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Flyers Flashback: John LeClair scores four against Canucks

It’s the first trip down memory lane of the season, and it begins with a bang.

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As we dawn on another season of Flyers hockey and look towards the future, we take a brief moment to look into the past. This will be the first time the two teams have faced off since November 2019, almost two full years. There aren’t a ton of memorable moments between the Flyers and the Canucks considering they play in opposite conferences, but there are a few gems here and there.

One being a late November night in 1998 when one of the greatest goal scorers in Flyers history lit the lamp 4 times in one game, part of his fourth consecutive 40 goal season. Through the first two periods though, no one would have guessed this was coming. Vancouver took an early lead with a shorthanded goal from Dave Scratchard just five minutes into the game.

LeClair scored a power play goal two minutes into the second period to tie the game at one, but Bill Muckalt answered at the 16:38 mark of the period to give Vancouver a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. And that’s when Vancouver went full Canucks.

LeClair scored just 50 seconds into the final 20 minutes, after a beautiful feed from defenseman Dan McGillis. The game stayed tied at two until just over five minutes remaining in the game, where Eric Lindros dug a puck free and got a shot off on Garth Snow, and LeClair buried the rebound of and tallied the hat trick to give the Flyers the lead.

The dynamic duo of Lindros and LeClair weaved their magic on the fourth goal as well. LeClair lead the rush, dropped the puck to Lindros who cut from left to right, and spotted a wide open LeClair in his office directly in front of the net. He buried the easy tap-in goal to score his fourth of the game, and give the Flyers a 5-2 lead with 1:04 remaining to put the game away.

LeClair would go on to score 43 goals this season, his first non-50 goal season since the lockout-shortened 94-95 season. He’d tack on three more in the playoffs vs. Toronto, but it was not enough as they were eliminated in six games by the Maple Leafs. You know, back when they could at least get by the first round.

This was his 10th career hat trick, all with the Flyers, and his second four goal game of his career.