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by Anthony SanFilippo / Philadelphia Flyers

DALLAS – The Flyers don’t want to make any excuses.

There are plenty that they can turn to in this case – the long road trip; missing a practice because of the weather; being drained from killing 11 minutes worth of penalties in the first 28 minutes of the game – however, none would be acceptable.

When you make mistakes against the opponents best payers, and then have your system completely dissolve in front of you for a period, excuses aren’t going to cut it.

For that’s what happened to the Flyers against the pesky Dallas Stars Saturday. They allowed a natural hat trick to Tyler Seguin, gave up three goals in just over a minute in a dreadful second period and were beaten handily by the Stars 5-1.

“I didn’t think we were flat at the start of the second period,” said coach Craig Berube. “[Claude] Giroux hit the crossbar there and everything was good. But you make mistakes with Seguin and [Jamie] Benn on the ice because you’ll be in trouble – and that’s what happened. We made mistakes with those guys on the ice and it was in the net.

Seguin scored a natural hat trick in the second period – the first goal after Nick Grossmann got caught up ice, the second on a shot that from the right circle that went through a screen – set unwittingly by Kimmo Timonen and Sean

The Dallas Ice girls are happy to collect hats after Tyler Seguin's natural hat trick in the second period.

Couturier – and the third, just 18 seconds later on a shot that deflected off of Luke Schenn’s stick and over Steve Mason’s shoulder.

It was the first natural hat trick against the Flyers since January, 2006 when Fredrik Modin scored three straight for Tampa Bay.

Seguin wasn’t done though.

A mere 22 seconds later he fed rookie Valeri Nichushkin with a pretty pass that the 18-year-old rookie fired past Mason to make it 4-1.

That goal was a statistical bonanza – and none that the Flyers wanted to see.

-It was the third-fastest three goals ever scored against the Flyers (1:02 apart) and the fastest since the franchise record of 42 seconds in November, 1991 against New Jersey.

-It was the first time Mason had allowed four goals in a game since arriving in Philadelphia, snapping a 27-game streak of three goals or fewer.

-Nichushkin registered his fourth point of the game, becoming the first Stars rookie to accomplish that since Jere Lehtinen in 1996.

“We had a lot of bad decisions that we haven’t made in a lot of games,” said Scott Hartnell. “Our defense was pinching, our [third forward high] wasn’t there, our reloads weren’t good enough and that’s why they got four or five odd-man rushes. Without Mason making six or seven unbelievable saves, it could have been 9-1 after the second.”

Yep, it was that kind of period.

Berube pulled Mason after two periods, not because he wasn’t playing well, but more to spare him any further indignity with the way the team played in front of him.

“We didn’t skate enough and there were too many easy goals,” said Kimmo Timonen, who didn’t play the third period with an upper body injury. “That’s the game. You give up four goals in the second period you are going to lose the game.”

Timonen’s status for Monday in Ottawa is up in the air. When asked how he was feeling he said, “I’ve seen better days.” He added that he would see how he feels at practice tomorrow before deciding what his status would be for Monday.

There wasn't much for the Flyers to celebrate in Dallas, but they did lead 1-0 after one and mobbed Andrej Meszaros after he scored.

Andrej Meszaros scored the Flyers lone goal, popping in the rebound of a Wayne Simmonds shot on an odd-man rush at the end of the first period to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

The goal came on the heels of the Flyers killing off a seven-minute power play at the beginning of the game thanks to Zac Rinaldo mugging Antoine Roussel on his first shift of the game.

“He went out there and punched him in the head a few times,” Berube said. “It was stupid.”

Rinaldo was given two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct for being an aggressor, which is reviewable for suspension by the league. Roussel wasn’t assessed any penalty after turtling.

Nevertheless, the Flyers penalty kill was excellent, thwarting all seven minutes of the Rinaldo penalties, plus an additional two minutes on a Michael Raffl tripping minor in the first period to set up Meszaros’ goal.

Usually that kind of momentum carries a team through for a lot longer than it did, but the Flyers killed their own momentum with turnovers, failed responsibilities, and bad gaps on defense.

“We kind of gave them too many chances,” Giroux said. “We made mistakes against their top players and they put it in the back of the net. We can’t make those kind of mistakes.”

Giroux himself made a mistake on a power play early in the third period, turning the puck over leading to a 2-on-1 breakaway for the Stars that resulted in a shorthanded goal by Cody Eakin that beat Ray Emery and capped the scoring.

“Their top line has a lot of speed with two players who have really come into their own,” Mason said. We just didn’t have our best effort this afternoon.”

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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