December 6 In Philadelphia Flyers History: Leach, LeClair Hat Tricks, Niitty Perfect In Shootout Shutout, Carter OT-Winner

Chris Trotman

Leach's hat trick leads team to comeback win as 'The Streak' reaches 23, LeClair hat trick tops TB, perfect Niitty blanks Calgary through shootout, Carter sinks 'Canes in OT headline December 6 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.

Even though they've posted two consecutive victories (both in extra time) in a current three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1-0), the Flyers are below the .500 mark with a 6-9-4-0 overall record -- which includes a 4-3-2-0 mark at home -- on December 6th over the course of franchise history. Philadelphia has scored 51 goals but given up 60 to their opponents in 19 December 6th outings.

Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on December 6th:

1974: Reggie Leach scored his second goal of the game with 7:48 left in the game to force a 3-3 deadlock with the Scouts in Kansas City. This would be the lone time in 10 meetings that Philly did not come away with a victory while the Scouts franchise (now the New Jersey Devils) played in Kansas City.

Leach and Bob Kelly had given Philadelphia a 2-0 lead in the first 3:46 of the opening period, but a late-first period goal by Lynn Powis and a pair from Randy Rota in the second gave the home team a 3-2 lead at the second intermission.

The Flyers mounted a more conserted attack in the final stanza and outshot the Scouts by a 14-3 count, finally evening the score on Leach's late-game tally. Bobby Clarke ended the night with helpers on both of Leach's goals.

Bernie Parent stopped 17 of 20 Kansas City shots, while Michel Plasse made 27 saves in the draw.

1979: Reggie Leach notched his fifth regular season hat trick with the Flyers as Philadelphia overcame a 3-0 second period deficit by scoring nine straight times to keep 'The Streak' alive at 23 games with a 9-4 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings at the Spectrum.

Trailing 3-0 in the middle frame, Leach connected twice within 20 seconds in the first 1:43 of the period to make it a 3-2 Kings lead. Kenny Linseman scored his first of two goals on the night at 7:25 to tie, then Dennis Ververgaert gave Philadelphia their first lead of the contest at 4-3 just 25 seconds later.

The Flyers were not done in the second as they poured 24 shots on L.A. netminder Ron Grahame in the stanza. Bill Barber and Jimmy Watson (first goal of the season, shorthanded) also tallied to give the home team a commanding 6-3 lead at the second intermission.

With Grahame pulled after the second and Mario Lessard between the pipes, the Kings' fortunes did not change. Linseman notched his second of the game, Bob Dailey, and Leach (to complete the hat trick) all turned on the red light in less than a three minute span to make it a 9-3 laugher.

Pete Peeters shook off the tough first period and finished the contest with 21 saves in the winning effort.

The victory snapped a string of three straight ties for the Orange-and-Black and extended their ongoing undefeated streak to an amazing 23 games (17-0-6) -- now just five short of the all-time NHL record set by the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens.

1981: Bill Barber and Ron Flockhart each scored a pair of goals and Pete Peeters made 20 saves as the Flyers blew open a tight affair with an 8-2 win over the St. Louis Blues at the Spectrum.

Barber beat Gary Edwards twice within a 1:21 span early in the opening frame to stake the home team to a quick 2-0 lead, but St. Louis countered with strikes from Jorgen Pettersson and Jim Pavese to knot the contest at 2-2 at the first intermission.

Mark Botell beat Edwards for his first NHL goal early in the second to give Philadelphia a 3-2 lead, one in which they would not relinquish the remainder of the game. Glen Cochrane made it a two-goal lead with his first of the season late in the period, before Flockhart's pair and single tallies from Brian Propp and Bobby Clarke closed out the scoring in the third.

Barber's two goals gave him three consecutive multiple-point games, during which he scored three goals and seven points. Kenny Linseman, Tim Kerr, and Clarke all added two assists in the win.

1984: Tim Kerr scored a power play goal early in the second period and Pelle Lindbergh made 31 saves to give the Flyers a 1-1 deadlock with the Quebec Nordiques at the Spectrum.

Defenseman Bruce Bell gave the Nords a 1-0 lead late in the opening stanza with a power play goal, but Kerr's 24th marker of the campaign in Philadelphia's 25th contest served as the equalizer.

Daniel Bouchard stopped 38 of 39 Flyers shots in the draw.

1996: Dale Hawerchuk snapped a 3-3 tie with 8:25 left in regulation and Mikael Renberg put the game away with a pair of late goals as the Flyers skated to a 6-3 triumph over the Dallas Stars at Reunion Arena.

Goals by Rod Brind'Amour, Trent Klatt (shorthanded), and John LeClair bolstered Philadelphia to a 3-1 lead at the second intermission, but goals from Mike Modano and Derian Hatcher within a 27 second span early in the third knotted the score at 3-3.

Eric Lindros added two assists for Philly.

Ron Hextall stopped 33 of 36 shots to pick up the win, while Arturs Irbe made 18 saves for Dallas in the loss.

2000: John LeClair scored three times to post his first hat trick of an injury-plagued season and Brian Boucher made 20 saves as the Flyers doubled up the Tampa Bay Lightning by a 6-3 score at the First Union Center.

Simon Gagne, Justin Williams, and LeClair scored to give Philadelphia a 3-1 lead after two frames, but goals by Vincent Lacavalier and Fredrik Modin in the first half of the third period tied the game at 3-3.

LeClair broke the tie with 3:40 remaining in regulation, followed by a tally from Paul Ranheim 17 seconds later, and LeClair's hat trick marker 59 seconds after that.

Rick Tocchet, Daymond Langkow, and Dan McGillis each added a pair of assists apiece.

The outburst gave LeClair five goals on the year in just his seventh game as he missed 20 straight contests with a disc problem in his back.

2003: Mark Recchi scored the game-tying goal and Jeff Hackett stopped 38 of 39 shots -- including all three he faced in overtime -- as the Flyers and Boston Bruins skated to a 1-1 draw at the Fleet Center. The tie left Philly with a 12-1-3 mark in their last 16 contests.

Trailing 1-0 early in the second period, Recchi snapped a shot that beat Andrew Raycroft through the five-hole to knot the game.

2005: Antero Niittymaki stopped the 28 shots he faced in regulation and overtime -- then thwarted all three shooters in the shootout to remain perfect for the night -- and Mike Richards notched the lone shootout marker in a 1-0 shutout victory over the Calgary Flames at the First Union Center.

Both Niittymaki and Miikka Kiprusoff locked in a classic goaltender's battle, with one upstaging the other with each ensuing save, Kiprusoff's biggest save of the night came in the closing seconds of overtime when he stoned Mike Knuble on a breakaway to keep Calgary's chances alive for the shootout.

Niitymaki stopped Kristian Huselius, Jarome Iginla, and former-Flyer Tony Amonte in succession.

2008: Jeff Carter scored with 1:26 remaining in overtime to lift the Flyers to a 2-1 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

Mike Richards' shorthanded goal in the opening frame gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead, but Sergei Samsonov knotted the game with a power play tally in the first minute of the third period.

Carter took a faceoff against former-Flyer Rod Brind'Amour in the extra session, wheeled and fired a shot past future-Flyer Michael Leighton for the game-winner -- his 19th goal of the year to tie him with Thomas Vanek for the NHL lead.

Antero Niittymaki made 35 saves in the win.

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 has dragged on -- now past the 80-day mark -- scattered throughout different leagues in Europe.

CBA talks stretched past midnight Wednesday, with a combination of hope and confusion being bandied about. on social media. There was even fun with the NHL Podium that was set up for a possible late-night announcement that never came.

Talks have picked up much momentum since owners and players began meeting outside the presence of their leadership groups. It now appears as if there may be some kind of an agreement in place that will get the game back on the ice -- where it belongs -- sometime before the end of the month, possibly even by mid-December, with just one week of training camp, by some reports.

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