The Dallas Stars came up short yet again in their quest to win back-to-back games, falling to the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-2.
The Flyers extended their win streak to eight on the strength of three power play goals from Brayden Schenn, two of which came late in the third period.
“Obviously, their three power play goals were the difference,” said Stars rookie Devin Shore, adding “it’s unfortunate, because that’s something we touched upon before the game and our scouting report was right.”
“We knew we had to stay out of the penalty box,” said coach Lindy Ruff. “You take that last penalty and you put yourself in a bad place. We talked about it before the game, and if you’re going to be careless, it’ll cost you.”
Dallas paid in full Saturday afternoon. If they’re going to learn from their mistakes, they’ll have to learn fast, as they play in Chicago tomorrow evening.
After practice Friday, Ruff stressed the need to “do the right things early” in Saturday’s contest to ensure the Stars were fully engaged from the get-go. The team did just that, playing with a crispness not often seen in day games. The Stars’ efforts were rewarded when Devin Shore scored at the 7:30 mark of the period.
Surprisingly, it was the Flyers who looked rather lethargic early on, but Schenn notched his first goal of the game late in the period, redirecting a point shot from Jakub Voracek past Kari Lehtonen to tie the game at one. Shots on goal were 10-7 in Dallas’ favor in the opening period.
Dallas applied pressure early in the middle frame, with the Benn – Seguin – Spezza line drawing a penalty after a lengthy shift in the offensive zone. Despite good puck movement and several chances, however, they failed to find the back of the net. The Stars top line pressured the Flyers defense throughout the period, but couldn’t convert their chances into goals.
Near the mid-point of the period, Stephen Johns and Schenn squared off in the former’s first NHL fight. Johns more than held his own, landing a good uppercut or two before a mutual cease-fire was agreed upon.
The high point of the period from a Flyers perspective came shortly after the fistic exhibition, when the home team pinned the Stars’ Korpikoski – Eakin – Eaves line in their own zone for an extended shift that looked more like a power play than anything seen to that point. Dallas’ dogged defenders bent but didn’t break, and Eaves safely cleared the puck for a change.
With Seguin boxed for tripping, Kari Lehtonen made a huge stop late in the frame to keep the score even. Dallas led, 17-12, in shots after forty minutes.
Less than two minutes into the third period, Korpikoski was sent off for goalie interference. On the ensuing Flyers power play, Lehtonen made the save of the day.
beauty of a glove save by Lehtonen pic.twitter.com/DluVVwyG2h
— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 10, 2016
A few minutes after the Stars killed that penalty, Jamie Benn drew a holding call by driving to the Flyers net. After whiffing on his initial shot, Shore stuffed the puck in just after the power play expired for the first multi-goal game of his (brief) NHL career. Dallas led, 2-1, with just under 10 minutes left to play.
Penalty calls late in the period – calls which Ruff referred to as “light” – proved Dallas’ undoing. Jamie Oleksiak went to the box for cross-checking Jakub Voracek at 15:06, and Schenn tied the game just over a minute later. 57 seconds after the game was tied, Seguin was called for hi-sticking, and Schenn needed less than a minute to net his third goal of the day. It was the first Flyer hat trick allowed by the franchise since Brian Propp in 1988, and the fourth hat trick allowed by the Stars this season.
Voracek added an empty-net goal at 18:51 to put the game out of reach. With the 4-2 loss, the Stars fall to 11-12-6 on the season.
DAL – Devin Shore (3) assisted by Curtis McKenzie (3) and Adam Cracknell (2)
PHI – Brayden Schenn (5) (PPG) assisted by Jakub Voracek (19) and Shayne Gostisbehere (12)
DAL – Devin Shore (4) assisted by Antoine Roussel (11) and Dan Hamhuis (7)
PHI – Brayden Schenn (6) (PPG) assisted by Wayne Simmonds (12) and Jakub Voracek (20)
PHI – Brayden Schenn (7) (PPG) assisted by Jakub Voracek (21) and Mark Streit (11)
PHI – Jakub Voracek (11) (ENG) assisted by Claude Giroux (20)
THW Three Stars
First: Brayden Schenn (3 goals)
Second: Jakub Voracek (1 goal, 3 assists)
Third: Devin Shore (2 goals)
Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks
United Center – 6:00 p.m. CST on Sunday, December 11
Broadcast channels: FS-SW, CSN-CH
2016-17 Season Series: November 5 – Chicago 3 – Dallas 2
November 6 – Chicago 4 – Dallas 3 (OT)
Matt blogged about all things hockey at On Goal Analysis/The OGA Blogs from 2008-2014 and has written several travel articles for The Dallas Morning News. He began covering the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers for The Hockey Writers in August 2015. Matt is also writing a biography of “Tex” Rickard, the Texas cowboy who founded the New York Rangers and the Madison Square Garden Corporation.