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 13-7-3-0 overall record in 23 all-time games played on January 2 over the course of franchise history, as they get ready to take on the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, North Carolina tonight.
This will be the 21st road game on this day for Philadelphia, who played the first two January 2 contests at home (1969, 1971) before the traditional long road trips around the late-year holidays. The one other January 2 home game was the 2012 Winter Classic against the New York Rangers, which was played outdoors at Citizens Bank Park.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on January 2:
1982 -- Led by Tim Kerr's goal and three assists, the Flyers reeled off five consecutive goals to erase an early 2-0 deficit in a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues at the Checkerdome.
Goals from Ralph Klassen and Wayne Babych gave the Blues a two-goal lead, but Behn Wilson cut the lead in half late in the opening frame.
Another blue liner would draw Philly even as Glen Cochrane beat St. Louis netminder Mike Liut with just 48 ticks of the clock left in the second, and yet another rear guard provided the offense as Bob Hoffmeyer gave Philly their first lead of the game early in the third.
Reggie Leach and Kerr gave Rick St. Croix some breathing room at 5-2 with goals just over two minutes apart midway through the final session, before former-Flyer Blake Dunlop closed out the scoring with 5:06 remaining.
The win was the second in three games for the Flyers and was the third straight victory for St. Croix, who finished the night with 34 saves.
1983 -- Lindsay Carson scored twice in a decisive third period and Pelle Lindbergh turned aside 25 of 26 shots to lead the Flyers to a 3-1 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium.
Following a scoreless opening 20 minutes, tough guys Al Secord and Paul Holmgren traded goals early in the second period.
Carson -- who had scored in the third period the day before in a win over the St. Louis Blues -- snapped the 1-1 deadlock just over six minutes into the final frame when he put the puck past Tony Esposito to give Philadelphia the lead for good, then clinched the outcome with an empty netter in the last minute.
Lindbergh won for the sixth consecutive outing, and improved his increasingly impressive rookie record to 15-7-3 for the season.
1985 -- Brian Propp scored twice and Pelle Lindbergh stopped 30 shots -- including a pair of Mark Messier breakaways -- as the Flyers skated to a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers at Northlands Coliseum.
Oilers' all-star defender Paul Coffey traded goals with the Sutter twins in the first 40 minutes, opening the scoring before Rich knotted the score before the first intermission, and tying things up after Ron had given Philadelphia a 2-1 lead midway through regulation.
Propp made it a 3-2 Flyers' lead late in the second, then gave the Orange-and-Black a two-goal lead via the man advantage early in the third before Lindsay Carson put the final nail in the Edmonton coffin when he beat Andy Moog with less than five minutes left.
Murray Craven ended up with three helpers, while both of the Sutters finished with two points.
Lindbergh was named the game's first star, as he picked up his third win in a row. The young backstop continued to gain a consistency that would lead to a Vezina Trophy, and the recognition that he was one of the best goalies in the world by season's end.
1986 -- Brian Propp led the way with a goal and five points as Philadelphia had seven different goal scorers in a 7-4 bombing of the Los Angeles Kings at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
The visitors took control of the contest early on the strength of their special teams play, as Dave Poulin opened the scoring with a shorthanded marker and power play tallies from Tim Kerr and Brad McCrimmon gave Philly a 3-1 lead after one.
Murray Craven and Mark Howe made it a four-goal Flyer lead and it looked as though it would be a laugher as L.A. starter Bob Janecyk got the yank in favor of Darren Eliot, but Mark Hardy and former-Philadelphia forward Lenny Hachborn beat Darren Jensen to pull the Kings back to within a pair. Just as it appeared they would cough up a huge lead, Peter Zezel set up Lindsay Carson less than a minute after Hachborn's strike to make it a 6-3 score before Propp and Marcel Dionne traded third period markers.
Kerr's goal was his sixth in as many outings, and gave him 35 for the season in just his 39th game as he ferociously charged towards his third straight 50-goal campaign.
Pelle Eklund added four assists -- all while Philly skated with the man advantage -- and Jensen finished with 29 saves en route to his fourth consecutive win as the Flyers won for the sixth time in their last seven contests.
1988 -- Goals from Murray Craven, Dave Poulin, and Pelle Eklund gave Philadelphia a three-goal lead, and Ron Hextall turned away all but one of the 40 shots he faced in a 4-1 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks at Pacific Coliseum.
Derrick Smith also scored for the Flyers, while John LeBlanc ruined Hextall's shutout bid late in the second period. The second-year goaltender improved his record to 13-1-1 over his last 15 decisions.
1997 -- Eric Lindros' power play goal midway through the first period was the eventual game-winner, while Ron Hextall turned aside 26 of 27 shots to lead the Flyers to a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks at San Jose Arena for their fourth win in a row, and extending the club's undefeated streak to 15 games (13-0-2).
Daniel Lacroix, Dainius Zubrus, and Rod Brind'Amour also tallied for Philadelphia, while Hextall stretched his personal unbeaten streak to 10 games (9-0-1).
2000 -- John LeClair snapped a 1-1 tie with a pair of goals and the Flyers never looked back as Brian Boucher stopped 21 of 22 shots in a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Rod Brind'Amour and Eric Lindros also lit the lamp for Philly, while LeClair's multi-goal game was his second in the last three games and third in the past seven outings.
With a trio of helpers in the contest, Eric Desjardins moved ahead of Tom Bladon and into second place in franchise history for defensemen with 231 assists.
Boucher improved his record to 7-2-1 for his rookie season as he continued picking up traction in taking over the club's starting goaltender job from John Vanbiesbrouck.
2003 -- Keith Primeau, Andre Savage, Tomi Kallio, and Pavel Brendl provided the goals, while Roman Cechmanek made 18 saves in a 4-1 Flyers' triumph over the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center.
Kallio's goal came in his first game with the club since being claimed off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets the previous day, while Kim Johnsson, Jeremy Roenick, and Marty Murray all contributed a pair of helpers.
2004 -- Mike Comrie scored twice in the second period and Jeff Hackett stopped 29 of 30 shots to lead the Flyers to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at Office Depot Center.
Comrie was settling in pretty nicely on a line with Justin Williams and Simon Gagne -- who each assisted on his goals -- and the pair of goals gave Comrie three goals and five points in the four contests since being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers.
The triumph snapped a personal six-game losing streak and eight games without a win (0-6-2) for Hackett, who would soon be diagnosed with vertigo and appear in only three more games with the franchise.
2006 -- Jeff Carter scored the game's lone goal, and rookie Antero Niittymaki stopped all 27 shots he faced to register his second shutout of the season in a 1-0 blanking of the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden.
Niitymaki would get the only offensive support he would need early in the second period, when Carter beat Hannu Toivonen off an R.J. Umberger feed to finish off a 3-on-2 rush. Philly's first-year netminder extended his streak of games without a regulation loss to 10 (8-0-2), and had to be particularly good in the third period, when Boston outshot the Flyers, 10-3.
"He played an unbelievable game and stole the game. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make that important stop there." -- Toivonen said of his Finnish counterpart's performance following the game
2007 -- Ryan Potulny gave the Flyers a three-goal lead with 3:24 left, and Robert Esche would need each and every one of those goals as Philadelphia was able to hold on for a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Mike Knuble and Kyle Calder also scored for Philadelphia, before goals from Jason Blake and Mike Sillinger separated by just 33 seconds late in regulation made it a nail-biter for the visitors.
It was Philly's third straight victory in a nightmare campaign, coming on the heels of a 10-game losing skid (0-9-1).
2009 -- Mike Knuble had a goal and an assist, Mike Richards added three helpers and the shootout-winning goal, while Martin Biron made 23 saves in regulation and overtime, then held three of the league's best scorers off in a come-from-behind 5-4 decision over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.
Trailing 3-1 after Andrew Ebbett notched his first NHL goal at 6:16 of the middle stanza, Josh Gratton began the comeback with the lone marker he would ever tally as a Flyer just 16 seconds later, sending a short wrist shot past Jean-Sebastien Giguere to the glove side.
After Braydon Coburn, Ryan Getzlaf, and Knuble all scored within a frantic span of 1:19 late in the second, the teams didn't score again through the final 26 minutes of regulation and overtime sessions.
Biron turned away Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, and Getzlaf in succession during the game-deciding skills breakaway competition, while Richards beat Giguere for the only goal to give the Flyers the extra point and give Biron a perfect 8-0-0 mark against Anaheim in his career.
2011 -- A Scott Hartnell goal late in the second period would prove to be the game-winner as the Flyers won for the first time in Detroit in 22 years by a 3-2 count over the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
Second period goals from James van Riemsdyk, Daniel Carcillo, and Hartnell chased Detroit starter Jimmy Howard and staked Philadelphia to a seemingly safe 3-0 lead entering the final 20 minutes, before Brian Boucher lost his shutout on strikes from Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg to make it close in the third.
The win was the first for the Flyers in Motown since November 4, 1988, a span of 16 games in which they went 0-14-2.
2012 -- Second period goals from Brayden Schenn and Claude Giroux staked the Flyers to a 2-0 lead, but the New York Rangers came back to score three times and Henrik Lundqvist stopped Daniel Briere on a penalty shot with only 20 seconds remaining in regulation to give the visitors a 3-2 decision in the 2012 Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park. It was the team's second Classic game -- and loss -- in three years.
Schenn's goal was his first in the NHL -- and first point as a Flyer -- as he was playing in just his ninth game of the year because of the club's continuing salary cap issues.
January 2 Flyers birthdays:
Brian Boucher was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island on this day in 1977. Philadelphia selected the netminder in the first round (22-overall) of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, and "Boosh" would have four stints with the organization over the next 20 years and played a heavy role in two of the franchise's best playoff runs in a 10-year span. After a couple of successful seasons playing for the Flyers' AHL affiliate Philadelphia Phantoms, Boucher was brought up to the big club to serve as incumbent John Vanbiesbrouck's backup. By the end of the campaign he had wrestled the starting job away from "Beezer" and won 20 games, bringing about both Calder (sixth place in voting, two spots behind teammate Simon Gagne) and Vezina (ninth) consideration. He led the Flyers to within one victory of a place in the Stanley Cup Final that spring, falling in a seventh game to the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Final.
The following year Philly brought in Roman Cechmanek, and the Czech thrived in his first year in North America as Boucher struggled with consistency. When Cechmanek again outplayed him in the 2001/12 campaign, Philadelphia sent Boucher to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Robert Esche and Michal Handzus. Following stretches with Phoenix, the Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, and Columbus Blue Jackets, Boucher inked a pact to play with the Phantoms in the summer of 2007.
He performed well enough in the starting role to get a free agent offer from the San Jose Sharks, where he spent parts of the next two seasons. In July of 2009, Paul Holmgren inked free agent goalkeepers Ray Emery (to take the starting role) and Boucher (to serve as backup), and the club would utilize five goalies due to an unbelievable run of injuries at the position. Boucher was forced into starting the last game of the regular season, a do-or-die contest against the New York Rangers in which the winner qualified for the postseason and the loser stayed home. When it came down to a shootout -- in which Philly would have to beat one of the best in the business, Henrik Lundqvist -- it appeared as if the end was indeed near. Boucher instead outdueled the "King", and the ensuing dance following his stop on Olli Jokinen to clinch a playoff spot is something that will live on for some time with those who witnessed it.
Boucher and Michael Leighton would split time through an improbable run to the Cup Final, where the Chicago Blackhawks won in six hard-fought battles. Sergei Bobrovsky was signed as a free agent during that spring, and he and Boucher formed a solid tandem. But when head coach Peter Laviolette lost confidence in Bobrovsky and Leighton was again brought into the mix, it led to a fiasco known as the "carousel of goalies", which led to the acquisition of Ilya Bryzgalov and the departures of both Boucher as a free agent to the Carolina Hurricanes. After appearing in just 10 games with the 'Canes, the then 36-year-old goaltender was dealt back to the Flyers along with Mark Alt in exchange for Luke Pither. Boucher spent most of that season in Adirondack, seeing action in just four Flyers' contests and only one as a starter.
Now 38, Boucher is a very insightful analyst for Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia, and is so good that it would seem he is destined to be picked up by a national outlet at some point in the future.
January 3 Flyers Trade:
On this day in 1992, Philadelphia sent defenseman (and current assistant coach) Gord Murphy and young forward Brian Dobbin to the Boston Bruins in exchange for blue liner Garry Galley and Wes Walz.