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Drop The Puck Already: Flyers-Stars

Lineup news on forward and defense, Stars hoping to clinch

by @nhlflyers

The Flyers will try to play spoiler on Tuesday night when they visit the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Stars need one point to clinch a playoff spot in the Western Conference. 


Here are some notes and news from both teams' morning skates:

* Cam Talbot will get the start in goal for the Flyers. Interim head coach Scott Gordon said Brian Elliott would start on Thursday in St. Louis and Carter Hart would get the season finale at home against Carolina on Saturday.

* Radko Gudas will be rested in this game as part of a rotational scratch to get Samuel Morin in the lineup for each of the final three games of the season.

* Justin Bailey will return to the Flyers' lineup on Tuesday. Phil Varone will be a scratch.

* Gordon said that one thing he wants to see from the team over the final three games is to get back to playing with more pace; something that has been lacking in many recent games, especially over the past weekend that saw the Flyers mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

* Gordon said that he's like a lot of what he's seen from recent acquisition Ryan Hartman in the weeks since Hartman was acquired from Nashville in the Wayne Simmonds trade. The Flyers coach noted that Hartman, when he's on his game, brings a "dog on a bone" mentality to puck pursuit, which is something that has been lacking at times as the team appeared to run out of gas down the stretch.


* Apart from a hiccup in Carolina on Saturday, the penalty kill has been one area that has been pretty consistently strong for the Flyers in recent months. Gordon and regular penalty killing forward Scott Laughton both pointed to an uptick in puck pressure and Gordon also noted sealing off the strong side (i.e., the side of the ice where the puck is) as keys to the improvement the team has shown after struggling through Thanksgiving.


LINE PLAY - FLYERS (subject to change)

25 James van Riemsdyk - 19 Nolan Patrick - 28 Claude Giroux 

23 Oskar Lindblom - 14 Sean Couturier - 93 Jake Voracek

38 Ryan Hartman - 21 Scott Laughton - 11 Travis Konecny

12 Michael Raffl - 10 Corban Knight - 27 Justin Bailey


9 Ivan Provorov - 6 Travis Sanheim

53 Shayne Gostisbehere - 61 Phil Myers

5 Sam Morin - 8 Robert Hägg


33 Cam Talbot



* Goaltending and team defense have become the Stars' primary strengths this season. Anton Khudobin will get the start in goal for Dallas on Tuesday. Injured veteran netminder Ben Bishop is likely to return for the final weekend of the regular season but is not yet available. 

* Ditto rental forward acquisition Mats Zuccarello (broken arm suffered on Feb. 24). He's been skating and practiced in full on Monday but is not yet ready to play. Brett Ritchie (hand) is in a similar situation. Justin Dowling (upper body) skated on his own on Monday.


LINE PLAY - STARS (subject to change)

13 Mattias Janmark - 91 Tyler Seguin - 47 Alexander Radulov

14 Jamie Benn - 24 Roope Hintz - 16 Jason Dickinson

17 Andrew Cogliano- 12 Radek Faksa - 15 Blake Comeau 

43 Valeri Nichushkin -- 90 Jason Spezza -- 18 Tyler Pitlick


23 Esa Lindell - 3 John Klingberg

4 Miro Heiskanen - 45 Roman Polak

42 Taylor Fedun - 21 Ben Lovejoy


35 Anton Khudobin

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