PHILADELPHIA — Roope Hintz, Esa Lindell and Corey Perry all scored to help the Dallas Stars snap a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
Ben Bishop stopped 38 shots to help the slow-starting Stars improve to just 2-7-1. The Stars only took 16 shots against a listless Flyers team playing their first home game in 10 days.
The Stars took only one shot in the second period and added two goals in the third. Miro Heiskanen added an empty-netter.
Dallas made the most of its attempts for a rare dose of good news for a team trying to make the playoffs for the second straight season. The Stars appeared well-positioned for a run at the division title and the top seed in the West. Instead, only Minnesota had scored fewer points in the Western Conference headed into Saturday night.
The Stars scored two straight goals in the first period to start the trend of fantastic goal-to-shot efficiency. Hintz scored his sixth of the season when he stuck the puck through defenceman Matt Niskanen’s skate. Lindell got his first of the season on a slapper from the circle.
Perry sealed it when he scored on a backhander in the third for the 3-1 lead. Perry is on a one-year contract after a buyout in Anaheim, where he played his first 14 years.
The Flyers could have brought along the Griswalds on a crazy road trip to start the season. The Flyers played a final preseason game in Switzerland and opened the season with a win over Chicago in the Czech Republic before they returned to Philly for the Oct. 9 home opener. The Flyers then headed to Western Canada for three games in five days. The Flyers went 0-2-1 for one point out of a possible six in Canada and played four of the first five games in four time zones.
Carter Hart grew up near Edmonton and had a happy homecoming planned for the final game of the trip when the Flyers played the Oilers. He allowed four goals on 14 shots before he was yanked in one of the worst starts of his brief career. Against Dallas, he allowed three goals on just 15 shots.
The Flyers got a quick boost back on home ice when Sean Couturier beat Bishop only 43 seconds into the game for his second goal of the season.
There was an old school hockey fight in the first period between Flyers winger Chris Stewart and Stars defenceman Jamie Oleksiak. They were each hit with 5-minute major penalties. Oleksiak lost his helmet in the scrap and went to the locker room with a bloodied nose.
The Flyers host the Golden Knights on Monday.
Dallas returns home Monday to play Ottawa.
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Dan Gelston, The Associated Press