Flyers alumni game

From the Cup to the Richards-Recchi connection, Flyers alumni game delivers

The alumni game against Boston kicked off a weekend to celebrate Recchi's Flyers Hall of Fame induction

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With the Stanley Cup glowing at center ice, Dave Schultz fought back tears as Lauren Hart sung "God Bless America."

The crowd cheered Mike Richards and roared when he sent a cross-ice pass to Mark Recchi for a goal.

The Wells Fargo Center lights dimmed and flashed for an epic in-game entrance by the 80-year-old Joe Watson.

The Flyers' alumni game Friday night did not disappoint. Former Flyers from every era picked up a 6-2 win over the Bruins' alums. The fun, lighthearted matchup kicked off a weekend to celebrate Recchi's Flyers Hall of Fame induction. His ceremony is Saturday at noon ET before the Flyers take on the Bruins (12:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

"I couldn't believe the crowd," Recchi said after scoring a couple of goals. "I didn't expect this. It just shows you what Philadelphia fans are all about."

Prior to puck drop, the Flyers saluted their back-to-back Stanley Cup-winning clubs from 1974 and 1975. Members of those beloved teams surrounded the Cup together once again and maybe for one final time.

"It's one of those trophies that when you see it, it kind of takes your breath," Brian Boucher said. "It's just great, it's great to honor the teams that won here. Those guys are legends and they deserve all the love they got."

Fans loved seeing Richards back in Philadelphia. He was the team's captain from September 2008 to June 2011.

Very appropriately, Richards set up Recchi for the first goal of the game.

"I told the guys if I had missed that shot, I was going to come straight to the dressing room and pack it in for the night," Recchi said with a laugh. "It was good, it was a lot of fun out there, it was good to see a lot of the guys, on both sides. I've got friends on both sides, so it's awesome."

Recchi finished his illustrious, Hockey Hall of Fame career in Boston, where he earned his third and final Stanley Cup ring. His three Cups were won elsewhere, but the prolific scorer played more games for the Flyers (602) than he did for any other team over his 1,652-game career. Recchi had two stints with the organization, from 1992 to 1995 and then 1999 to 2004.

Keith Jones, the Flyers' president of hockey operations, played against Recchi and was also his teammate in Philadelphia.

"I always remembered admiring just kind of the way that he played the game," Jones said of the 5-foot-10 Recchi. "He knocked numerous guys upside down on the ice and that's something that you wouldn't expect. The wrecking ball was a very common nickname for Mark and there was good reason for that.

"I can remember the first time that we played together and I was just so impressed by his physical abilities. For a guy that wasn't one of the taller guys on the team, he was unafraid and that really kind of set the tone for the way that we wanted to play the game. It was the type of leadership that you expect from star players and Mark did that on a nightly basis."

Friday night showed the Flyers' history and tradition of forging lifelong bonds by playing for the teammate next to you.

"It's a quiet confidence to be a part of a team, to be a part of something special," Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO and Flyers governor Dan Hilferty said. "And frankly, that's who we are as a city of Philadelphia, a region of Philadelphia. People throw out the blue collar line. Well, it's just people that humbly, for the most part, go about their business, do it with an eye on being excellent and do it as a team, as a family."

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