READING, Pa. — Any Philadelphia Flyers fan wanting some Legion of Doom nostalgia was rewarded in the opening minutes.
There was Eric Lindros and John LeClair, dressed in familiar orange and black, on a two-on-one break.
LeClair hit his Hall of Fame linemate with a pass near the crease and Lindros flipped a shot into the top of the net.
It felt like old times.
Older, slower times.
Lindros and LeClair were the marquee attractions as the Philadelphia Flyers alumni defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins alumni 8-6 at Santander Arena in Reading on Saturday.
“Any time you get in a game like this and get a chance to play with Eric, it brings back a lot of good memories,” LeClair said. “It’s just a lot of fun.”
Lindros, LeClair and Mikael Renberg once comprised one of the Flyers’ most famous scoring line. They took off shortly after LeClair arrived in a trade in February 1995.
What followed were five consecutive All-Star seasons for Lindros and LeClair, who are forever linked in team history.
Their instant connection turned into a lifelong friendship.
“You play enough with one person, you know what his tendencies are and where he’s going to take off to,” Lindros said. “John’s still got a really good first step and clearly can still shoot the puck.”
They took turns creating a goal for one another Saturday.
Lindros hit LeClair for a breakaway in the second period and the left wing finished with a wrist shot from the edge of the left circle.
“The goal he gave me, he just fired the puck right on the stick,” LeClair said. “He can still play quite well.”
The Legion of Doom played without its third link. Flyers president Paul Holmgren stepped in as the right wing in place of Renberg.
Danny Briere, who played in the NHL two seasons ago, had two goals and three assists for the Flyers.
Former enforcer Dan Carcillo scored three goals. Fans threw hats onto the ice after Lindros tossed his helmet to get the tradition started.
Dave Brown had the other Flyers goal on an assist from Bob Kelly in his final alumni game appearance.
Carcillo grew up watching Lindros and LeClair and enjoyed witnessing their reunion up close.
“It was cool, man,” Carcillo said. “They’ve still got the chemistry. They just never lose it. I’m out there trying to put one backdoor and tripping over myself. These guys are just cruising.”
Lindros, 44, is nearly 10 years removed from his final NHL game. He’s married with three children. The oldest, Carl Pierre, was bounding around the arena tunnel wearing a miniature No. 88 jersey.
Carl Pierre, who will turn 3 in June, has already started skating. Lindros said at this point his son is more interested in the hot chocolate afterward.
It was the second Flyers alumni game played in Reading. There was an intrasquad matchup 13 months ago.
This was the first appearance here for Lindros and LeClair, who gave everyone who loved the 1990s Flyers a quick detour toward memory lane.
“The speed isn’t there,” Lindros said. “It’s still fun to chip away and play the speed that we do now.”
Goalie Brian Boucher, who played alongside the Legion of Doom during its final season together in 1999-2000, said it was surreal to be their teammate again.
“To a large extent those guys were heroes of mine,” Boucher said. “They show glimpses of what they once were. They’re big guys who can skate that have the ability to handle the puck. It’s a lot of fun to watch.”