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Stars-Flyers Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Philadelphia Flyers at Dallas Stars

Saturday October 18, 2014
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (2-1-1) are coming off a 3-2 win in Pittsburgh on Thursday. After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Stars scored once in the second and then twice in the final three minutes of regulation to complete a 2-1-0 road trip.

“We had to deal with some adversity inside the game, got off to a tough start,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “But I think if you’re going to win games on the road, at times you’re going to play bad periods. That ability to come back and win games when you’re down, especially on the road, is a big deal. I think we fought through and got the win.”

The Stars play their next two and seven of their next ten games at American Airlines Center. They are hoping to make the AAC a tough place to play for opponents.

“It’s huge. The really good teams are just beasts at home. They lose a handful of games at home every year,” said Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski. “It’s really hard to go into those buildings and win. I think that is our next step here.”

Stars forwards Vernon Fiddler (maintenance day) and Erik Cole (illness) did not practice on Friday. Forward Curtis McKenzie could make his NHL debut Saturday.

Injuries: RW Valeri Nichushkin (groin/hip) and D Sergei Gonchar (ankle) are out. C Rich Peverley (heart) is on long-term injured reserve.

About the Flyers

The Flyers (0-2-2) last played Tuesday, when they lost 4-3 in a shootout to Anaheim in Philadelphia. The Flyers overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in the game but saw their season-opening winless streak hit four games.

“We played a solid game all game pretty much,” Flyers coach Craig Berube said. “We made a couple of mistakes, and they capitalized. The third goal is a mistake that can't be made. But other than that the guys played hard and did a lot of good stuff. In the end we don't win, [so] obviously it wasn't good enough, and we know that. But there were a lot of good things to build off of. We're going to go practice and get better.”

Saturday’s game kicks off a stretch of three straight on the road for the Flyers, who will travel to Dallas, Chicago and Pittsburgh.

“Anytime you go on the road with the team for a couple days it gets the team closer,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux told the team’s official site. “Obviously we’re looking for our first win and we’re starting to feel good about our game and how we’re playing. Things are slowly picking up right now.”

Philadelphia defenseman Braydon Coburn, who has yet to play this season due to a lower body injury, is expected to play Saturday in Dallas.

Injuries: D Braydon Coburn (lower body) is probable. C Vincent Lecavalier (foot) is out. Kimmo Timonen (blood clot), C Ryan White (pectoral) and D Chris Pronger (post-concussion syndrome) are on long-term injured reserve.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Flyers this season.

*The Stars were 1-1-0 (2 points) vs. the Flyers last season.

*The Flyers were 1-1-0 (2 points) vs. the Stars last season.

*The Stars are 39-71-33 all-time vs. Philadelphia.

Statistical tidbits

*The Flyers are winless in their first four games for the first time since 2008 (0-3-1).

*The Flyers have been outscored 12-6 during five-on-five play in their first four games.

*The Stars have outscored their opponents 7-4 during five-on-five play in their first four games.

*The Flyers are 5-17 (29.4 percent) on the power play.

*The Stars are 2-12 (16.7 percent) on the power play.

*The Flyers are 9-10 (90.0 percent) on the penalty kill.

*The Stars are 12-16 (75.0 percent on the penalty kill.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 0-10-2 in his career vs. Philadelphia with a 3.50 goals against average and .891 save percentage.

*Flyers goaltender Steve Mason is 5-4-1 in his career vs. Dallas with a 2.53 goals against average and .913 save percentage.

*Jamie Benn leads the Stars with 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists).

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars with 4 goals.

*Wayne Simmonds leads the Flyers in goals (5) and points (7).

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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