A sometimes frequent look back at how the Philadelphia Flyers have fared on this day, recalling some of the more memorable moments, achievements, and events that have shaped the organization throughout the club's storied history
Even though they lost their last game played on this day (5-2 at home to the Washington Capitals in 2011), Philadelphia boasts an excellent 10-5-3 record in 18 all-time games played on October 20 heading into tonight's contest with the Dallas Stars at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers have never lost consecutive October 20 games, but have had winning streaks of: two (1977 and 1979), three (1985-1990), and four (1995-2001). Philadelphia has posted 70 goals in their 18 games on this date (for a 3.88 goals-per-game average), and have given up 44 to their opponents (2.44 GAA).
Some of the more memorable moments in the club's history in October 20 contests:
1972 -- Rick MacLeish had a goal and an assist to spur a three-goal second period as the Flyers took a 3-1 lead into the third, but the California Golden Seals rallied with a pair of markers 0:20 apart midway through the final stanza to force a 3-3 deadlock at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena.
Dick Redmond gave the home team a 1-0 lead with the lone goal in the opening session, but Philadelphia answered with unanswered strikes from Ross Lonsberry, MacLeish, and Bill Flett in a second period in which they sent 16 shots at California netminder Gilles Meloche.
While the visitors carried play in the third -- outshooting the Seals by a 14-7 margin -- it was California who managed the only goals of the stanza when Joey Johnston and Walt McKechnie beat Flyers' goaltender Bobby Taylor in rapid succession to salvage the tie.
1974 -- After falling behind 2-0 early in the second period on goals by Yvon Lambert and Yvan Cournoyer, the Flyers salvaged a point by forcing a 2-2 tie with the Montreal Canadiens at the Spectrum.
Bob Kelly scored late in the middle frame to cut the deficit in half, then assisted on Rick MacLeish's game-tying marker in the latter half of the final frame.
It was a battle of future Hall-of-Fame netminders, with Bernie Parent stopping 23 Habs' shots, and Ken Dryden making 25 saves for the Habs.
1977 -- The LCB Line of Bill Barber, Bobby Clarke, and Reggie Leach led the charge with nine combined points as the Flyers blasted the Pittsburgh Penguins by an 11-0 score at the Spectrum, establishing the largest margin of victory in a game that ended with a shutout in franchise history.
Philadelphia dominated play from the opening faceoff, outshooting the Pens 21-4 and skating into the first intermission with a 4-0 lead courtesy of goals from Ros Lonsberry, Clarke, and a pair from Leach.
Jimmy Watson, Don Saleski, and Mel Bridgman lit the lamp in the middle stanza, while Barber connected twice before Bob Kelly and Barry Dean closed out the scoring.
The LCB Line led the assault -- Leach (3 points on two goals and an assist); Clarke (4 points on a goal and three helpers), and Barber (two goals) -- all on Pittsburgh netminder Dunc Wilson, who allowed all 11 Flyer goals on 54 total shots.
Kelly contributed a goal and two assists, and Orest Kindrachuk added three assists in the winning effort.
Bernie Parent was the recipient of the 11-goal outburst, and needed to make just 20 saves to record the 40th regular season shutout as a member of the Flyers.
The 11 goals in a shutout win topped the club's previous mark of 10, which had occurred on three previous occasions: March 4, 1973 over the Toronto Maple Leafs, and twice over the hapless Kansas City Scouts (December 1, 1974 and November 2, 1975) within an 11-month span.
1979 -- Rookie winger Brian Propp notched two goals and two assists while Paul Holmgren and Reggie Leach also scored twice to lead the visiting Flyers to a convincing 7-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Olympia Stadium.
The teams alternated goals in a see-saw first period, as the Flyers received goals from Propp, Holmgren and Leach, while Detroit got markers from captain Dale McCourt and Errol Thompson. Leach's strike came with only 0:28 remaining to snap a 2-2 tie and send the visitors into the locker room with a 3-2 lead at the intermission.
Propp and Holmgren each notched their second of the contest in the middle period before Danny Bolduc answered for the Red Wings, making it a 5-3 Philly lead after two.
Leach connected for his second of the tilt early in the final frame, and Rick MacLeish put the finishing touch on by beating Wings' starter Jimmy Rutherford for a shorthanded tally in the latter half of the third.
Goaltender Phil Myre stopped 25 of 28 Red Wings shots, while Rutherford yielded all seven Flyer goals on just 29 offerings.
1983 -- Brian Propp scored a goal and assisted on another to lead the Flyers back from an early third period 3-1 deficit as Philadelphia tied the Boston Bruins, 3-3 at the Spectrum.
After taking an early-first period 1-0 lead on a power play goal by Doug Crossman, the visiting Bruins got goals from Rick Middleton, Mike Krushelnyski, and Craig MacTavish to build the two-goal margin before Propp led the Flyers' comeback. He brought the Flyers to within a goal just 1:12 after MacTavish's marker, then assisted on Ron Sutter's game-tying shorthanded tally with 6:08 remaining in regulation.
Philly peppered Doug Keans with 40 shots -- including four in a scoreless overtime -- but the Boston goaltender came up with 37 saves, while Pelle Lindbergh made 25 stops for the Flyers.
1985 -- The Flyers scored three times in the third period to pull out a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium.
Brian Propp scored twice -- including what would turn out to be the game-winner when he broke a 2-2 deadlock at 7:43 of the third -- and added an assist, while enforcernotched a Gordie Howe hat trick (second period assist, third period goal and fight with tough guy Al Secord).
Tim Kerr and Dave Poulin also scored for the visitors, while Mark Howe and Murray Craven each contributed a pair of assists.
Bob Froese stopped 29 of 31 shots for the win, while Chicago goalie Murray Bannerman allowed five Flyer goals on 43 shots to suffer the loss.
1988 -- Defenseman Terry Carkner scored a goal and assisted on two others to help defeat his former team as the Flyers defeated the Quebec Nordiques, 5-2 at the Spectrum.
Tim Kerr opened the scoring but Quebec answered with goals from Peter Stastny and Gord Donnelly to give the Nords a 2-1 midway through the first. Carkner -- who spent the 1987-88 campaign with the Nordiques -- would figure in on three of the four Philadelphia goals the rest of the way. He assisted on Doug Sulliman's first as a Flyer to tie it up just 34 seconds after Donnelly's strike and after Scott Mellanby gave the visitor's a 3-2 lead after one, Carkner assisted on Ron Sutter's second period marker and scored the lone goal in the final frame.
Brian Propp assisted on two Flyer tallies, while Ron Hextall made 22 saves to improve to 5-1-0 for the season.
1990 -- Scott Mellanby snapped a 3-3 tie 7:46 into the third period to back Ken Wregget's 23-save performance in a 5-3 Flyers' victory over Patrick Roy and the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum.
Pelle Eklund scored twice and Murray Craven scored once and added two assists, while Normand Lacombe scored the other Philly goal.
1995 -- John LeClair scored twice and Eric Lindros added a goal and two assists as the visiting Flyers built a 4-0 lead after two periods before hanging on to beat the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, 4-2, at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
Philadelphia dominated the shots totals by a 33-18 margin, which included a lopsided 24-6 count through the first two frames.
Defenseman Chris Therien picked up two assists in the victory.
Ron Hextall, who was relieved briefly by Dominic Roussel, made 13 saves to garner the win.
1998 -- Colin Forbes broke a 1-1 deadlock early in the period, while Eric Lindros and Rod Brind'Amour each scored a goal and assisted on another to help the Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the visiting San Jose Sharks. at the First Union Center.
The Sharks led 1-0 late in the second period on a goal by Jeff Friesen, but Brind'Amour was finally able to solve goaltender Mike Vernon on the power play with just 17 seconds remaining in the middle stanza to tie the score.
Lindros added an insurance marker with just under five minutes remaining in regulation.
Vernon was busy -- being called upon to make 34 saves -- while John Vanbiesbrouck was tested just 18 times to record the win.
1999 -- John Vanbiesbrouck turned aside all 34 New York shots he faced while Mark Recchi scored once and assisted on three other Philadelphia markers as the Flyers defeated Mike Richter and the New York Rangers, 5-0 at the First Union Center.
"Beezer" received support from five different goal-scorers -- Eric Desjardins with the eventual game-winner in the first, Valeri Zelepukin and Mark Recchi in the second, and Jody Hull (shorthanded) and Simon Gagne in the third -- to help the netminder defeat one of his former teams and post his first shutout of the regular season.
2001 -- Mark Recchi recorded a hat trick -- including a goal at even strength, one on the power play, and another shorthanded -- and an assist to lead the Flyers over the Washington Capitals, 6-3 at the First Union Center.
Amazingly, it was Recchi's first three-goal game as a Flyer.
John LeClair added two goals and an assist, and Jeremy Roenick assisted on three Flyers' markers.
Philadelphia began the game by outshooting the Caps 20-4 in the first period, before finally chasing starter Olaf Kolzig after he yielded five goals through two periods. Roman Cechmanek made 19 saves in the winning cause for the Flyers.
2007 -- Simon Gagne beat John Grahame for his second goal of the game just 48 seconds into overtime as the Flyers defeated the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2 at the Wachovia Center.
Gagne and Eric Staal traded goals in the opening session, before former-Flyer Justin Williams gave the visitors a 2-1 lead with the lone goal of the middle stanza.
Mike Richards knotted the contest while the Flyers skated with a man advantage in the first minute of the third period, setting up Gagne's extra period heroics.
Carolina carried play through the first two stanzas -- outshooting Philadelphia by a lopsided 33-17 margin, including 19-5 in the second period -- but Martin Biron was spectacular in holding the Flyers in the game. Biron finished the night with 42 saves in stealing the victory for the Orange-and-Black.