Preview: Flyers Look to Make It 8 Straight Against Stars
The Philadelphia Flyers enter this afternoon’s matinee against the Dallas Stars looking to extend their winning streak to eight in a row. The Flyers have been the NHL’s hottest team over the last several weeks, averaging 3.8 goals per game and receiving stellar goaltending from Steve Mason. The Flyers sport an impressive 8-2-0 record over their last 10 contests.
However, despite the Stars’ surprising lack of success this season hovering around the .500 mark, they have been a team that has given the Flyers fits over the last several seasons because of their speed throughout the lineup and ability to score off the rush. The Stars play a similar style to the Flyers’ last opponent, the Edmonton Oilers.
Dallas Stars at Philadelphia Flyers
Wells Fargo Center – 1:00 p.m. EST
Broadcast channels – CSN Philadelphia; 97.5 The Fanatic
2016-17 Season Series: First Matchup of the Season
Dallas Stars: 11-11-6 – 28 Points
Road Record: 4-7-4
Hot Players: Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, Kari Lehtonen
Scratched: Jordie Benn, Adam Cracknell
Key Injuries: Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Johnny Oduya (lower body), Patrick Sharp (concussion-like symptoms), Julius Honka (upper body)
Jamie Benn — Tyler Seguin — Jason Spezza
Antoine Roussel — Radek Faksa — Brett Ritchie
Lauri Korpikoski — Cody Eakin — Jiri Hudler
Curtis McKenzie — Drew Shore — Patrick Eaves
Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis — Stephen Johns
Patrik Nemeth — Jamie Oleksiak
Philadelphia Flyers: 16-10-3 – 35 Points
Home Record: 10-5-2
Hot Players: Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux, Steve Mason
Scratched: Nick Schultz, Michael Del Zotto, Boyd Gordon
Key Injuries: Sean Couturier (lower body), Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Matt Read (upper body)
Michael Raffl — Claude Giroux — Jakub Voracek
Travis Konecny — Brayden Schenn — Wayne Simmonds
Taylor Leier — Nick Cousins — Dale Weise
Chris VandeVelde — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Roman Lyubimov
Ivan Provorov — Andrew MacDonald
Mark Streit — Radko Gudas
Brandon Manning — Shayne Gostisbehere
1) The Philadelphia Flyers have been solid on home ice this year with a 10-5-2 record as opposed to their 6-5-1 record away from the Wells Fargo Center. They hope to keep the streak alive in front of what will be an excited and rabid Philadelphia crowd Saturday afternoon.
2) The Dallas Stars, on the other hand, haven’t had much success when visiting the opposing teams’ barns this season, sporting a 4-7-4 record on the road. Riddled by injuries to key players such as Jason Spezza and Patrick Sharp in the early going, the Stars are vastly underperforming after leading the Western Conference in points just a season ago.
3) Jake Voracek has been a force on home ice this season. Voracek has nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in front of the home fans this season. He’ll look to continue this trend after being an instrumental part of their 6-5 win Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers, where he finished with 4 points.
4) The Stars have activated forward Jiri Hudler off injured reserve, and it’s possible they could have him in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 1. He’s missed the last 23 games because of an illness.
5) Mason is 6-0-0 over the last six games for the Flyers and it’s likely he finds himself back in net for today’s action. Mason has mentioned numerous times throughout his tenure as a Flyer that he much rather prefers the heavy workload of being the number-one guy in net because it allows him to zone in and keep going rather than waiting for a few games in between starts.
The Flyers are rolling right now and want to continue the streak for as long as they can. Given that the Stars have been a thorn in their sides over the last few seasons, beating them in four of the last six matchups, including the last three, it won’t be an easy feat. If the Flyers can solve the Stars and make it eight straight, it will be their longest winning streak since the 2001-02 season. The Flyers have better speed now to handle the Stars’ attack than they have had in the past. Look for this game to be similar to the up-and-down game against the Oilers on Thursday, just with better goaltending.
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