Still winless early in the season, the Flyers will embark on a six-day, three-game road trip that will take them to the midwest from Dallas to Chicago, and ending with intra-state rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“Anytime you go on the road with the team for a couple days it gets the team closer,” said Flyers captain Claude Giroux. “Obviously we’re looking for our first win and we’re starting to feel good about our game and how we’re playing. Things are slowly picking up right now.”
Unlike the three teams they face, the Flyers have a rare full three days of practice early in the season to build on their progress.
The positive is that the Flyers have earned points in the standings in each of their last two games and have fired a total of 74 shots on net. In their most recent outing, the Flyers kept the Ducks high-powered offense to just 13 shots on net through the final two periods and no shots in overtime before falling in a shootout.
Speaking of high-powered offense, the Stars feature the dangerous combo of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, who combined for 163 points last season. Throw in the addition of Jason Spezza from the off-season and the Flyers first win won’t come easy.
And while the Flyers fell victim to a 7-2 loss at the hands of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp in Chicago last season, the club has had success against the Blackhawks on the road in the last 15-plus years. The Flyers have won three of the last five meetings on the road and five of the last eight in Chicago since the 1997-98 season.
“In my opinion they are some of the top teams in the league coming up,” said Jakub Voracek. “It’s a great challenge for us and we have to make sure we’re ready to play because if we start the next three games like we did the last one at home, we’re going to be in trouble.”
The trip ends in Pittsburgh, where the Flyers will get their first look at Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin this season. However, the Flyers have had perhaps their most success on the road against the Penguins in recent years. The club is unbeaten in regulation in the last two years, going 4-0-2, and has a 9-1-2 mark at the CONSOL Energy Center.
It will also be their first and only look in a while since the two clubs won’t meet again until another 90 days on Jan. 20.