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April 2 in Philadelphia Flyers history: Late-season heartbreak in Buffalo, Poulin's two-goal NHL debut burns Leafs

Goal with 0:04 remaining in regular season eliminates Flyers from playoff contention, Poulin's two-goal NHL debut burns Leafs, Kerr's goals down Rangers, Lindros early-game domination, DiMaio late-game heroics save Flyers, Burke blanks Kings highlight April 2 in Flyers' history

Sean Burke in goal for the Flyers in 1998.
Sean Burke in goal for the Flyers in 1998.
Getty Images

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

The Flyers have posted an 11-7-2-0 regular season record in 20 games played on April 2nd. Philadelphia dropped their first two and last two contests played on this day, but had a 12-game undefeated streak (10-0-2) from 1974 through 1998. Three of the losses (1970, 2000, 2010) ended in 1-0 defeats.

Philly has also played one playoff game on this day -- the earliest postseason calendar date in franchise history -- dropping a 5-2 decision to the St. Louis Blues in 1969.

Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on April 2:

1972 -- Needing a win or a tie to qualify for the playoffs, it appeared the Flyers were a lock for the postseason tied at 2-2 with the Buffalo Sabres in the closing seconds on the last day of the 1971-72 regular season.

But winger Gerry Meehan launched a shot from the top of the left circle that eluded Philadelphia netminder Doug Favell with just four ticks left on the clock, effectively killing the Flyers postseason hopes in a crushing 3-2 defeat at the Aud in Buffalo in the regular season finale.

1974 -- Bill Flett snapped a 3-3 tie 4:38 into the third period and Bobby Taylor outplayed Lorne Worsley by turning aside 33 of 36 shots as the Flyers went on to knock off the Minnesota North Stars 6-3 at the Met Center.

Philadelphia had grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first period on the strength of goals from Simon Nolet, Bill Barber, and Bobby Clarke, but the home team began their comeback with goals in the middle frame from Bill Goldsworthy and Lou Nanne.

Goldsworthy beat Taylor early in the third to knot the game at 3-apiece before Flett's go-ahead marker, and insurance goals from Ross Lonsberry and Dave Schultz, who connected for his first-ever 20-goal season.

1977 -- Rick MacLeish scored twice and set up a third Flyers marker, and Wayne Stephenson made 26 saves in a 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers at the Spectrum.

MacLeish and Orest Kindrachuk each scored while Philadelphia skated shorthanded to give the home squad a 2-1 lead, before Bob Kelly scored a power play marker and MacLeish's coup de grace in the third period, giving the smooth-skating sniper 49 goals for the year.

1983 -- Dave Poulin scored twice in his NHL debut, and Brian Propp added a pair of goals to lead the Flyers to a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Poulin was signed as a free agent out of Notre Dame in March and played 16 games with Philadelphia's AHL-affiliate, the Maine Mariners, prior to his recall. He opened the scoring with his first NHL marker just 4:36 after the opening faceoff before former-Leaf captain Darryl Sittler scored his 42nd goal of the year and defenseman Miroslav Dvorak made it a 3-0 lead for the visitors by the first intermission.

With Paul Holmgren sitting in the penalty box, Poulin netted his first career shorthanded tally to extend the Flyers lead to 4-0 before Toronto got a pair of quick ones past rookie Pelle Lindbergh to cut their deficit in half. But Propp beat Mike Palmateer to make it a 5-2 contest heading into the third, before the Leafs' Gaston Gingras and Propp traded power play goals in the closing session.

1985 -- Rookie Todd Bergen's goal with just over six minutes remaining in the second period would prove to be the game-winner, as Bob Froese stopped all but one of the 30 shots he faced in a 2-1 triumph over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Lenny Hachborn had given Philly a 1-0 lead in the first before Bergen notched his eighth goal in just his 12th NHL game after being recalled from the Hershey Bears.

N.Y.'s Anders Hedberg would spoil Froese's shutout bid with a late second period goal with the man advantage, but the Blue Shirts could not find the equalizer in the third period.

1986 -- Trailing 2-1, Tim Kerr scored the game-tying goal late in the middle frame and the game-winner via the power play midway through the third period to compliment Bob Froese's 41-save performance in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

With the score knotted at 2-apiece and the Rangers' Raimo Helminen off for holding, Kerr deposited his second goal of the game and 56th of the season past John Vanbiesbrouck to give the Flyers their first lead of the contest.

Froese was spectacular in earning his 29th victory of the year, which established a new career-high -- one more than his 28 during the 1983/84 season.

1988 -- Murray Craven and Ilkka Sinisalo each scored twice and Ron Hextall made 32 saves to lead the Flyers to a wild 7-4 victory over the Quebec Nordiques at Le Colisee.

Trailing 1-0 after the first on a Michel Goulet tally, Philadelphia struck for three goals in a span of just 39 seconds -- with the first coming from the stick of Mark Howe, and the other two from Craven over 29-seconds.

Goulet beat Hextall for his second of the contest 46 seconds later, but the visitors put the game away late in the middle stanza when Peter Zezel and Sinisalo connected for a pair 41 seconds apart to make it a three-goal lead heading into the final twenty minutes, when the teams traded two goals each -- Gaetan Duchesne and Lane Lambert for Quebec, Dave Brown and Sinisalo's second for Philly.

The win gave Hextall his second consecutive 30-win season in his sophomore year in the league, while the pair of goals gave Craven his first-ever 30-goal NHL season.

1994 -- Powered by Eric Lindros' two goals and two assists, the Flyers built a 5-1 first period lead over the Hartford Whalers, but Hartford scored four straight to tie it up before Rob DiMaio netted the game-winner for Philly with 1:13 remaining in regulation in a wild 6-5 win at the Hartford Civic Center.

1995 -- Eric Lindros scored twice and assisted on a third goal and Ron Hextall stopped 32 of 34 shots to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 triumph over the New York Rangers at the Spectrum.

Rookie Chris Therien and first-year Flyer John LeClair also scored for Philadelphia, who snapped a three-game losing skid.

1998 -- Sean Burke made 29 saves to register his first shutout as a Flyer, and Alexandre Daigle scored the game-winning goal during the first period in a 3-0 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings at the CoreStates Center.

Joel Otto scored with two seconds left in the opening frame to double the lead for Philly, while Shjon Podein added a third period goal and assisted on Otto's first period strike.

2006 -- First period goals from Mike Knuble and rookies R.J. Umberger and Jeff Carter gave Robert Esche more than enough of a cushion as the netminder stopped 31 of 32 shots in a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders at Nassau County Coliseum.

Shawn Bates ruined Esche's bid for a shutout early in the third period, before Sami Kapanen iced the outcome with a shorthanded goal into an empty net with Rick DiPietro pulled for an extra skater.

Knuble's goal was his 31st of the year, besting his previous career-high output established during the 2002/03 campaign with the Boston Bruins.

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