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Beef History: Sidney Crosby vs. Claude Giroux

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It may have been brief, but it was a perfect encapsulation of hockey’s best rivalry: Flyers vs. Penguins

Since our very first hockey-centric Beef History, people have been asking for either an episode explaining Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux’s beef, or simply anything focusing on the Flyers and Penguins. Well, I’m sorry it took this long, but here it is.

Crosby and Giroux’s beef may have been quicker than others, but it was the perfect encapsulation of the history between their teams. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, having been linked since Day 1, really feel like a couple of brothers that quarrel simply due to expectations. Below is a chronological breakdown of the big events within this rivalry that, if the hockey gods allow, we’ll be adding to from here on out.


Sept. 23, 1967: The Flyers and Penguins played in each franchise’s first exhibition game and look at that it was against each other (Penguins win, 7-4).

Oct. 19, 1967: The Flyers played their first regular-season home game, opening up the Spectrum, and the Penguins were there (Flyer win, 1-0).

Jan. 7, 1968: Bob Dillabough (Pittsburgh) and Jean Gauthier (Philadelphia) fought in the second period. It was the first recorded fight between these teams.

Feb. 7, 1974: The Flyers defeated the Penguins, 5-4, in Philadelphia. That win began a 42-game winless streak for Pittsburgh in Philadelphia.

May 19, 1974: The Flyers defeated the Bruins in six games to win their first Stanley Cup (the first Cup for any of the expansion teams).

1974 offseason: NHL realigned, moving them to different divisions.

May 27, 1975: The Flyers made it back-to-back championships, this time against the Sabres.

1981 offseason: NHL realigned again, the Flyers joined the Penguins in the Patrick Division.

Feb. 2, 1989: After nearly 15 years, the Penguins finally won in Philadelphia (5-3).

April 17, 1989: The Flyers and Penguins met in the postseason for the first time.

April 25, 1989: Brawl to end the game.

April 29, 1989: The Flyers won Game 7 (4-1).

May 25, 1991: The Penguins won their first Stanley Cup against the North Stars (4-2 series).

June 1, 1992: The Penguins made it back-to-back championships after sweeping Chicago.

March 1993: Mario Lemieux received an ovation from the Philadelphia crowd during his return from chemotherapy.

April 26, 1997: The Flyers eliminated the Penguins from the playoffs, but following the game the Philadelphia crowd gave Lemieux a standing ovation as he was set to retire following the season.

May 4, 2000: Game four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals saw the teams need five overtimes to decide it. It was the longest game in modern NHL history.

May 9, 2000: The Flyers took the series (4-2).

May 18, 2008: The Penguins eliminated the Flyers in five games to advance to the Finals. This marked the first postseason series win for Pittsburgh over Philadelphia.

April 25, 2009: The Penguins eliminated the Flyers in six games in the opening round.

June 12, 2009: The Penguins defeat the Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup. This was the first of Crosby’s career.

October 7, 2010: Danny Briere scored the first NHL goal (for Philadelphia) in the Penguins’ new arena.

July 1, 2011: Penguin legend Jaromír Jágr returned to the NHL and signed a one-year deal with the Flyers

April 1, 2012: Peter Laviolette and Tony Granato got in a shouting match following an on ice brawl.

2012 Opening Round: The Flyers and Penguins met. They scored a lot of goals. They had a lot of extracurriculars. Without this series, this episode of Beef History wouldn’t have been made. They combined for 309 penalty minutes in six games.

April 15, 2012: Sidney Crosby says he doesn’t like the Flyers (duh).

April 22, 2012: The Flyers eliminated the Penguins in game six, with Claude Giroux sparking things from the get go with a huge hit on Crosby then a goal 30 seconds later.

July 2012: Giroux required surgery on both wrists and blamed Crosby for the damage done.

October 2012: Crosby laughed off the accusation, said if he was the cause then he wasn’t sorry, and moved on.

April 22, 2018: The Penguins eliminated the Flyers in six games. Again the series featured minimal goaltending.

Feb. 23, 2019: The Flyers rallied from a 3-1 deficit, scoring two extra-attacker goals to force overtime, then won it there to take the 2019 NHL Stadium Series played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Note: if key date has been left out, please comment below or tweet @wbuik and we’ll get it added. Love you.