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Stars welcome Flyers for Saturday matinee

by Adam Kimelman

FLYERS (13-13-2) at STARS (13-9-5)


Last 10: Philadelphia 6-3-1; Dallas 5-2-3

Season series: It's the first of two games between the Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars, and the first time they'll face off since Dec. 21, 2011, when the Flyers won 4-1 in Dallas. The Flyers have won six in a row against the Stars, dating to Nov. 24, 2008.

Big story: Each team will be missing key players. The Stars are down two key defensemen with Trevor Daley out indefinitely after sustaining a lower-body injury Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They were already without Stephane Robidas, who has a broken leg that will sideline him 4-6 months.

The Flyers will be without second-line center Vincent Lecavalier for a third straight game due to back spasms. Lecavalier is tied for the team lead with nine goals, and the Flyers are 2-4-0 in the six games that Lecavalier has missed this season.

Team Scope:

Flyers: Philadelphia hasn't played Dallas in more than two years, but they Flyers have already had a rough go of it in the Lone Star State. First they had a bumpy flight into Dallas on Thursday, which goalie Steve Mason recounted on his blog on the team website.

"Our flight started out OK, but by the landing we hit a good amount of turbulence that shook the plane pretty good," Mason wrote. "We were expecting a winter storm here in Dallas and the boys were holding onto the seats a little tighter than normal coming in … but we landed and everyone had smiles on their faces afterwards.

"I guess as much as we fly you're bound to go through some bad weather and the occasional turbulence, but that was some pretty bad stuff [Thursday]."

To make matters worse, a storm that blanketed the region with a half-inch of ice knocked out power at the rink where they were scheduled to skate, so the team was forced to scrap its on-ice workout. Coach Craig Berube said the new plan was for a workout and a meeting at the hotel and an early night of sleep for the 2 p.m. ET start Saturday.

Stars: There was a fair bit of good and bad for Dallas in its game Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The good was getting forward Tyler Seguin back after he missed two games with a concussion. Seguin leads the team with 12 goals and is second with 23 points.

The bad was the loss of Daley, who was placed on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury believed to be a sprained ankle after he fell awkwardly into the boards.

"He's got an injury that looks like it's going to be a little bit of time," coach Lindy Ruff told the Stars website. Daley has five points in 27 games, is second on the team with 45 blocked shots and is averaging 19:38 of ice time.

The Stars outshot the Maple Leafs 50-24, one game after allowing 50 shots against the Chicago Blackhawks, but had to settle for one point in the 3-2 overtime loss.

Who's hot: Since being put together as a line, Flyers forwards Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Steve Downie have combined for 12 goals, 17 assists and a plus-28 rating in 12 games. … Stars rookie forward Valeri Nichushkin has three points in his past two games after going five without a point.

Injury report: Lecavalier is the Flyers' only injured player. … In addition to Robidas and Daley, Stars defenseman Aaron Rome (lower body) is out. Forward Ryan Garbutt (lower body) is questionable.

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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