November 23 In Philadelphia Flyers History: Clarke, Tocchet Gordie Howe Hat Tricks, Goodbye To Spectrum

Bruce Bennett

Clarke & Tocchet Gordie Howe hat tricks burn Leafs in different decades, 'The Streak' extends to 16 games, 'Ducky' strikes down Lightning, demolition of Spectrum begins, Bobrovsky relief effort and Briere's two goals lead team to comeback win over Isles highlight November 23rd in Flyers history.

This is a daily column that will run during the duration of the NHL lockout. It is not meant to depress hockey fans, but is rather intended to provide a reminder of some of the more memorable moments in Philadelphia Flyers' history, and act as a much-needed distraction from the ongoing negativity surrounding the lockout for hockey fans. What must not be forgotten during the labor strife is just how great of a game we have been blessed with to enjoy throughout the years.

Having lost both the first and last three of four November 23rd contests, the Flyers have still managed to put together a 7-7-2-1 overall record -- which includes a 2-3-1-1 mark at home -- over the course of franchise history. Philadelphia has scored 53 goals while giving up 54 to their opponents in the 17 contests.

Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place in November 23rd games:

1974: Bobby Clarke notched a Gordie Howe hat trick as the LCB Line stormed out of the gates in a 6-3 triumph over Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Clarke scored the game's opening goal, assisted on the second (scored by Reggie Leach), then fought Rod Seiling in the second period to complete the feat.

Philly outshot the home team by a 14-4 count in the opening frame and led by a 4-0 score by the first intermission.

Bill Barber -- the third member of the LCB Line -- made it 3-0. Bob Kelly, Don Saleski, and Rick MacLeish also lit the lamp for the visitors.

Bernie Parent made 21 saves to record the victory, defeating former-Flyer Doug Favell, for whom Parent was re-acquired by Philadelphia in a May, 1973 trade.

1979: Bobby Clarke and Brian Propp each scored one goal and set up another and Phil Myre made 19 saves to lead the Flyers to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at the Spectrum. The win extended the Flyers undefeated streak -- which began on October 14th in just the team's third game of the campaign -- to 16 games (14-0-2), and left them with a 15-1-2 record for the year.

Reggie Leach -- who missed games on November 4th and 7th -- scored the first goal of the night to keep a streak alive of having posted at least one point in each of the 16 contests in which he had appeared (15 goals, 25 points over that span).

Philadelphia also got goals from Al Hill and Mel Bridgman, and defenseman Mike Busniuk added a pair of helpers.

1980: Bob Dailey scored twice, Bobby Clarke added a goal and an assist, and Pete Peeters made 27 saves to lead the Flyers to a 3-1 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets at the Spectrum.

Brian Propp assisted on two of the Philadelphia markers.

Peeters' bid for a shutout was dashed by Morris Lukowich, who scored the Jets lone goal with 6:29 remaining in the game.

1984: Tim Kerr's 20th goal of the season snapped a 2-2 tie late in the second period and Pelle Lindbergh stopped 24 shots as the Flyers beat the Buffalo Sabres by a 4-2 count at Memorial Auditorium.

A shorthanded goal by Brian Propp and and even strength strike from Mark Howe staked Philadelphia to a 2-1 lead late in the middle frame, but Gilbert Perreault connected for his second goal of the contest at 16:21 to knot the score at 2-2.

Kerr answered back, beating Tom Barrasso just 26 seconds later for the eventual game-winner. Lindsay Carson sealed the outcome with an empty-netter with 31 ticks remaining on the clock.

Ron Sutter added a pair of assists for Philly.

1990: Scott Mellanby broke a 1-1 deadlock with a power play goal early in the third period, Rick Tocchet added a Gordie Howe hat trick, and Pete Peeters made 22 saves to lead the Flyers to a 4-1 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Spectrum.

Tocchet scored a goal in the first, assisted on Mellanby's third period game-winner, and fought Luke Richardson late in regulation to complete the Howe trick.

Other Philadelphia goals came from the sticks of Derrick Smith and Dale Kushner, and Keith Acton added two assists.

The lone shot to get past Peeters was Richardson's only goal of the season, scored 20 seconds after the opening faceoff to give Toronto an early lead.

1996: Dale Hawerchuk's power play marker with 4:21 remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner and Ron Hextall made 20 saves to lead the visiting Flyers over the Lightning in Tampa Bay.

Bolts winger Dino Ciccarelli and Philadelphia's Rod Brind'Amour traded late first period markers for the game's only scoring until Hawerchuk's third period winner.

2007: Mike Richards scored on an R.J. Umberger rebound with 4:15 remaining in regulation to cap a comeback from a late second period 3-0 deficit and gain a point in an eventual 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals at the Wachovia Center.

Nicklas Backstrom scored the OT-winner at 1:55 of the extra frame to snap a five-game losing skid and give new head coach Bruce Boudreau -- who was named interim coach upon replacing Glen Hanlon earlier in the week -- a victory in his debut.

Down 3-0 late in the second period, Philadelphia got goals from Danny Briere and Jeff Carter to make it a one-goal game before the second intermission.

Flyers goaltender Martin Biron made 31 saves in a losing effort.

2009: Danny Briere posts two goals and two assists and Jeff Carter scores twice, but the Flyers cannot come all the way back from a 5-2 third period deficit in a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

2011: Danny Briere scored the game-tying goal with 5:42 remaining in regulation and the game-winner at 2:34 of overtime as the Flyers turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 triumph over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

Andrej Meszaros gave Philadelphia an early lead when he beat Rick DiPietro just 18 seconds into the contest. But Kyle Okposo tied it up 19 seconds later, then gave the Isles a lead with his second of the game (and season) midway through the frame. Michael Grabner increased the lead to 3-1 before the end of the period.

With Ilya Bryzgalov stopping just six of the nine shots he faced in the first, Peter Laviolette felt a change in goal was necessary. He inserted Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes, and the second-year netminder was perfect the rest of the way, stopping all 23 N.Y. shots he faced.

Scott Hartnell also scored for the Flyers on a second period man advantage.

Other notable Flyers November 23rd moments:

2010: After a ceremony in which Philadelphia sports icons Ed Snider, Bernie Parent, Bob Clarke, and Julius "Dr. J" Erving gave moving remembrances of the building, an orange wrecking ball knocked a small hole in a wall of the Spectrum as demolition began on the Flyers beloved original barn. The arena was the site of such historic moments as the club's first Stanley Cup championship in May of 1974, and the Flyers triumphant 4-1 win over the Red Army in January of 1976, among others. The last game in the team's Spectrum history was Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Florida Panthers on May 12th, 1996, which ended when Mike Hough scored in the second overtime in a 2-1 Florida win.

As For The Present:

With the lockout now into its third month and games canceled through November 30, the official count of games the team has lost all-time due to lockout is now at 140 -- 36 in the shortened 1994/05, the entirety of the 82-game schedule in 2004/05, and 22 thus far this season:

October 11 Boston Bruins @ FLYERS
October 13 FLYERS @ NY Islanders
October 18 Pittsburgh Penguins @ FLYERS
October 20 Winnipeg Jets @ FLYERS
October 25 FLYERS @ Montreal Canadiens
October 27 Toronto Maple Leafs @ FLYERS
October 28 FLYERS @ Buffalo Sabres
October 30 Dallas Stars @ FLYERS
November 1 New Jersey Devils @ FLYERS
November 3 Anaheim Ducks @ FLYERS
November 4 FLYERS @ NY Rangers
November 6 Buffalo Sabres @ FLYERS
November 8 FLYERS @ Carolina Hurricanes
November 10 Carolina Hurricanes @ FLYERS
November 13 Minnesota Wild @ FLYERS
November 16 FLYERS @ Buffalo Sabres
November 17 Buffalo Sabres @ FLYERS
November 21 Ottawa Senators @ FLYERS
November 23 Winnipeg Jets @ FLYERS
November 24 FLYERS @ NY Rangers
November 28 FLYERS @ Toronto Maple Leafs
November 29 FLYERS @ NY Islanders

Many Flyers are currently playing as the lockout drags on -- now past the 60-day mark -- scattered throughout different leagues in Europe.

Wednesday's proposal from the NHLPA was met with mostly disdain from the owners, leading the NHL contingency to call it a "disappointing day".

With games having been canceled through the end of November and the calendar creeping past the latter portion of the month, it's likely more games will fall by the wayside if no significant movement is made very soon.

While there is still hope that sanity will somehow prevail and there can still be something to salvage of a 2012-13 NHL season, it is unfortunately looking more-and-more like the sides may just be content to self-destruct.

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