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POSTGAME 5: Stars Pull Away to Beat Flyers, 5-2

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Dallas Stars, 5-2. at the American Airlines Center on Saturday evening.

by Bill Meltzer @billmeltzer /

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Dallas Stars, 5-2. at the American Airlines Center on Saturday evening. For a hungry Dallas team that had won just one of its previous seven games, the victory was their first regulation win of the season.

Luke Glendening (4th goal of the season) tallied the only goal of the first period. Roope Hintz (2nd) doubled the lead in the middle stages of the second period. Closely spaced goals by James van Riemsdyk (2nd of the season, 1st even-strength goal) and Tyler Seguin (5th) canceled out and Dallas took a 3-1 lead into the third period.

An early third period goal by Joe Pavelski (power play, 4th) extended the Dallas advantage to 4-1. Ivan Provorov (power play, 1st) answered with a Flyers' power play goal. Radek Faksa (ENG, 2nd) sealed the final margin.

Martin Jones did what he could do to keep the game in reach. There were just too many close-range open chances for the Stars. He finished with 25 saves on 29 shots in sustaining his first loss as a Flyer.

Anton Khudobin kept the Flyers off the board in a first period controlled by Philadelphia and then got plenty of goal support as the game went along. He finished with 31 saves on 33 shots.

This game saw Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis return to the lineup after a nine-game absence, while Kevin Hayes dressed for the first time this season. With their arrivals in the lineup, Alain Vigneault made a slew of line combination changes, both at even strength and on the power play.


The second period goals that made it 2-0 in Dallas' favor and then 3-1 right after the Flyers got on the board put the Stars' in the driver's seat. The Flyers had the better of the early play but couldn't solve Khudobin. As the game moved along, the Flyers seemed to run out of gas.


1) The Flyers were the better team in the first period, outshooting (19-7) and outchancing (11-7) the Stars. Philly also had the period's only two power plays and showed some improved puck movement and pressure, including the second unit. The first period wasn't mistake free -- at one point Jones had to step up to deny Joe Pavelski after the Flyers lost coverage through the neutral zone -- but Philly had more possession and several good looks in the offensive zone. Khudobin, however, had the answers.

The reformulated Flyers lineup with Ellis and Hayes coming back was as follows:

28 Claude Giroux - 14 Sean Couturier - 25 James van Riemsdyk
86 Joel Farabee - 13 Kevin Hayes -89 Cam York
19 Derick Brassard - 21 Scott Laughton - 11 Travis Konecny
23 Oskar Lindblom - 44 Nate Thompson - 17 Zack MacEwen

9 Ivan Provorov - 61 Justin Braun
6 Travis Sanheim - 70 Rasmus Ristolainen
3 Keith Yandle - 94 Ryan Ellis

2) When the Stars finally did have some extended possession in the opening period, they turned it into the game's first goal. At 13:23, Glendening deflected the puck home as John Klingberg sent the puck toward the net. Ryan Suter got the secondary assist. 

At 16:58, Khudobin robbed a pinching Travis Sanheim from the bottom of the left circle. The play was replayed to see if the puck crossed the goal line but there was no evidence it did so.

3) The Stars took over the game -- by a wide margin -- in the second period after the teams traded off chances early in the period. As the frame moved along, Dallas pounded Philadelphia with a very physical forecheck. Philly had trouble getting out of their own zone and, if they managed that much, struggled to navigate through the neutral zone. Shots were 10-6 Stars but the possession was lopsided in the Stars' favor.

4) Dallas made it 2-0 at 12:22. It started with a Keith Yandle turnover and ended with a Hintz tap-in off a pass from Denis Gurianov. Robertson, who claimed the puck off the turnover, got the secondary assist.

At 16:36 of the second period, a scramble around the Dallas net after Travis Sanheim pinched in deep ultimately trickled into the Stars' net after going off multiple Stars in and around the crease. JVR got just a piece of the puck amid the scramble before it went in off Glendening's skate. Rasmus Ristolainen arrived at the net but the puck was already over the line. 

Tweet from @NHLFlyers: Got to keep attacking the net and good things will happen. #PHIvsDAL | #BringItToBroad

This should have been a lift for the Flyers but they got scored on the very next shift to fall behind, 3-1. For the second time in the period, the Flyers' fourth line was on the ice when Dallas scored (and Lindblom was on for all three Dallas goals). Seguin won a battle in deep and then, shortly thereafter, had a tip-in from near the net on a play made by Jacob Peterson. Andrej Sekera got the secondary assist at 17:02.

5) A Farabee interference penalty was converted into an open point blank goal for Pavelski after an initial shot by Hintz. Hintz then reclaimed the puck and passed to an open Pavelski in the low slot. Jones had no chance. It was another tough shift for Lindblom, who got knocked down at the beginning of the play and was unable to prevent the puck from getting to Pavelski at the end. Alexander Radulov got the secondary assist at 2:27.

At 8:07, Provorov took a drop pass from Hayes and threaded a center-point shot through traffic and into the net. Derick Brassard and Ellis were initially credited with the assists. Later, the primary assist was correctly amended to give it to Hayes.

Tweet from @NHLFlyers: 💥 Provy Power with a PPG. 💥Hayesy picks up the lone helper. #PHIvsDAL | #BringItToBroad

The Flyers drew no closer. At 17:57 with Jones pulled for a 6-on-5, an Atkinson cross-ice pass was intercepted by Glendening. Faksa then sealed the win with a long-distance empty netter. Near the end of the game, a very hasty whistle on a clearly loose puck behind Khudobin in the crease cost MacEwen a tap-in goal.

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