Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Dallas Stars

Stars hope to salvage win against Flyers to end skid

Dallas continues to search for a solution to its early season woes, aiming to halt five-game losing streak

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer
Stars (1-7-1) at Flyers (2-2-1)

6 p.m., Wells Fargo Center

TV: FOX Sports Southwest, ESPN+

Radio: The Ticket 1310-AM, 96.7-FM

 

PHILADELPHIA -- On the good side, once this road trip ends tonight, the Stars will play six of their next seven at home over a span of three weeks.

They will have a more manageable schedule with more days for practice and the chance to fix what is wrong.

 

[GAME DAY GUIDE: How to watch, live stream Stars vs. Flyers]

 

On the bad side, they will be in a very big hole to start out with. Dallas is 1-7-1, tied for the worst start in franchise history. If they lose this game, they will have three standings points in the first 10 games. That would mean that to reach the 90 points that Colorado had last season as the second wild-card team, they would need to play .604 hockey for the rest of the year.

That's not impossible, but it is a great feat -- and it would only get them in the conversation for what could be the final playoff spot.

So they need to start winning, and tonight would be a good place to start.

Video: Montgomery: 'Not enough urgency' for Stars in loss

The Flyers started the year playing in Europe, which is the reason they only have five games right now. They're returning after a three-game swing through Western Canada and are coming off a 6-3 loss in Edmonton Wednesday, so they are looking forward to some time at home.

Despite all of the travel, they are doing good things with puck possession, as they are second in the NHL in shot differential at plus-7.6. They rank second in fewest shots against per game at 28.0 and fourth in most shots on goal at 35.6.

Dallas ranks 28th in shots on goal at 27.6, so it could be another challenge for the Stars to create possession time in the offensive zone.

Dallas ranks last in the NHL in goals per game at 1.89, 27th in goal differential at minus-1.33, and 25th in save percentage at .888.

 

What to watch

Basically, the biggest watch will be trying to read body language and emotion in a desperate situation.

The Stars were frustrated after a 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh Friday. Goalie Anton Khudobin said the team needs to get angry, and coach Jim Montgomery said they needed to show more passion.

Video: Frustrations mounting for Seguin, Stars on road trip

"You can't drive passion into people," Montgomery said. "You can try everything, you can try motivational tactics, but it's got to come from within. Ultimately, if there is a puck between you and I, I'd bite your leg off to get it. And that's the attitude you've got to have."

Also watch Flyers winger Tyler Pitlick, who played for the Stars the past two seasons.

 

Bishop expected to start in net

The Stars played in Pittsburgh Friday and didn't have a morning skate Saturday, so we'll learn if there are any lineup changes in the afternoon.

 

[MORE COVERAGE: Khudobin says Stars 'not angry enough' after loss to Penguins]

 

Ben Bishop is expected to be in goal. He has a 2-2-1 record in his career against the Flyers with a 2.66 GAA and .904 save percentage.

 

By the numbers

 

886

That's the number of games played for Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen, who was drafted by the Stars in the first round in 2005. Niskanen has 326 points (65 goals, 261 assists) and is plus-97 in his career. In 14 career games against Dallas, Niskanen has six points (one goal, five assists) and is minus-4

 

19

Since joining the Stars in 2013, Tyler Seguin has 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) in 12 games against the Flyers.

 

37

That's the amount of saves rookie Flyers goalie Carter Hart had against the Stars in taking a 2-1 win in Philadelphia Jan. 10. Hart, 21, has a .974 save percentage against Dallas in his career (that one game).

 

He said it

"It's kind of nice to get home and get into a routine here. … It's good to be back on the East Coast for a while. We're not going back and forth, from Europe to the West Coast and all over, so it will be nice to be on the East Coast for a while.″

-- Flyers goalie Carter Hart on getting back home after a hectic schedule to open the season

 

Stars projected lineup

Jason Dickinson - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov

Jamie Benn - Roope Hintz - Corey Perry

Mattias Janmark - Radek Faksa - Joe Pavelski

Andrew Cogliano - Justin Dowling - Denis Gurianov

Esa Lindell - Miro Heiskanen

Andrej Sekera - John Klingberg

Jamie Oleksiak - Taylor Fedun

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: C Rhett Gardner, D Joel Hanley.

Injuries: LW Blake Comeau (lower body), D Roman Polak (sternum), D Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches), C Martin Hanzal (back).

 

Flyers projected lineup

Claude Giroux - Sean Couturier - Travis Konecny

Oskar Lindblom - Kevin Hayes - Jakub Voracek

James van Riemsdyk - Scott Laughton - Tyler Pitlick

Carsen Twarynski - Michael Raffl - Chris Stewart

Ivan Provorov - Matt Niskanen 

Travis Sanheim - Justin Braun

Shayne Gostisbehere - Robert Hagg

Carter Hart

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Samuel Morin

Injured: Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder)

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.

View More