Brian Smith | PhiladelphiaFlyers.com
/ Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers kept pace with the league’s best team on the second half of a back-to-back, but could not find the equalizer after two Dallas second-period goals and eventually fell 3-1. The Flyers struck first when Shayne Gostisbehere scored his fifth of the season on a power play near the halfway point of the second period. But the Stars got a pair of goals in the second part of the frame – one from Mattias Janmark at 14:06 that deflected off a Flyer in front, and the eventual game-winner from Antoine Roussel with 2:32 left in the period. Jamie Benn sealed the game with an empty-netter with 53 seconds left. Michal Neuvirth was stellar in defeat, stopping 41 shots, while Antti Niemi made 19 saves.
Dallas’s game-winning goal stood as the turning point after the Flyers weren’t quite able to create a turning point of their own in the third period. It came on a scramble in front of the Flyers net after Michal Neuvirth had made an initial save on a shot by Cody Eakin. It dropped to the left of the crease and Antoine Roussel was there to knock it home. While the Flyers tried valiantly over the rest of the game, they could not find the equalizer.
1ST – Antoine Roussel: His perseverance next to the Flyers net allowed him to score the game-winning goal. Roussel also was credited with three hits.
2ND – Michal Neuvirth: The Flyers’ netminder was brilliant against a relentless Dallas offensive attack, stopping 41 shots to keep the Flyers no worse than down one goal for the vast majority of the game. Neuvirth’s league-leading save percentage rose one point to .939 with the 41 saves on my 43 shots.
3RD – Jason Spezza: Picked up the primary assist on the tying goal in the second period. Spezza fired nine shots towards the net – two on goal and five not – and went 14-for-18 (78 pct) on faceoffs.
Shayne Gostisbehere’s goal ended a two-game streak with no points. That had not happened to him since the two consecutive games the Flyers were shut out against San Jose and Ottawa last month. It’s his fourth power play goal of the year, which leads all NHL rookies… The 44 shots are the most the Stars have had against the Flyers since they moved to Dallas. The last time they had that many shots against the Flyers was on February 26, 1991 when they outshot the Flyers 44-21 in a 2-2 tie at Minnesota… The Flyers blocked 24 Stars shots, and Dallas put another 18 wide for a total of 86 shot attempts… The Flyers killed all six shorthanded situations they faced against a Dallas team that is second-best in the NHL on the power play… It’s Neuvirth’s 10th career game of 41 or more saves and his second this season; he made 45 saves on November 3 at Edmonton. Neuvirth’s save percentage, which was a league-leading .938 entering tonight’s game, edged upward to .939… Claude Giroux led the Flyers with four shots on goal. He had five total attempts, as did Gostisbehere… Michael Del Zotto led the Flyers with seven total attempts, and while Evgeny Medvedev didn’t record a shot on goal, he had four attempts blocked… Radko Gudas had five hits and blocked five shots. Nick Schultz got in the way of four shots.
"I felt good. It was a good game. For me it’s better to see a lot of shots . They threw a lot of pucks at the net and I was seeing it well. I gave everything I had tonight." (Michal Neuvirth)
"They’re a really good team, and in the first period we were playing well. Then we got into penalty trouble and they got the momentum, and we had trouble getting it back. We’ve got to do a better job in front of Neuvy. If Neuvy doesn’t’ play tonight the way he played, we’d have gotten blown out tonight." (Claude Giroux)