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Drop The Puck Already: Flyers-Stars

Both teams opt out of morning skate, storylines & lineup for tonight's game

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

Two teams hungry for a much-needed win will clash at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday when Alain Vigneault's Flyers (2-2-1) take on Flyers/Phantoms alum Jim Montgomery's Dallas Stars (1-7-1). 

Both teams opted not to skate in the morning, however below are news & notes from Flyers/Stars recent practice & media availability. 

* The Flyers are returning home from a tough road trip that saw them take only one of six possible points in western Canada. The club played four their first five games across four different time zones -- to a man, the Flyers say the time-zone hopping was not an excuse for the 0-2-1 result of the western Canada trip. Nevertheless, they are looking forward to spending some time at home, getting back into a normalized routine and practicing at the familiar confines of the Skate Zone in Voorhees.

VORACEK: "I don't think it did. I think we out skated Edmonton to be honest, so I don't think fatigue was the problem. We created good opportunities, I don't think it was we just had shots from outside... I think we had a lot scoring opportunities. We just couldn't bury it."

* Carter Hart will get the start tonight -- he was solid in the season opener and excellent in his next two starts before getting pulled in the second period against Edmonton after yielding four goals on 14 shots, including two he felt he could have played better. 

HART: "You just have to put it behind you. Other than that, I feel good where my game is at."

Video: Flyers talk about wearing the black jerseys* While both Travis Konecny (3g, 4a) and Oskar Lindblom (3g, 1a) are off to quick starts this season, many of the Flyers other key offensive players are having trouble converting chances into points in the early going. 

On the positive side, Jakub Voracek earned his first three points of the season (2 PPG, 1a) in Wednesday's game in Edmonton. Still looking for their first point of the season, however, are James van Riemsdyk and Shayne Gostisbehere. Players still in search of their first goal also include Claude Giroux and Travis Sanheim.

VIGNEAULT: "We couldn't make the other team pay for the mistakes, they were making quite a few, and that's what this game is about. When you make a mistake you hope your gonna get a save and when the other team makes a mistake you hope you're gonna be able to bury it. Some times it works out like it did last game... the game seems a little bit unfair but you have to get right back to work, and that's what we did."

LINE PLAY - FLYERS
28 Claude Giroux - 14 Sean Couturier - 11 Travis Konecny
23 Oskar Lindblom - 13 Kevin Hayes - 93 Jakub Voracek
25 James van Riemsdyk - 21 Scott Laughton - 18 Tyler Pitlick
81 Carsen Twarynski - 12 Michael Raffl - 44 Chris Stewart

9 Ivan Provorov - 15 Matt Niskanen
6 Travis Sanheim - 61 Justin Braun
53 Shayne Gostisbehere - 8 Robert Hägg

79 Carter Hart
[37 Brian Elliott]

BEHIND ENEMY LINES (Quotes Courtesy DallasStars.com)

* Are the Flyers catching Dallas at just the right time, or at precisely the wrong time? The Stars have dropped five in a row, are playing the second half of a back-to-back and lost 4-2 in Pittsburgh on Friday.

MONTGOMERY: "Not enough urgency. You need to come out and dictate in that time and circumstance, and Pittsburgh dictated more than we did."

The biggest issue thus far for a Stars team that came within a Game 7 overtime loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues of advancing to the 2019 Western Conference Final has been its inability to finish scoring chances. Roope Hintz and John Klingberg scored in a losing cause on Friday.

The team has just 17 goals to date, including a 1-for-19 spell on the power play to start the season. Team captain Jamie Benn (1g, 2a), Tyler Seguin (2g, 2a), Alexander Radulov (1g, 3a) and newcomer Joe Pavelski (1g, 1a) are all off to slow offensive starts.

PAVELSKI: "There's been a lot of moments throughout the season where we had a chance to turn this around, and string something together, and we just kind of let it slip. It's just not enough. We're at a time when we need results, production... There's not much going around this group. We've got to find it."

LINE PLAY - STARS
18 Jason Dickinson - 91 Tyler Seguin - 47 Alexander Radulov
14 Jamie Benn - 24 Roope Hintz - 10 Corey Perry
13 Mattias Janmark - 12 Radek Faksa - 16 Joe Pavelski
11 Andrew Cogliano - 37 Justin Dowling - 34 Denis Gurianov

23 Esa Lindell - 3 John Klingberg
5 Andrej Sekera - 4 Miro Heiskanen
2 Jamie Oleksiak - 42 Taylor Fedun

30 Ben Bishop
[35 Anton Khudobin]

Game time is 7 p.m. on NBCSP or listen live on 93.3 WMMR as the Flyers will sport their Stadium Series style black jerseys for the first time this season.

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