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 clash with the Nashville Predators at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers own a collective 10-6-5-4 mark -- which includes an 8-5-2-1 record at home -- in 25 contests played on December 19 over the course of franchise history.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place in December 19 games:
1968 -- Andre Lacroix scored with 33 seconds remaining in the third period as the Flyers overcame a late-game two-goal deficit to salvage a point in a 5-5 deadlock with the Minnesota North Stars at the Spectrum.
A pair of goals by Wayne Connelly and single tallies from J.P. Parise and Claude Larose were answered only by a single Jean-Guy Gendron marker to stake Minnesota to a 4-1 lead 14:34 into the opening period, but captain Ed Van Impe cut the deficit to two with a goal with 3:11 left in the frame.
Jim Johnson brought Philadelphia to within a goal with the only tally of the middle stanza, but Walt McKechnie restored the North Stars two-goal lead 7:55 into the final session.
Leon Rochefort made it a 5-4 game with 7:04 left before Lacroix's game-tying tally.
In addition to his first period marker, Gendron assisted on a pair of goals. Simon Nolet and Larry Hale also added two helpers apiece.
Bernie Parent made 23 saves -- including turning away 12 of 13 shots in the third -- while Caesar Maniago stopped 31 of 36 Flyer offerings in the draw.
1974 -- Bill Barber and Ross Lonsberry each scored twice and Bernie Parent turned aside 19 of 20 shots as the Flyers skated to a 5-1 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Spectrum.
Toronto defender Brian Glennie gave the visitors a lead midway through the opening period, but Philadelphia soon seized control of play. The Orange-and-Black outshot the Leafs by a 19-6 count and took a 3-1 lead on a goal by Barber and a pair from Lonsberry in a 3:55 span late in the first.
Bill Clement gave the Flyers an insurance marker early in the third and Barber sealed the victory with a shorthanded tally midway through the stanza.
Bobby Clarke and Rick MacLeish both added a pair of assists in the win.
Toronto's Dunc Wilson made 37 saves in a losing cause.
1975 -- Rick MacLeish's sixth career hat trick, two goals and four points from Bill Barber, and a goal and three assists from Bobby Clarke helped bring the Flyers back from a late-second period 4-2 deficit to lead Philly to a 7-5 victory over the Washington Capitals at the Cap Center in Landover, Maryland.
Barber and MacLeish each notched their first of the contest in the opening stanza, both coming after former-Flyers had given the Caps a lead (Bill Clement and Bob Sirois) to leave the teams tied at 2-2 at the first intermission -- despite the fact that Philadelphia had thrown 20 shots towards Bernie Wolfe in the Capitals net, and the home team responded with just three shots on Wayne Stephenson.
Washington took a 4-2 lead on power play goals from Garnet Bailey and Harvey Bennett, but quick strikes from Clarke, Reggie Leach, and MacLeish's second of the night within a 2:26 stretch late in the frame gave the visitors a brief lead of their own. Blair Stewart beat Stephenson with 14 ticks left on the clock in the second to knot it at 5-5 heading into the final session.
Barber scored in the first three minutes to give the Flyers a 6-5 lead, and MacLeish completed the hat trick with an insurance goal with 2:49 remaining.
The goals made it three games in a row with lighting the lamp for MacLeish, who scored five times in that span. Barber. meanwhile, extended his point-scoring streak to six straight contests, in which he had four goals and 10 points.
In addition to his goal Clarke finished the contest with three assists and also stretched his point-scoring streak to a half-dozen games, posting a goal and 10 points during that timeframe.
Stephenson stopped 17 of 22 shots in the win while Wolfe played extremely well in spite of the seven goals allowed and being collared with the loss, as he turned away 46 of 53 Philadelphia attempts.
1976 -- Reggie Leach and Bobby Clarke each scored twice to lead the Flyers over the Colorado Rockies, 4-3, at the Spectrum.
A pair of goals by both Leach and Colorado's Paul Gardner had the game knotted at 2-2 midway through the second period when Clarke scored his first of the night with Bob Kelly in the penalty box to make it a 3-2 Philadelphia lead.
Wilf Paiement tied the score 1:19 later, but Clarke scored a power play marker late in the frame in what would become the eventual game-winner.
Bill Barber and Larry Goodenough assisted on two Flyer goals apiece.
Wayne Stephenson turned aside 35 of 38 Rockies shots to post the victory, while former-Flyer Doug Favell -- who was peppered with 55 shots -- made 51 saves in the loss and received a fighting major during a second period melee.
1985 -- Brian Propp and Peter Zezel each scored a pair of goals as the Flyers came up with four unanswered goals in the third period to overcome a 3-2 deficit in a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils at the Spectrum.
Propp scored twice in the second but Philadelphia trailed 3-2 heading into the final frame before Zezel tied it up at 4:25. Derrick Smith gave the Flyers their first lead 55 seconds later, while Dave Poulin -- who scored a goal and assisted on two others -- and Zezel closed out the scoring with tallies in the final minute.
Propp had a golden opportunity to complete the hat trick when he was awarded a penalty shot, but was stoned by Isles goalie Glenn Resch.
Darren Jensen made 18 saves for his third consecutive victory and seventh win of the season, while Resch stopped 37 of 43 Flyer offerings.
1987 -- Scott Mellanby and Peter Zezel notched two goals apiece and Mark Howe scored the game-winning goal early in the third period and added three assists to lead the Flyers to a 5-4 triumph over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Ron Hextall stopped 28 of 32 shots for his sixth consecutive win to extend his unbeaten streak to 10 straight games (9-0-1), while Kelly Hrudey made 23 saves in defeat.
1991 -- Offensive defenseman Steve Duchesne recorded a hat trick and Ken Wregget turned away 19 of 21 shots in a 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders at the Spectrum.
Rod Brind'Amour, Dan Kordic, and Gord Murphy -- who assisted on two goals -- also scored for Philadelphia.
Duchesne scored once in each period, finishing off his third goal into an empty net with 52 seconds remaining.
1992 -- Mark Recchi scored twice to hit the 20-goal mark, Doug Evans scored one goal and assisted on another, and Tommy Soderstrom stopped 27 of 28 shots in a 3-1 Flyers win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Spectrum.
1996 -- Eric Lindros notched a Gordie Howe hat trick and Garth Snow stopped all 24 shots he faced for his second consecutive shutout and third straight win as the Flyers blanked the New York Islanders, 5-0, at the CoreStates Center.
Lindros scored once each in the first and second periods, assisted on Janne Niinimaa's first NHL goal and a third period Mikael Renberg tally, and fought defenseman Rich Pilon in the third to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick. John LeClair also posted a goal and assist, while Paul Coffey added three assists.
1998 -- Marc Bureau, Dan McGillis, and Colin Forbes scored for Philadelphia and John Vanbiesbrouck turned aside 23 of 24 shots to lead the Flyers to a 3-1 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawk at the First Union Center.
1999 -- Eric Desjardins scored with 54 seconds remaining in regulation to help the Flyers salvage a point in a 1-1 deadlock with the Nashville Predators at the First Union Center.
There was no score until midway through the third period when Nashville's Patrick Kjellberg put the visitors ahead at the 10:42 mark of the frame.
John Vanbiesbrouck made 19 saves, while Nashville's Mike Dunham came within less than a minute of a shutout.
2011 -- Scott Hartnell posted a goal and an assisted on Danny Briere's game-tying marker with 18.1 seconds remaining in regulation during a goalmouth scramble in an eventual 3-2 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves in regulation and overtime, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 31 of 33 Flyer shots.
Both had trouble in the shootout, as Milan Hejduk, Matt Duchene, and Ryan O'Reilly all beat Bryzgalov, while Briere and James van Riemsdyk beat Giguere. Rookie Matt Read was sent out as Peter Laviolette's third shooter in pursuit of the extra point. While Read beat the Colorado goalie, his shot clanked off the crossbar and stayed out to give the Avalanche the win.
2013 -- Claude Giroux racked up a pair of late goals and four points during a wild third period comeback -- including a spectacular no-look highlight reel backhander under the crossbar for the game-winning tally with 1:38 remaining -- to lift the Flyers to a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Wells Fargo Center. Giroux's miraculous shot gave netminder Steve Mason -- who finished with 24 saves -- a win in the first meeting against his former teammates.
"I was right in front. I saw it. I was going to go backdoor for the rebound, and it was like I saw it slow motion go right in, top corner. I was like, 'Oh my gosh.'" -- linemate Scott Hartnell on Giroux's incredible game-winner
The goal was the second for Giroux in a span of just 2:08, and became the 100th marker of his NHL career. The captain was stationed to the left of the opposition goal along the goal line, and corralled the rebound off the wall of a Mark Streit blast that went wide of its target. As he took a cross-check to the back and began falling to the ice, Giroux simultaneously snapped a backhand shot with pin point accuracy that went over the shoulder of goaltender Curtis McElhinney and under the bar to send the Flyers' faithful into a state of pandemonium.
Things did not start out so well for Philadelphia, however, as they failed to take advantage on any of a trio of first period power play chances. Cam Atkinson actually gave the visitors a 1-0 lead by beating Mason while Nikita Nikitin was in the penalty box for holding, making it a 1-0 Columbus lead at the first intermission.
The Blue Jackets took control of the contest in the middle frame on an early strike from Jack Skille, and a back-breaking tally from Nick Foligno with 11 ticks of the clock remaining to make it 3-0 heading into the third.
Giroux set up Jakub Voracek to finally get Philly on the board at 4:20, then pulled to within a goal when Braydon Coburn's blue line floater sailed past just 1:02 later.
Hartnell and Nick Grossmann had a coverage miscommunication that ended up with Artem Anisimov being left unattended behind the Flyers' net, and he hit Blake Comeau for an easy tap-in from close range to restore Columbus' two-goal lead as the session neared the midway point.
Philadelphia proved their resiliency and pushed back nearly seven minutes later. Giroux hit the Jackets' line with speed and fed Wayne Simmonds, whose shot ricocheted off a Columbus skate and went right to Erik Gustafsson, who had stepped in from the blue line and was left all alone in front of McElhinney to make it 4-3 with 4:39 left in regulation.
Less than a minute later Michael Raffl redirected a Voracek shot off the goalpost behind the netminder, and Giroux pounced on the loose puck to knot the game at 4-4, setting the stage for his dramatic game-winning tally.
"I think he put all 20 of us on his back and led us to a big victory," added Hartnell of Giroux's performance following the triumph.
December 19 Flyers' Birthdays:
On this day in 1958, defenseman Behn Wilson was born in Toronto, Ontario. Selected by Philadelphia sixth-overall in the 1978 draft, the rugged 6' 3", 210-pound rear guard posted 59 goals, 214 points, and 873 penalty minutes in 339 regular season games over the course of five campaigns with the Flyers. In 43 postseason outings, Wilson notched eight goals, 32 points, and 122 PIMs.
Another blue liner, Eric Weinrich, was born in Roanoke, Virginia on this day in 1966. Signed as an unrestricted free agent in July of 2001, the 6' 1", 215-pounder posted eight goals, 53 points, +54 rating, and 98 PIMS in 215 regular season contests. Weinrich appeared in 18 playoff games with Philly, notching two markers, five points, and 16 PIMs. On February of 2004, Weinrich was dealt to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2004 fifth-round draft choice.
December 19 Flyers' trades:
On this day in 2002, Philadelphia sent winger Paul Ranheim to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for a conditional draft pick. Ranheim spent parts of three seasons in Philly, posting 15 goals, 30 points, a collective +3 rating, and 56 PIMs in 187 contests.
On this day in 2007, the Flyers reacquired Jim Vandermeer -- a defenseman they had moved in 2004 as part of a deal that brought Alexei Zhamnov to Philadelphia -- from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for rugged left winger Ben Eager.