retired as an active player, Hannigan became a television analyst for Buffalo Sabres games, working with play-by-play announcer Ted Darling.