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game recap

Stars clinch playoff berth with win against Flyers

Radulov has two goals, four points, Khudobin makes 32 saves for Dallas

by Jeff Miller / Correspondent

Radulov's top-shelf PPG

PHI@DAL: Radulov flips backhander past Talbot for PPG

Alexander Radulov receives a pass from Tyler Seguin and makes a slick move to the backhand before going top-shelf to net a power-play goal

  • 01:13 •

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2016 with a 6-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at American Airlines Center on Tuesday.

Alexander Radulov had two goals and two assists for the Stars (42-31-7), who hold the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. They are three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and three points behind the St. Louis Blues for third place in the Central Division.

Dallas needed one point to clinch after going 3-0-1 on a four-game road trip.


[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Stars highlights]


"Nice to get it done and get it clinched here at home in front of our fans," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "We've put in a lot of hard work. We grinded all year to put ourselves in a good position. Now we've done that."

Jason Dickinson and Esa Lindell each had a goal and an assist, and Anton Khudobin made 32 saves for Dallas.

"We've played our most consistent hockey here in the last two months," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "You can start to see the offensive part has been coming really in the last six weeks."

Oskar Lindblom and Shayne Gostisbehere scored for the Flyers (37-35-8), who have lost three straight and are 1-5-0 in their past six games. They were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday. Cam Talbot made 24 saves.

"It's kind of embarrassing to go out and lose 6-2 in this kind of game," Lindblom said.

Radulov has 29 goals this season, two more than his previous NHL career high. The four points matched his NHL career high (Feb. 27, 2017, at the New Jersey Devils), and he has a four-game goal streak.

Video: PHI@DAL: Comeau, Radulov score 10 seconds apart

"I had that stretch before where I couldn't score for, I don't know what, 10 games, 11 games. And that was frustrating," Radulov said. "You can't let it happen to you, put yourself down. You just have to work hard and go through it."

Dallas scored on its first two shots on Talbot, who made his third start since being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 15 and his second in the past three games. 

Radulov gave Dallas a 3-2 lead when he scored with a backhand on the power play at 16:39. Tyler Pitlick, playing his second game after missing the previous 30 with a wrist injury, scored on a one-timer at 18:40 for a 4-2 lead. It was his first goal since Dec. 29.

Blake Comeau scored on the rush at 9:33 of the third period to extend the lead to 5-2, and Radulov scored on a wrist shot 10 seconds later, at 9:43, for the 6-2 final.

Dickinson scored 1:34 into the first period on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle for a 1-0 lead, his first goal since Dec. 3 to end a 38-game drought. Lindell scored on a deflection between his legs at the left side of the crease on the power play for a 2-0 lead at 4:14.

Video: PHI@DAL: Lindell goes between the legs on deflection

"When you're always chasing, it's tough," Gostisbehere said. "You're going to get more tired, so I think, for us, it's bearing down a little bit and getting better starts."

Lindblom scored on a rebound at 1:13 of the second period to pull the Flyers within 2-1, and Gostisbehere tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal at 11:33 on a slap shot from the point.

Mats Zuccarello had an assist in his home debut, playing his first game since Feb. 24. He sustained a broken arm in his first game for Dallas after being acquired in a trade from the New York Rangers on Feb. 23.

"The best passer on our team," Montgomery said of Zuccarello.

Zuccarello and Stars forward Andrew Cogliano left the game late in the third period, each with an upper-body injury. Montgomery called both moves precautionary.


They said it

"We take stupid penalties and get in the box, and they score. That's things we can't get rid of." -- Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom

"The fun stuff's going to be next week. That's what we all play for." -- Stars captain Jamie Benn

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Stars clinch a playoff spot


Need to know

Flyers forward Claude Giroux, with an assist on Gostisbehere's goal, has 21 points (four goals, 17 assists) in his past 19 games. … The six goals equaled Dallas' high this season, the first time since Nov. 23. … Stars forward Tyler Seguin had two assists and has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past eight games. 


What's next

Flyers: At the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW+, NBCSP+, NHL.TV)

Stars: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

Video: Radulov, Stars defeat Flyers to clinch playoff berth

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