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November 10th In Philadelphia Flyers History: 'Streak' Hits 11, Tragic Loss Of Pelle

A Bernie shutout, 'The Streak' reaches 11 games, a LeClair OT-winner in Florida, Sharp scores a pair in comeback win, Timonen and Hartnell each score their first in Philly, and the team suffers a devastating loss of one of their most beloved players on November 10th in Flyers history.

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Andre Ringuette

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.

After winning their last six November 10th contests, the Flyers have compiled a very respectable 8-3-2-1 overall record -- which includes a 4-1-0-1 mark at home -- over the course of franchise history. Philadelphia has scored 43 goals in the 14 contests (an average of 3.07 GPG), while allowing 36 to their opponents (2.57 GAA).

Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place in November 10th games:

1974: Bernie Parent made 16 saves to record his third shutout in five starts and Bill Clement scored twice to give the Flyers a 3-0 blanking of the California Golden Seals at the Spectrum.

Terry Crisp would provide the only offensive support Parent would need when he scored late in the first, and also assisted on one of Clement's two second period strikes.

Philadelphia outshot the visitors, 32-16, which included a 17-6 count in the opening frame.

1979: Bill Barber scored a pair of goals and assisted on another, while Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach added a goal and assist each as the Flyers defeated the New York Islanders, 5-2, at Nassau Coliseum. Defenseman Mike Busniuk added two helpers to the winning cause.

Pete Peeters stopped 16 of 18 Isles shots, with the only blemishes being two third period Clark Gillies tallies.

The win made it seven wins in a row and 11 straight games without a loss for the Orange-and-Black (10-0-1).

1990: Tim Kerr scored once and assisted on another pair of goals and Rick Tocchet and Gord Murphy each added a goal and an assist to lead the Flyers to a 5-2 triumph over the Quebec Nordiques at Le Colisee.

Philadelphia lit up Nords starter Scott Gordon for three goals on just six shots in the first 10:35 of the opening stanza, causing Quebec coach Dave Chambers to pull Gordon and insert Ron Tugnutt. Murphy greeted Tugnutt with a power play marker before the first period expired to stake Philadelphia to a 4-1 lead.

Kerry Huffman and Ron Sutter also scored for the Flyers, and Pete Peeters made 16 saves to record the win.

1993: Mikael Renberg scored twice and Dominic Roussel made 41 saves as the Flyers went on to post a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Memorial Auditorium.

Garry Galley (shorthanded), Mark Recchi, and Eric Lindros (power play) also scored for Philadelphia, while Vyacheslav Butsayev and Pelle Eklund each added a pair of assists.

Buffalo outshot Philly, 44-23 -- including a 31-12 disparity over the final two frames -- but Roussel was the difference. Grant Fuhr stopped 18 of 23 Flyers shots and was saddled with the loss.

1996: John LeClair posted a pair of goals and Pat Falloon scored once and added an assist to lead the Flyers past the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-1, at the CoreStates Center. Kevin Haller assisted on two of the three Flyer goals.

Ron Hextall made 25 saves for the win, while Felix Potvin stopped 39 shots in a losing effort.

Potvin did extract some measure of revenge in a fight with Hextall after the final horn sounded, in which the Philly netminder ended up bloodied after the brawl.

2001: John LeClair scored with 43 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Flyers a 3-2 triumph over the Panthers in South Florida. LeClair stole a Marcus Nilson pass deep in the Florida zone, then beat a surprised Roberto Luongo for the game-winner.

Simon Gagne scored twice to provide Philadelphia with a 2-1 lead at the second intermission, but Viktor Kozlov scored a power play goal early in the third to force the extra session.

Mark Recchi and Eric Desjardins each assisted on a pair of goals for the Flyers.

Brian Boucher had a relatively quiet night -- making 16 saves on 18 Cat shots to post his fifth win in six starts -- especially when compared to Luongo's 36 shots faced, which included all four taken in overtime.

2005: Patrick Sharp scored his second goal of the game early in the third period to life the Flyers to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the New York Islanders at the Wachovia Center.

Trailing 2-0 after the opening stanza, Sharp scored early in the second period and Jeff Carter tied it late in the middle frame. Carter also assisted on both of Sharp's tallies.

The Isles carried play and outshot the Flyers, 40-30 -- including a 20-5 total in the first period -- but Antero Niittymaki made 38 saves to hold Philadelphia in the game. Rick DiPietro made 27 saves in a losing cause.

2007: Kimmo Timonen scored his first goal in a Philadelphia uniform and assisted on three others and Danny Briere added a goal and two helpers as the Flyers scored four power play goals on the way to defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-2, at the Wachovia Center. Mike Richards assisted on three of the Philadelphia tallies.

Opening period goals from Timonen and Mike Knuble and an early second period marker by Joffrey Lupul staked Philly to a 3-0 lead, but Pittsburgh got to within a goal with two man advantage goals of their own -- one from Evgeni Malkin and the other from Sergei Gonchar (with one second remaining in the stanza).

But Briere connected for the lone even strength tally of the contest at 7:54 of the third, before Scott Hartnell closed out the scoring with an empty net power play marker with 59 seconds left in regulation to seal the deal for the Flyers. After 15 games without a goal, it was also Hartnell's first-ever goal in Philadelphia.

Both Timonen and Hartnell were UFAs and their rights were dealt to the Flyers by the Nashville Predators during the summer of 2007. The duo then signed long-term contracts with Philadelphia as the franchise began a rebuilding process following their worst regular season the previous year.

The Flyers had lost all eight regular season contests against Pittsburgh during that awful 2006/07 campaign, but this was the second win over the Pens in three days for the Orange-and-Black.

Martin Biron stopped 29 of the 31 Penguin shots he faced, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves in defeat.

November 10th Flyers Birthday:

Don Saleski was born on November 10th, 1949 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. After playing his junior hockey with the Regina Pats, the right winger was selected by Philadelphia in the sixth round (64th overall) of the 1969 draft.

Following his last year of junior, the 6' 3", 205-pounder spent the next two years with the Flyers AHL farm team -- 1970/71 with the Quebec Aces, and 1971/72 with the Richmond Robins.

Saleski came to Philadelphia for good in 1972/73, and found a niche with his robust style of play in the club's growing identity as the Broad Street Bullies. Nicknamed "Big Bird" because of his flowing curly, sandy blonde locks, he became one of the cast of working-class plumbers that would make up the backbone of the back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975.

In parts of eight seasons with the Flyers Saleski recorded 118 goals and 235 points in 476 NHL contests, and was never one to shy away from the rough stuff, posting 602 penalty minutes. His best goal-scoring year was 1977/78, when he managed 27.

In 82 playoff appearances with Philadelphia, Saleski registered 13 goals, 30 points, and 131 PIMs.

Saleski was traded to the Colorado Rockies for future considerations midway through the 1978/79 campaign, and played his final NHL game with the Rockies at the end of the 1979/80 season.

Bill Sutherland was born in Regina, Saskatchewan on this day in 1934. He came to Philadelphia along with the Quebec Aces when the expansion Flyers purchased the AHL club.

The 5' 10", 160-pound left wing made his NHL debut as a 33-year-old rookie on October 11th, 1967, Philadelphia's inaugural game. Sutherland scored at 10:07 of the second period -- the first goal in franchise history -- to tie the game at 1-1 in an eventual 5-1 loss to the California Golden Seals.

Sutherland would post points in each of his first four games that year (three goals) on the way to a 20-goal season. He would play just 64 more games in a Flyers uniform, finishing with 42 goals and 71 points in 124 contests. He appeared in 11 total playoff games in 1968 and 1969, scoring twice and adding four assists.

In Memorium -- Pelle Lindbergh -- May 24, 1959 - November 10, 1985:

For those who were around on November 10th, 1985, the sick feeling that came along with reports that Pelle Lindbergh had died from injuries sustained in an early morning one car accident will forever be fresh in our minds.

Just as in Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities", it truly was the best of times and the worst of times for the Flyers on that morning. Only mere hours after stretching the club's winning streak to 10 games with a 5-3 defeat of the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum -- a game in which coach Mike Keenan had given his red-hot netminder the night off and instead handed the reigns to backup Bob Froese -- the reigning Vezina Trophy goaltender crashed his Porsche into a cement wall at high speed on a Voorhees, New Jersey road.

Pelle was rendered 'brain dead' on impact. A life support system was all that was keeping his body breathing, before his family made the heart-wrenching decision the next day to remove the respirator and donate Lindbergh's organs to those in need.

There is no measure to just how tragic the loss of the 26-year-old was on his family. Lindbergh was engaged to marry the love of his life, Kerstin Pietzsch, and seemingly had everything in the palm of his hand.

On November 10th, 1985, we all had a horrifyingly stark reminder as to just how fragile all of that can be.

As for the effect on his teammates, the loss was absolutely numbing. The league graciously offered to cancel their next game -- which wasn't until the following Thursday at the Spectrum against the Oilers, as the calendar had one of those strange near week-long breaks in the calendar -- but the Flyers decided to trudge along and play.

After an emotional pre-game ceremony that night led by the voice of the Flyers, Gene Hart, Philadelphia somehow found it within themselves to pull out a 5-3 victory. As a matter of fact, the stunned Flyers went on to win two more and set a new standard with a franchise record 13-game winning streak.

Prior to the accident, there was so much promise and hope that this was the season that Lord Stanley would make his return to the City of Brotherly Love. Even though Philly went on to have a banner season with Froese between the pipes, the emotionally-spent Flyers fell in the first round of the playoffs to the arch-rival New York Rangers.

In addition to the lives of Pelle's family, the course of the team was forever altered on that awful Sunday morning in 1985. Ron Hextall came into the picture the following October, Froese was dealt to the Broadway Blueshirts, and time moved on.

But the pain still remains for those who were there to experience the tragedy -- even 27 years later. And it won't be forgotten, as the reminder is in the form of an Orange-and-Black scar that is indelibly left on the collective hearts of Flyers Nation.


Just a side note -- if I could suggest a fantastic read on the subject, Bill Melzter's "Behind the White Mask" is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the Flyers and Pelle Lindbergh.

As For The Present:

With games currently 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

The NHL and NHLPA met at length over the course of four days this week, with a mixture of reports giving optimistic and pessimistic feels. The league says it would meet this weekend, but the tone isn't one that makes it sound as though anything productive will be forthcoming any time soon.

While there is still hope that sanity will somehow prevail and there can still be something of a 2012-13 NHL season -- it's looking like a 64-game game season would be the best-case scenario at this point -- it unfortunately looks more-and-more like the sides may just be content to self-destruct.