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 managed an 8-6-4-2 overall record -- which includes a 6-2-3-2 mark at home -- on December 18 over the course of franchise history.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on December 18:
1976 -- Bill Barber scored an opening period goal and assisted on another and Bernie Parent posted his fourth shutout of the season as the Flyers blanked the St. Louis Blues, 2-0, at St. Louis Arena.
Ross Lonsberry notched the second goal, a power play marker, just 56 seconds after Barber's.
It was the 13th straight decision for Parent without a loss (10-0-3), and the 38th regular season whitewash during his time in Philadelphia.
1980 -- Rick MacLeish scored a goal and assisted on another and Rick St. Croix turned aside all 22 shots he faced to notch his first NHL shutout as the Flyers skated to a 2-0 triumph over the Colorado Rockies at the Spectrum.
Defender Behn Wilson opened the scoring 50 seconds into the second period, and MacLeish doubled the lead just under eight minutes later. Gary Morrison added assists on both goals.
Colorado's Hardy Astrom made 36 saves in the loss.
1982 -- Darryl Sittler scored one goal and assisted on two others and Bobby Clarke tallied a game-tying power play goal with 5:38 remaining in regulation as the Flyers and New York Islanders finished in a 4-4 deadlock at Nassau Coliseum.
Goals by Ilkka Sinisalo, Brian Propp, and Sittler staked the visitors to a 3-1 lead early in the third period, but N.Y. tallies from Mike Bossy (second of the contest and 26th of the year), John Tonelli, and Brent Sutter gave the Isles a 4-3 lead with 7:32 left in the stanza before Sittler's tying marker.
Pelle Lindbergh stopped 21 of 25 shots, while Islanders netminder Roland Melanson made 28 saves in the draw.
1983 -- Tim Kerr's power play marker with 4:48 remaining in the third period snapped a 2-2 tie, but Steve Yzerman beat Pelle Lindbergh with just one tick remaining on the clock to force a 3-3 deadlock with the Detroit Red Wings at the Spectrum.
Philadelphia opened the scoring midway through the first period on a Brad Marsh goal, but Detroit tied it up with a Ron Duguay marker late in the frame. Ron Sutter gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead midway through the second, but Reed Larson knotted the score late in the middle session.
The final period went the same route as the first two with Philly grabbing a lead, only to have the visitors come back and even things up on the scoreboard before the stanza ended.
Lindbergh finished with 20 saves on 23 Red Wing shots, while Eddie Mio made 36 saves to earn the tie.
1986 -- Tim Kerr and Dave Poulin each notched hat tricks and Ron Hextall turned away 34 of the 38 shots he faced to lead the Flyers to a wild 9-4 victory over the New York Islanders at the Spectrum.
Philadelphia got rolling early in the opening period with goals from Poulin and Kerr just 22 seconds apart, before Kerr's second made it a 3-0 lead just 6:04 into the contest.
Ilkka Sinisalo scored before the frame concluded -- which was sandwiched by Islander strikes from Gordie Dineen and Pat LaFontaine -- to give the Flyers a 4-2 lead at the first intermission, and early second period strikes by Brad McCrimmon (0:35 mark) and Poulin's second of the game made it 6-2 to chase Isles' starter Billy Smith, who ended the night with just nine saves on the 15 shots he faced in just over 25 minutes.
After Patrick Flatley got one back for the visitors, defenseman J.J. Daigneault scored his first goal in a Flyer uniform to make it a 7-3 score at the second intermission.
Kerr beat Kelly Hrudey 1:30 into the third to complete his hat trick, and Poulin followed suit to accomplish the feat 3:30 later.
Poulin also added an assist in the onslaught, increasing his totals to six goals and 11 points over a four-game scoring stretch. The hatty gave Kerr six goals in his last three outings, and nine points in the five contests since returning from a hamstring injury.
Despite being outshot by a wide 30-13 margin over the final two periods -- including a lopsided 18-5 count in the third -- Philly actually outscored N.Y. 5-2 over the last forty minutes as Hextall was brilliant in the Flyers net.
''I'm happy when I get one goal, so I'm really pleased about tonight,'' said Poulin, who then focused his attention on Hextall, who he felt was the real catalyst to the victory. ''But I think some of Ron's saves early on were a key to the way things wound up. Besides our goals, he stopped them on some quality chances, and those things put together probably kept the momentum going our way.''
1988 -- Rick Tocchet scored a pair of goals and Ron Hextall turned aside 24 of 25 shots as the Flyers blasted the Winnipeg Jets, 5-1, at the Spectrum, giving the Orange-and-Black their fifth straight victory and seventh in the last eight outings.
Philadelphia jumped out to an early lead on first period goals by Derrick Smith and Dave Poulin, and that lead was doubled after tallies from Tocchet and Doug Sulliman midway through the middle stanza.
Sulliman's marker knocked Winnipeg starter Alain Chevrier from the game in favor of Eldon "Pokey" Reddick, who allowed only Tocchet's second of the contest to close out the scoring early in the third period.
Andrew McBain spoiled Hextall's bid for a shutout with a late-second period power play goal.
1993 -- Yves Racine's power play goal late in the second period served as the game-tying marker, and Tommy Soderstrom stopped 23 of 25 shots in a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Blackhawks at the Spectrum.
Al Conroy scored his first goal of the season -- a shorthanded tally -- earlier in the middle stanza to answer Michel Goulet's first period marker, but Christian Ruuttu gave the visitors their second lead of the contest with a shorthanded goal before Racine's man advantage equalizer less than a minute later.
Future-Flyer goalie Jeff Hackett made 34 saves for Chicago -- including four in an overtime dominated by Philly -- to force the deadlock.
1997 -- Joel Otto notched his first goal of the season 4:04 into the third period to earn a 2-2 tie with the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum.
Eric Lindros opened the scoring early in the first period, but Boston took a 2-1 lead on goals by P.J. Axelsson and Dmitri Khristich heading into the final frame.
Ron Hextall finished with 22 saves on 24 shots to extend his unbeaten streak to four straight contests (3-0-1).
1999 -- John LeClair scored twice and Brian Boucher stopped all 29 shots he faced to record his first NHL shutout in a 4-0 whitewash of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Spectrum.
Defenseman Ulf Samuelsson -- who returned to the lineup after sitting out four games with a shoulder strain -- notched his first goal as a Flyer with a slap shot from the left circle that beat Bolts starter Dan Cloutier through the five-hole.Cloutier was lifted shortly thereafter, being replaced by Kevin Hodson.
LeClair doubled the Philadelphia lead late in the middle stanza when he stole an errant Paul Mara pass and beat Hodson to make it 2-0 heading into the third. LeClair then chopped the puck from behind the Tampa cage off Hodson's skate and into the net midway through the final frame, and Marc Bureau added a shorthanded marker to close out the scoring less than a minute later.
It was the fifth multiple-point game in the last six outings for LeClair, who posted six goals and 11 points during that span.
2001 -- Chris Therien's shorthanded tally -- the first shorty of his career and first goal of the season -- snapped a 3-3 tie midway through the final period, and Mark Recchi scored the 400th goal of his career to lead the Flyers to a 6-3 triumph over the St. Louis Blues at the First Union Center.
Jeremy Roenick, Marty Murray, Kim Johnsson, and Ruslan Fedotenko (empty-netter) also dented the twin for Philadelphia. Roenick's tally was not without controversy, as video replay had to be utilized to determine that St. Louis goaltender Brent Johnson's glove was across the goal line when he caught the shot. Blues coach Joel Quenneville was livid, as Philly bench boss demanded that the play be reviewed during a television timeout.
Recchi's strike was his 12th of the season and 176th as a Flyer, as he became the 65th NHLer to reach the 400-goal milestone.
Special teams played a huge role in the Flyers' victory, as the man advantage went 2-4 while the penalty-killing unit kept St. Louis' dangerous power play -- which featured defensemen Chris Pronger and Al MacInnis manning the points -- off the board with an 0-8 night while adding Therien's shorthander.
Goaltender Roman Cechmanek stopped 30 of 33 St. Louis offerings directed his way to pick up his third win in the last four decisions.
2002 -- Justin Williams scored one goal and assisted on another and Mark Recchi snapped a 1-1 deadlock with 7:13 remaining in the second period to lead the Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
Trailing 1-0, Williams beat Pasi Nurminen on a breakaway to even things up before the first intermission. Recchi's deflection of a Kim Johnsson shot gave the visitors the lead for good late in the middle stanza, before Donald Brashear added a spectacular insurance marker by diving to poke the puck past Nurminen early in the third period to make it five consecutive games without a loss (4-0-1-0) for Philadelphia.
Netminder Robert Esche made 23 saves -- including all 15 in a third period dominated by Atlanta (15-2 shot totals) -- to win his third straight decision and improve his record for the year to 6-1-2-0.
It was also the 1,000th NHL game for defenseman Eric Desjardins, who became the 185th NHLer to attain the mark and seventh to accomplish the feat while wearing a Flyers uniform.
2010 -- Nikolay Zherdev posted a pair of goals and Brian Boucher turned away 24 of 25 shots to lead the Flyers to a 4-1 victory over the arch-rival New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Zherdev lit the lamp in his third consecutive contest -- in which he notched four goals and five points during that span -- and for the fourth time in the last five outings in which he appeared. He opened the scoring at the midpoint of the middle stanza jumping out of the penalty box after serving a minor, taking a Mike Richards pass, and finishing off the play by beating Henrik Lundqvist on a breakaway with a backhand-forehand move that sent the puck over the goaltender's glove and high into the net. Zherdev closed out the scoring with a power play tally with just under five minutes left in the third period.
Also scoring for Philadelphia were Andreas Nodl and Ville Leino.
Boucher won for the fourth straight time and extended his undefeated streak to seven consecutive games (6-0-1). The 33-year-old was beaten only once -- a second period shot from the slot by Derek Stepan -- just moments after stoning Stepan on a breakaway.
"King Henrik" was spectacular for the Blue Shirts in a losing cause, finishing the matinee with 35 saves.
Other Noteworthy December 18 Flyers Moments:
Philadelphia inked Keith "The Thief" Allen, who had served as head coach of the team since entering the league as an expansion franchise, as interim GM on this day in 1969. The move put the man in place who would put the building blocks in place, and construct the foundation with which the Flyers' two Stanley Cup championships were won during the mid-70's.
On this day in 1995, Philadelphia was granted an AHL expansion franchise named the Phantoms, replacing the Hershey Bears as the organization's top minor league affiliate. The team was set to commence operations in the 1996/97 campaign at the Spectrum, which was vacated with the Flyers move across the parking lot to the CoreStates Center.
December 18 Flyers Trade:
On this day in 1986, Philadelphia sent disgruntled netminder Bob Froese to the New York Rangers in exchange for hulking 6' 6", 235-pound defenseman Kjell Samuelsson and a draft pick. Froese felt he had the number one job locked up heading into the 1986/87 campaign, but rookie Ron Hextall had a very impressive showing at training camp. It was the youngster who got the opening night call against the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers, and he played well in a 2-1 win. Froese won all three games in which he appeared during the season, but it was apparent head coach Mike Keenan felt Hextall's fiery presence was a better fit for his club and Froese subsequently requested a trade.