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Make That 5 Losses in a Row as Flyers Are Defeated in Dallas, 4-1

(Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)

The Philadelphia Flyers have now lost 5 games in a row after being beaten handedly by the Central Division leading Dallas Stars, 4-1.

The Flyers were 1.3 seconds away from going into the first intermission tied at 0-0, but Jason Robertson scored his first of two goals with barely any time remaining on the clock. The Stars then added 3 more in the first half of the second period before Kevin Hayes snapped his 23-game goalless drought late in the period.

Jake Oettinger made 24 saves for a relatively easy victory, his 34th of the season. Carter Hart made 26 saves on 30 shots in his return from a 5-game absence with a few goals that maybe he’d like to have back – or at least talk to his defensemen about. The name of the game was special teams as well with the Flyers going 0/2 on the man advantage, while the Stars were a perfect 2/2.

Looking to snap their 4-game losing streak, the Philadelphia Flyers visited the Dallas Stars, who were trying to stake their own claim in the Central Division. The Flyers had to claw their way back yet again but their comeback attempt fell just short on Tuesday night in St. Louis. Acting head coach, Rocky Thompson, had some choice words for several unnamed players that their coasting and lackadaisical effort won’t go unnoticed by him, his coaching staff, or the players themselves. They made a few alterations to their lineup ahead of tonight’s game, including Tony DeAngelo being a healthy scratch.

Carter Hart returned after a 5-game absence with a lower-body injury, DeAngelo made way for Tanner Laczynski as the Flyers went back to a normal 12/6 formation, and John Tortorella returned behind the bench.

Owen Tippett was on the wing with Noah Cates and Travis Konecny, Kevin Hayes was bumped up with Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee, James van Riemsdyk remained on the third line but with Scott Laughton and Wade Allison, while Nicolas Deslauriers, Brendan Lemieux, and Laczynski completed the set. Ronnie Attard remained in the lineup and was slated next to Nick Seeler with DeAngelo in the press box.

As for the Dallas Stars, they entered tonight’s game in a 3-way battle for first place in the Central Division with the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild. The Avalanche held the tiebreaker for now with one less game played, while the Stars held the tiebreaker over the Wild. They are paced by Jason Robertson and his 43 goals, 58 assists, and 101 points coming into tonight, captain Jamie Benn has had a resurgent season and is second on the team with 73 points, Joe Pavelski has continued to age like fine with with his 72 points, Roope Hintz has 35 goals and 70 points, and Miro Heiskanen had more assists (57) entering tonight than any Flyer player had points (56, Travis Konecny). They also had Jake Oettinger starting the game with his 33-11-11 record, .917 SV%, and 2.47 GAA.


3:41 into the game, Miro Heiskanen was called for a cross-checking minor as he took down Noah Cates right in front of Jake Oettinger.

The 3rd-ranked penalty killing unit of the Stars made very easy work of the 32nd-ranked power play unit of the Flyers as they restricted them to one shot on goal, and it came in the dying seconds with no traffic in front whatsoever.

Quite literally, nothing happened until Jason Robertson was whistled down for an offensive zone interference penalty with 6:40 remaining in the period. The Flyers once again registered a single shot on goal that did nothing to impede or threaten Oettinger as the Stars survived the early threat.

With 1:09 remaining in the first period, Rasmus Ristolainen was guilty of a tripping minor, sending the 7th-best Dallas power play onto the ice against their 24th-ranked penalty kill unit. With 1.3 seconds left, Jason Robertson scored his 44th goal of the season to send the Stars into the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.

The Flyers did a very good job in the first 68 seconds of the man advantage as they pressured the Stars and kept them away from the puck for the most part.

Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton tried to work their shorthanded magic but weren’t able to get a shot on goal amidst a few attempts.

With very little time remaining and with only one defenseman back, Tyler Seguin and the Stars stripped Konecny, who tried to make a play along the boards instead of dumping it behind himself and around the Stars net. Seguin fed the puck up to Robertson with 4 seconds left, he skated down the middle of the ice with speed and fired a shot that was blocked by Nick Seeler, but he corralled his own rebound before going roof on Carter Hart.

The Stars ended up outshooting the Flyers 8-7 by the end of the period but both teams did very well defensively and had it not been for the late turnover in the offensive zone, it would’ve been a 0-0 tie. The Stars scored their 81st first period goal, which was good for 3rd in the NHL and held a +25 goal differential after the first period, also good for 5th in the league.


50 seconds into the second period, the Flyers were caught with an extra skater on the ice as they handed the Stars another power play. It only took the Stars 14 seconds to take a 2-0 lead after Miro Heiskanen’s point blast was re-directed by both Jamie Benn and then Joe Pavelski in front of the net for his 26th of the season at the 1:04 mark of the period.

There was a mass of bodies in front of Carter Hart right off the faceoff and as he made a save on Pavelski’s crease-shot, the rebound went all the way to the point to Heiskanen, who cocked his slap-shot from a mile away before finding Benn’s stick first before it then deflected off the tip of Pavelski’s tape for their 2nd goal in 1:05 of actual game time.

With 11:07 remaining in the second period, Colin Miller walked right into the slot and ripped a wrist shot that got through Ivan Provorov and then past Hart’s blocker for a commanding 3-0 lead.

The Flyers were camped in the offensive zone but were unable to station themselves to create any scoring chances. Kevin Hayes’ pass to Morgan Frost was lost in the sauce and the Stars grabbed the puck and jettisoned out of the zone.

Wyatt Johnston corralled the puck in the neutral zone, passed it to Evgenii Dadonov who entered the offensive zone, before dropping a pass to Miller with time and space for his 6th of the season.

Provorov kind of just stood there, stuck in no man’s land, and stuck his stick out hoping to block the shot.

Then 2:02 later, Jason Robertson scored his second goal of the game after the Flyers misplayed the puck behind their own net for a 4-0 lead.

Carter Hart tried passing the puck to an unsuspecting Provorov, as he fumbled with the pass, Pavelski came in barreling with speed and forced the turnover. As he stripped Provorov of the puck, he quickly sent a pass to Robertson who was all alone in the slot for his 45th of the season. The assist represented Pavelski’s 999th career NHL point.

With 6:44 remaining in the middle frame, Kevin Hayes finally snapped his 23-game goalless drought after he converted on a strong forechecking shift for his 18th of the season.

Rasmus Ristolainen won 2 battles in the neutral zone before dumping the puck deep into Dallas territory before Owen Tippett raced behind the net to corral the puck. Ryan Suter and Jani Hakanpaa clearly had some miscommunication because neither one of them went for the puck, which allowed Tippett to split the sea and locate Hayes at the side of the net for the easy finish.

The Flyers finally looked to have located their skating legs after the goal and had a few ten-bell opportunities, but Oettinger was up to the task and sent the Flyers back into the locker room down 4-1.


James van Riemsdyk and Luke Glendening dropped the gloves with 10:32 remaining in regulation after the latter delivered a hard check on Scott Laughton that the former took exception to.

Even though the gloves were dropped and punches were thrown, the referees took it down as roughing minors instead.

Almost identical to the first period, nothing of actual substance took place in the third period. The Flyers didn’t give up by any means but the Stars were parking the bus, clogging the neutral zone, and effectively stopping anything of danger before it even came to pass.

Both the Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars took 7 shots apiece in the final frame, but Jake Oettinger made easy work of the Flyers to earn his 34th victory of the season, and Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski earned their stripes tonight with 2-point efforts as the Stars got their 99th and 100th points of the season and currently sit in first place with the Colorado Avalanche’s late night affair still in action.


The Flyers close out their road trip on Saturday night (7:30pm ET, NBCSP) on Long Island when they take on the New York Islanders at UBS Arena.

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