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Flyers keep rolling with 6-3 win over Stars

by Adam Kimelman

PHILADELPHIA -- Darroll Powe isn't going to garner a whole lot of Hart Trophy votes. But the Philadelphia Flyers certainly know how valuable he is.

Powe, a second-year forward out of PrincetonUniversity, had a goal and an assist to key the Flyers' 6-3 defeat of the Dallas Stars at the WachoviaCenter on Tuesday.

Simon Gagne and Ian Laperriere also had a goal and an assist each, Matt Carle had a pair of assists and Michael Leighton made 27 saves in his 10th straight start.

Laperriere, who later fought Dallas' Mark Fistric, completed the first Gordie Howe Hat Trick for a Flyer since Randy Jones on March 28, 2008, against New Jersey.

Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen and Claude Giroux also scored for the Flyers, who improved to 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.

That streak coincides with Powe's return from a shoulder injury. In the month Powe was out, the Flyers went 3-12-1. Powe, who centers the third line with Arron Asham and James van Riemsdyk, has 8 goals and 11 points on the season.

"We talk about skating and speed, and he brings that element in a lot of different areas," said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. "He brings it on the forecheck, on the penalty kill, defensively he's solid. … Having Darroll back as well as Blair (Betts) is helpful in a lot of different areas."

In 11:46 of ice time -- including 2:03 on a penalty-kill unit that stopped all six Dallas power plays -- he had four shots, three hits, one takeaway, one blocked shot and won three of seven faceoffs.

"A guy like Darroll Powe, he's a role guy that you definitely miss when he's hurt," said Gagne. "He brings a lot of energy, plays well on the penalty kill, and that's the type of guy you like to have on your team."

Powe downplayed his role in the Flyers' recent surge.

"I just got back when the team started to get rolling," he said. "Everyone was starting to play the system pretty well. … It's an aggressive system, allows players to skate and that's what I like doing -- skating, getting in on the forecheck, hitting guys, that plays well into my game."

Steve Ott scored twice and James Neal added a goal for Dallas, which fell to 0-6-2 in their last eight road games. The Stars haven't won away from home since Dec. 11.

"We have to give ourselves a chance (and) we're not doing that lately on the road, we're shooting ourselves in the foot a lot," center Brad Richards said. "The League is a good League and when you're on the road it's a lot tougher when you do that. Chances are you're going to get burned."

The Flyers took a 1-0 lead on Hartnell's 11th goal of the season. With the Flyers on the power play, Carle's shot from the point hit Hartnell and dropped in front of the Dallas net. In the scramble, Hartnell chipped a backhand over a sprawling Dallas goalie Marty Turco at 6:08.

It's the 10th straight game the Flyers have scored the game's first goal.

The Stars tied the game 56 seconds into the second period. With a delayed penalty coming to the Flyers, Loui Eriksson tipped a puck at the Dallas blue line past Chris Pronger and started a 2-on-1 break with Neal, who beat Leighton for his 19th of the season.

The tie didn't last long as Powe's eighth of the season put the Flyers back on top. Turco stopped van Riemsdyk's wraparound attempt on the right post, but the rebound went to Powe on the left side of the net, and he put Philadelphia ahead 2-1 at 2:32.

Timonen made it 3-1 when he finished a shorthanded 3-on-1 break at 7:53, and the Flyers chased Turco with a pair of goals 59 seconds apart. After Brenden Morrow was sent off for high-sticking and unsportsmanlike conduct for whacking Leighton in the mask with his stick, Giroux banked a shot from the goal line off the skate of Dallas' Mark Fistric and into the net at 12:01 to make it 4-1. Laperriere one-timed a Powe pass for his third of the season at the 13-minute mark.

That spelled the end of Turco's night in favor of backup Alex Auld.

Gagne's first goal in six games made it 6-1 at 10:55 of the third when he finished a line rush with Mike Richards and Danny Briere.

Ott scored on a pair of rebounds in a 3:19 span to close the scoring. It snapped a six-game goal drought for Ott that was preceded by his other two-goal game this season, Dec. 29 against Chicago.

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