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game recap

Stars end Flyers' winning streak at 10

Adam Cracknell scores tiebreaker in third period to hand Philadelphia first loss since Nov. 25

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars ended the Philadelphia Flyers' 10-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory at American Airlines Center on Saturday. 

Adam Cracknell scored the game-winning goal early in the third period and Antti Niemi made 31 saves for the Stars (13-14-6).

 

WATCH: All Flyers vs. Stars highlights

 

The Flyers (19-11-3) lost for the first time since Nov. 25 against the New York Rangers.

"That's a tough team to beat," Stars forward Jason Spezza said. "We hope that can kind of help us springboard things."

Taylor Leier scored his first NHL goal at 16:44 of the first period on a rebound to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead. Nick Cousins took the initial shot before Leier beat Stars defenseman John Klingberg to the rebound.

Video: PHI@DAL: Leier beats Niemi for first NHL goal

"It was nice to get the guys out to a lead quick," Leier said. "It was too bad we couldn't hold onto it because the team has been playing exceptional the last handful of games. It didn't work out today."

Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov nearly tied the game at 3-3 when his wrist shot at 10:08 of the third period hit the crossbar.

Philadelphia's potent power play (23.5 percent before Saturday) had one opportunity in the game when Jordie Benn was called for hooking with 2:58 remaining. 

"It's huge at the end. I think that was a good penalty for Jordie to take. They were pushing hard and you never know if it could have stopped a goal," Cracknell said. "Our penalty kill was up to the challenge."

Dallas killed the penalty and Benn scored into the empty net with 18 seconds remaining to make it 3-1.

Flyers goalie Steve Mason made 25 saves.

Video: PHI@DAL: Jo. Benn scores on the Flyers' empty net

 

Goal of the game

Cracknell gave Dallas a 2-1 lead at 2:27 of the third period on a rebound after a point shot by Klingberg for his fourth goal of the season. "We created a lot chances off rebounds," Cracknell said. "If we keep putting pucks on net, and it's so cliché, but they're going to keep going in. We have to be there and keep going there to get pucks through."

Video: PHI@DAL: Cracknell nets rebound to put Stars ahead

 

Save of the game

Niemi made a pad save on Flyers center Claude Giroux with 1:48 remaining in the second period when it was still a 1-1 game. 

Video: PHI@DAL: Niemi turns Giroux's tipped shot away

 

Highlight of the game

Stars forward Radek Faksa tied it 1-1 when he scored his fourth goal of the season 4:48 into the second period on a rebound. "He's just become a big part of the team and big part of what we're trying to get done. The kill was great," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "(He) got the goal and they got it the hard way. It's not an easy game out there. You've got to get to the net; if you don't get there, you don't create the traffic."

Video: PHI@DAL: Faksa buries Roussel's rebound from the slot

 

Unsung performance of the game

The Stars committed one minor penalty on Saturday, exactly one week after they allowed three-power play goals in a 4-2 loss at Philadelphia.

"Lot of discipline talk before the game and between the periods. We still knew they were probably going to get one (power play) in the game," Stars forward Tyler Seguin said. "But to keep that team to one (power play), that's what won us the game tonight."

 

They said it 

"We've played well and not had results. Tonight was a matter of we were ugly and effective and found a way to get a win. [Cracknell] scored the huge goal for us and we bunkered down and blocked shots. (We) killed a penalty late. We talked about it the other night, the sentimental wins don't go very far." -- Stars forward Jason Spezza

 

"I don't know if I learned anything through the streak. I think it was just a continuation by our group showing up and working hard together. I said it all along, I don't think anyone has been too focused on any of the extra-curricular stuff. It's been about the two points every night, and that's what I was concerned with tonight and I think our guys will be as well. Two points that were available going into the third period, and we came up short." -- Flyers coach Dave Hakstol  

 

Need to know

Stars forward Cody Eakin served the first of his four-game suspension for charging New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist on Thursday.

 

What's next 

Flyers: Host the Nashville Predators on Monday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, CSN-PH, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Stars: Host the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Stars end Flyers' streak with 3-1 win

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