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.
The Flyers have put together six wins in their last seven December 5th contests and own a 10-7-3-0 overall record -- which includes a 7-4-0-0 mark at home -- over the course of franchise history.
The name of the game is streaks when it comes to this date, as Philadelphia tied its first two December 5th outings (1969 and 1970), won four in a row (1971 - 1981), lost six straight (1982-1995), then won another five consecutive games (1998 - 2007).
Philadelphia has scored 64 goals, while allowing the same 64 to their opponents in the 20 December 5th contests.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place in December 5th games:
1970: Simon Nolet scored a power play goal with 2:12 remaining in the game to force a 4-4 deadlock withe the Los Angeles Kings at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Trailing 2-1 after the opening period, Philadelphia got goals from Gary Dornhoefer and Wayne Hillman to take a 3-2 lead into the third.
Goals by future-Flyer Bill Flett and Bob Pulford lifted the Kings back on top with 3:15 remaining before Nolet's game-tying strike.
Bobby Clarke and Dornhoefer recorded a goal and two assists apiece.
Philly's Bernie Parent made 34 saves and L.A.'s Denis DeJordy came up with 22 stops in the draw.
1971: Doug Favell stopped all 27 shots he faced for his 10th shutout in a Flyers uniform and Gary Dornhoefer scored a goal and assisted on another as Philadelphia blanked the California Golden Seals at the Spectrum by a 3-0 score.
Larry Keenan and Jim Johnson scored power play markers within a 48 second span early in the opening frame and Dornhoefer made it 3-0 in the second.
Gilles Meloche stopped 34 of 37 Flyers shots in the loss.
1974: Reggie Leach scored what would become the game-winning goal with 3:19 remaining on the clock and Bernie Parent made 30 saves to lead the Flyers to their third straight win with a 3-2 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Spectrum.
Jim Watson and Rick MacLeish also scored for Philadelphia.
The game-winner extended Leach's point-scoring streak to seven games, during which 'the Rifle' totaled six goals and 10 points.
Tony Esposito stopped 31 of 34 shots in defeat.
1976: Rick MacLeish posted his second hat trick of the season, Bobby Clarke scored a pair of goals and added an assist, and Bernie Parent stopped 18 of 20 shots as the Flyers skated to a 6-2 victory over the Cleveland Barons at the Spectrum.
With the score tied 2-2 early in the middle frame, MacLeish put Philadelphia on top for good with his second of the game at 6:47. The Flyers ran away in the third with goals from Bill Barber, Clarke's second, and MacLeish's hat trick tally with 1:11 left.
Tom Bladon and Andre Dupont added a pair of assists apiece.
1981: Kenny Linseman scored a goal and assisted on two others and Pete Peeters made 30 saves as the Flyers skated out of Joe Louis Arena with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
Goals in the opening period from Tom Gorence (first of the season), Bob Hoffmeyer, and Bill Barber staked the visitors to a seemingly-secure 3-0 lead.
Fueled by undisciplined penalties Detroit mounted a furious assault on Peeters in the second period, outshooting the Flyers by a 17-2 count. Power play goals from Willie Huber and Eric Vail drew the Red Wings to within one and on another man advantage, but Bobby Clarke turned the momentum back in Philly's favor by beating Detroit netminder Bob Sauve for an unassisted shorthanded marker with 2:03 left in the frame.
Linseman clinched the outcome with a man advantage strike of his own late in the third to seal the win.
1998: Rod Brind'Amour scored twice and Ron Hextall stopped 22 of 23 shots to lead the Flyers to a 2-1 triumph over the Washington Capitals at the First Union Center.
Brind'Amour notched both goals via the power play -- the first midway through the opening period and then the eventual game-winner late in the second.
Hextall's bid for a shutout ended at 10:13 of the final stanza when Brian Bellows got the Caps on the board with a man advantage tally.
Washington's Rick Tabaracci made 26 saves in a losing effort.
1999: John LeClair's second goal of the game with 4:35 remaining in regulation lifted the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues at the First Union Center.
Despite being outshot by the visitors by a 17-6 count in the first period, markers from LeClair and Mark Recchi gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead. But St. Louis' Pavol Demitra tied things up with 7:59 left in the third to set the stage for LeClair's heroics.
Brian Boucher stopped 27 of 29 Blues shots to pick up the victory, while Jamie McLennan made 18 saves in a losing cause.
2002: Michal Handzus became just the second player in NHL history to win a game with a penalty shot in overtime, beating Dan Blackburn with 36.7 seconds remaining in the extra session to give the Flyers a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers at the First Union Center.
Handzus, who was awarded the penalty shot when hooked from behind by Tom Poti on a breakaway, faked Blackburn on the forehand before flipping a shot high to the goaltender's glove side for the victory.
All of the regulation scoring came in the second period, with Mark Recchi and Jeremy Roenick lighting the lamp for Philadelphia and Bobby Holik and former-Flyer Eric Lindros answering for the Blue Shirts.
Roman Cechmanek made 24 saves to pick up the win and had to be very good in a third period in which the Flyers were outshot by a 12-6 margin. Blackburn stopped 32 for New York and was collared with the loss.
2003: John LeClair scored the game-winning goal 1:18 into the third period and Robert Esche made 18 saves to lead the Flyers to their 11th consecutive home win (and an unbeaten 12-0-2-0 for the year) with a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at the Wachovia Center.
Trailing 1-0 on future-Flyer Branko Radivojevic's opening period goal, Philadelphia scored twice in the second -- Jim Vandermeer's first of the season and Tony Amonte's go-ahead marker midway through regulation -- before LeClair made it 3-1 early in the final frame.
Sean Burke made 28 saves for Phoenix in the loss.
2007: Jeff Carter and Scottie Upshall each scored one goal and assisted on another and Antero Niittymaki made 28 saves to give the Flyers their fourth straight road win in a 3-1 triumph over the Minnesota Wild at the XCel Energy Center.
After Pavol Demitra brought Minnesota back to within a goal in the second period, defenseman Braydon Coburn added his first goal of the season early in the third to close out the scoring.
Denis Tolpeko assisted on both first period goals for Philadelphia.
2009: In what had to be perhaps the worst-case scenario as to how his time with the Flyers would begin, Peter Laviolette watched as his undisciplined team self-destructed in an awful 8-2 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Capitals at the Wachovia Center in his first game behind the bench for Philadelphia. Laviolette took over the day before for John Stevens after Philadelphia lost six of seven games, including two straight flat efforts in which the Flyers were blanked.
The key moment came late in the first period and the score tied at 1-1 when Daniel Carcillo was assessed 29 minutes in penalties for an altercation with Matt Bradley, leaving the visitors with nine minutes worth of power play time. The Caps took full advantage, posting three man advantage goals -- two before the close of the first and another 36 seconds into the second -- and as they say, the rout was on.
2010: Danny Briere's goal with 5:46 remaining in regulation snapped a 2-2 tie and lifted the Flyers to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Philadelphia had taken a 1-0 lead into the third on the strength of Matt Carle's first goal of the season, but former-Flyer Jon Sim tied it up at 5:12 and Frans Nielsen gave the Isles their first lead of the evening just 36 seconds later.
Meszaros finished with a pair of assists.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves to post the victory, while Roloson stopped 24 of 27 Philly offerings in the loss.
December 5th Flyers Trade:
On this day in 2005, Philadelphia made an ill-fated trade when they sent promising young forward Patrick Sharp (along with forward Eric Meloche) to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Matt Ellison and a 2006 third-round draft pick (which was later dealt to the Montreal Canadiens).
While Meloche never played in Philly and Ellison managed just one assist as he appeared in only seven games over two seasons with the Flyers, Sharp -- who recorded 10 goals, 15, points, and 67 penalty minutes in 66 games in Philadelphia -- blossomed into a star scorer in the Windy City. The Winnipeg, Manitoba-native has recorded 183 goals and 370 points in 501 contests with the 'Hawks, including three seasons of 33 goals or more and registering at least 20 in each of the last six years.
Flyers December 5th Birthday:
Kevin Haller was born in Trochu, Alberta on this day in 1970. The 6' 2", 199-pounder was brought to Philadelphia from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defender Yves Racine June of 1994, immediately becoming one of the club's steadiest blue liners as the club continued to build towards respectability and securing a playoff berth after five seasons out of the postseason mix.
Haller's blend of toughness and hockey sense helped the Flyers to qualify for the playoffs in his first campaign. Jumping into the play at just the right moment, he also scored some big goals in the second season as Philly made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Final in an eventual six-game loss to the New Jersey Devils, who would go on to win their first Stanley Cup.
In 132 regular season contests, Haller posted seven goals, 29 points, 177 PIMs, and a collective +31 rating. In 21 postseason games, the defenseman notched four goals and nine points, 18 PIMs, and a +7 rating.
Haller's time in Philly was short-lived, however, as he was included in a package that was sent to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for defenseman Paul Coffey in December of 1996.
As For The Present:
With the lockout now well into its third month and games canceled through December 14th, the official count of games the team has lost all-time due to lockout is now at 147 -- 36 in the shortened 1994/05, the entirety of the 82-game schedule in 2004/05, and 29 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
December 1 FLYERS @ Florida Panthers
December 4 FLYERS @ Tampa Bay Lightning
December 6 San Jose Sharks @ FLYERS
December 8 FLYERS @ New York Islanders
December 9 New York Islanders @ FLYERS
December 11 New Jersey Devils @ FLYERS
December 13 FLYERS @ Washington Capitals
Many Flyers are currently playing as the lockout drags on -- now over the 80-day mark -- scattered throughout different leagues in Europe.
Owners and players met for a good portion of Tuesday, outside the presence of their respective leadership groups. For the first time in the negotiation process, there was a positive air to come from the meetings. Donald Fehr said he's cautiously optimistic, while Billy Daly credited the players for their hard work on Tuesday.
It is a cautious optimism, but it's the closest thing anyone has had to feel positive about in the labor talks for some time.
The sides will take advantage of the momentum they gained yesterday and resume talks Wednesday morning, while Gary Bettman has a news conference scheduled for 1:00 P.M. EST regarding his meeting with the league's Board of Governors.