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 compiled an 8-6-3-1 overall record -- including 4-0-0-1 in their last five and a 4-2-1-1 mark at home -- in contests played on December 4 over the course of franchise history.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on December 4:
1970 -- Bernie Parent stopped all 22 shots he faced to post his second and final shutout of the year while Serge Bernier, Gary Dornhoefer, Bill Lesuk, and Bob Kelly each notched a goal and an assist as the Flyers skated to a 4-0 victory over the California Golden Seals at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena.
Parent and Gary Smith were locked in a goaltending duel as the two kept the game scoreless before Bernier finally opened the scoring midway through the third period.
Philadelphia dominated the frame -- outshooting California by a 12-3 count -- and kept the pressure on Smith. It paid off as all four Flyer tallies came within a 7:28 stretch to put the game away.
Bobby Clarke added a pair of assists in the win, while the whitewash was Parent's 10th regular season Flyers' shutout.
1975 -- Dave Schultz scored a pair of goals and Wayne Stephenson made 24 saves as the Flyers stomped the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-2, at the Spectrum.
Trailing 1-0 late in the opening stanza, Philadelphia got goals from Andre Dupont (power play) and Schultz within a 13-second span to quickly grab a lead they would not relinquish. Schultz added his second of the period before the first intermission to make it a 3-1 game.
Rick MacLeish and Tom Bladon scored goals to build a 5-1 lead as Philly peppered 'Hawks goalkeeper Tony Esposito with 43 shots.
Gary Dornhoefer assisted on two Flyer goals.
1979 -- Second period goals 1:08 apart from Reggie Leach and Paul Holmgren erased a 2-0 deficit as the Flyers came back to forge a 2-2 tie with the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum. The deadlock was the third consecutive for Philadelphia and extended the club's undefeated streak to 22 straight contests (16-0-6), now within just six of the Montreal Canadiens NHL record of 28.
Bruins goalie Gerry Cheevers was spectacular in the draw, making 36 saves, while Phil Myre stopped 12 of 14 Bruins shots.
1980 -- Brian Propp posted two goals and three points and Pete Peeters made 27 saves as the Flyers downed the Chicago Blackhawks in a wild 7-5 affair at the Spectrum.
On the strength of two from Propp and one each from Jim Watson, Reggie Leach, Tim Kerr, and Bob Daily, Philadelphia built a 6-3 lead heading into the third period.
But the visitors would not go quietly as goals by Darryl Sutter and Denis Savard cut the Flyers lead to just one, before Tom Gorence sealed the victory with 4:33 remaining.
Tony Esposito stopped 32 of 39 Flyer shots in the loss.
1982 -- Pelle Lindbergh made 24 saves to record his second career shutout and second in three starts, but Denis Herron stopped all 30 Flyers shots he faced as Philadelphia and the Pittsburgh Penguins skated to a 0-0 tie at Civic Arena.
1988 -- Rick Tocchet notched a Gordie Howe hat trick and Mark Laforest made 34 saves to lead the Flyers to a 6-2 triumph over the New Jersey Devils at the Spectrum.
Trailing 2-1 after the opening stanza, Philadelphia got second period goals from Brian Propp, Tocchet, Scott Mellanby, and Mike Bullard to take a commanding 5-2 lead into the second intermission.
Defenseman Gord Murphy closed out the scoring with an early power play marker in the third for his first NHL goal. Pelle Eklund also scored for Philly in the first period, Tim Kerr assisted on three tallies, and rear guard Jay Wells added two helpers.
Tocchet assisted on Propp's strike, scored one himself on a man advantage 4:18 later, then fought Claude Loiselle in the final frame to complete his sixth career Gordie Howe hatty.
Laforest made a bit of history in the middle stanza when he recorded assists on both Mellanby's and Bullard's goals to become the first netminder in club history to register a pair of assists in one period.
1996 -- Eric Lindros scored his first goal of the season with 6:35 remaining in regulation to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Lindros was playing in just his fifth game of the campaign after missing the first 23 games with a groin pull.
Brian Noonan had given the home team a 1-0 lead with a power play tally in the opening frame.
Ron Hextall stopped 24 of 25 Rangers offerings, while Mike Richter made 39 saves -- including three in overtime -- at the other end of the ice in forcing the deadlock.
1999 -- Mark Recchi's goal 6:36 into the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and proved to be the game-winner as the Flyers defeated the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
Chris Therien scored his first goal of the year and Sandy McCarthy also lit the lamp for Philadelphia, while former-Flyers Dainius Zubrus and Karl Dykhuis notched the Habs markers.
Simon Gagne and Eric Desjardins -- like Recchi, also a former-Canadien -- each assisted on a pair of goals, and John Vanbiesbrouck made 16 saves to record the victory.
2001 -- Keith Primeau's power play goal with 7:39 left in regulation snapped a 2-2 tie and lifted the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. Primeau's tally also broke an 0-23 skid for the club's struggling man advantage unit.
Trailing 1-0 early in the middle frame, Philadelphia got goals from Jeremy Roenick and Simon Gagne to take a 2-1 lead. Jason Blake answered for the Isles just 40 seconds later, sending the contest deadlocked into the third period.
Roman Cechmanek stopped 18 of 20 shots to pick up the win, while N.Y.'s Chris Osgood was much busier in making 37 saves in defeat.
2010 -- Mike Richards redirected a Chris Pronger slap shot past Johan Hedberg 3:37 into the third period to snap a 2-2 tie as the Flyers went on to post a 5-3 triumph over the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center.
Following Richards' third period goal, the Flyers received an insurance marker from Danny Briere in close off a Jeff Carter pass to stretch the lead to 4-2 with 11:53 remaining in regulation time.
N.J.'s Patrik Elias drew the Devils back to within one with a two-man advantage goal with 44 seconds left, but Carter sealed the deal with an empty-netter with two seconds on the clock.
Philadelphia trailed 2-1 but Claude Giroux knotted the score just 58 ticks into the middle frame by batting a rebound past Hedberg. James van Riemsdyk also scored for Philly, notching his fourth marker in six games after going goalless in his first 17 appearances of the campaign.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 of 26 shots to up the rookie's record to a sparkling 12-4-2.
2013 -- The white-hot line of Matt Read (goal, two assists), Sean Couturier (two goals, four points), and Steve Downie (goal, assist) combined for four goals and nine points as the Flyers overcame a late-second period two-goal deficit on the way to a 6-3 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. The win was just the second in Philadelphia's last 20 trips to the Joe, dating back to the 1989/90 campaign.
Tomas Tatar and Downie traded first period goals, before Detroit garnered a 3-1 lead in the middle frame on tallies from Johan Franzen and Tatar's second of the contest, which was scored with Downie and Zac Rinaldo both taking a seat in the penalty box.
That's when the Couturier line went to work.
Read began the comeback with just over three minutes remaining ahead of the second intermission, before Claude Giroux's seeing-eye wrist shot found its way through a mass of humanity and Jimmy Howard for a power play marker to knot things up early in the third.
Couturier deflected a Downie shot past Howard just over three minutes later to give Philly their first lead of the game, before Scott Hartnell connected with a man advantage and Couturier hit the empty net late.
The outburst for Couturier's line continued their scalding hot play -- increasing the trio's totals to 11 goals and 26 points over a 10-game span -- in which the Flyers posted a 6-3-1 record.
Flyers Coaching Change on December 4:
Following two consecutive uninspired shutout losses -- 1-0 in Atlanta to the Thrashers and 3-0 to the Vancouver Canucks in front of the home fans -- and six defeats in the last seven outings, GM Paul Holmgren replaced head coach John Stevens with the fiery Peter Laviolette on December 4, 2009.
Laviolette -- who hadn't coached in the NHL since 2008 when he was fired by the Carolina Hurricanes, the team in which he led to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006 -- became Philadelphia's 17th all-time bench boss.
Stevens -- who had taken over the team's reigns from the deposed Ken Hitchcock early in the disastrous 2006-07 campaign, which would be the worst in franchise history -- guided the Flyers to a 120-109-34 record during his time at the helm, which included a 13-11-1 mark at the time of his firing.
Laviolette guided the Flyers over the course of the final 57 regular season games that year -- posting a 28-24-5 mark -- then led them on a memorable postseason journey with series victories over the New Jersey Devils (five games), Boston Bruins (in seven historic games, becoming just the third NHL team ever to pull out a series after falling behind 0-3) and the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final (five games) to qualify for the franchise's eighth Stanley Cup Final appearance.
Playoff successes were gradually worsening over the next two seasons, and the injury-riddled Flyers missed the postseason dance altogether in the lockout-shortened 2012/13 season. When the team had a horrendous showing in the 2013/14 preseason and followed that up with a trio of apathetic defeats to open the regular schedule, Laviolette was fired and replaced with Craig Berube.