With every one of the Philadelphia Flyers’ past captains (with the notable exception of Eric Lindros) in attendance and the doors of the Flyers’ old haunt, the Spectrum, about to be closed to the NHL forever, Philadelphia rode an emotional high and handed Carolina their third straight loss of the preseason, 4-2, this afternoon.
The Flyers’ newly-minted captain Mike Richards’ scored two (yes, two) short-handed goals on netminder Cam Ward, who finished the game with 27 saves. Joffrey Lupul and Braydon Coburn scored the Flyers’ other two goals, and Matt Murley – who scored with only .4 seconds remaining in the first period - and Patrick Eaves lit the lamp for the Hurricanes. Eaves’ goal was the first even-strength goal for the Hurricanes in the preseason.
Lindros, who captained the Flyers on and off from 1994-2000, was unable to be in attendance due to the death of a family friend. However, every other captain, from Lou Angotti (1967) to Richards (2008), was present to give the former home of the Broad Street Bullies a fond farewell.
To read up on the Spectrum’s colorful history, click here. Many Flyers fans harbored hopes that Rod Brind’Amour would make a miraculous recovery and play in today’s game, but the Hurricanes captain remains sidelined after having knee surgery two weeks ago. Brind’Amour was a fan favorite in Philly from 1991 until he was traded to Carolina in 2000 for Keith Primeau, a former Carolina and Philadelphia captain who was also in attendance today.
The Flyers will participate in one final game at the Spectrum, against their minor-league affiliate Philadelphia Phantoms on Oct. 7. At the end of the regular season, the building will be demolished to make way for a shopping center. In the more immediate future, the Flyers will face off against the Hurricanes again at the RBC Center tomorrow afternoon. Carolina is still seeking its first preseason win.