The Habs took a 12-3-2 record into a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 14, 1992. Here is Red Fisher’s story from that game:
Flyers pure magic at Forum; Habs haven’t beaten them there in five years
CANADIENS 3 (OT)
Apparently, there’s no place like home for the Canadiens – particularly when the Philadelphia Flyers are the opposition.
Consider these numbers, for example, in the wake of their 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers last night, one which brings their 11-0- 1 roll to a shuddering halt.
The last time they beat the Flyers at the Forum was on Nov. 7, 1987. Since then, their record against the Flyers at home is 0-5-3.
Until last night, the Canadiens had been 8-0-1 at home. Their last loss? Yeah, against the Flyers on March 18.
Is that enough to send the Canadiens back to the drawing board? Probably not, when it’s considered that after trailing 2-0 after the first period and 3-1 late in the second, third-period goals by Stephan Lebeau and another by J.J. Daigneault with fewer than three minutes remaining sent the game into overtime – only to have Kevin Dineen put away the Canadiens 48 seconds into the overtime.
He beat Mike Keane to an exquisite setup by Rod Brind’Amour and … ta! ta!
The loss left several of the Canadiens dismayed – among them Patrick Roy, whose lifetime regular-season record is 0-6-6 against the Flyers. Another is John LeClair, who scored the first Canadiens goal and spent most of the night running into Mt. Eric Lindros.
“I guess we ran into each other six, seven times,” said LeClair. “Frankly, I don’t know why, because he’s a centre and I’m on the wing. I guess it’s because we’re both big, but he’s bigger than I am.
“You run into him,” sighed LeClair, “and it’s just like hitting a wall. On the other hand, it’s always nice to knock down a bigger guy, because the crowd reacts.”
LeClair was on a line with Brian Bellows and Kirk Muller, who assisted on two of the goals, including Daigneault’s game-tying longshot. He was there as a replacement for Gilbert Dionne, who wasn’t dressed, and caught everyone’s eye as well as several thundering whacks from Lindros.
The Flyers went a long way toward locking up this game when they scored the only goals in the first period – from Claude Boivin and Brent Fedyk. Fedyk added a second goal late in the second period, after LeClair had scored.
“They played well, but I really thought we were gonna pull it out in the overtime,” said LeClair. “I mean, the other guy (Roussel) made all kinds of stops, didn’t he?”
So he did, among the 33 shots delivered by the Canadiens, including six by Lebeau, who was on the ice for the overtime goal. The reality, though, is that the Flyers deserved everything they got.
“Crazy, isn’t it?” Roy asked. “I mean, how can I go 12 games without beating those guys. I thought I was going to do it tonight, but a lot of things happened.
“Like the goal by Fedyk in the first period,” said Roy. “Short side, right? I thought it was going wide, but there was a big guy named Lindros in front of me. I was really surprised when I looked behind me and saw the puck in the net.”
Did the Flyers catch the Canadiens in a deep doze until the Canadiens caught fire in the third? Was this a matter of the air going out of the balloon after a remarkable streak?
Was it more a case of the Flyers, locked in a skirmish for last place in the Patrick, elevating their game several rink-lengths?
In truth, it was an amalgam of all of them, along with Roy coming up somewhat short against a team which, for some reason, always has represented a formidable challenge.
In any assessment of what happened here last night, the only sure thing is that LeClair and Muller were the best of the Canadiens forwards.
“LeClair,” said coach Jacques Demers, “showed a lot of character coming back with a goal after taking a big hit from Lindros.”
What Demers could have added was that while LeClair and Muller excelled – and more – several of their colleagues missed the team bus.
There’s another one waiting for them tomorrow against the Boston Bruins.
(Photo by Ralph Bower/Vancouver Sun)