PHILADELPHIA, Pa- With three wins in the books, the Philadelphia Flyers looked to continue their winning streak against the struggling Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
The Stars have not played in Philadelphia in over three years. Second and last meeting of the season, the Stars took the first win against the Flyers on December 7th in Dallas 5-1. Tyler Seguin led the Stars into victory with a hattrick and an assist tallying 4 points. Former Flyers Andrej Meszaros registered the only goal for the orange and black.
After taking a seat on the bench Tuesday night, Steven Mason returned to his office coming up big for the Flyers with Tim Thomas at the other end.
Defenseman Mark Streit was first on the score board for the orange and black giving them a 1-0 lead half way in the first period. With the power play advantage, Wayne Simmonds netted in the second goal of the game furthering the lead 2-0 at the end of the first period.
With big chances in the second period, the Flyers had trouble producing. Zac Rinaldo was sentenced to the penalty box after hooking Ryan Garbutt and less than a minute later Michael Raffl took a seat next to Rinaldo after tripping Colton Sceviour. Dallas received 31 seconds of 5 on 3 hockey. Steve Mason blocked multiple shots during the 5 on 3 penalty kill sending fans on their feet chanting “Mason” as the first penalty expired. As soon as the first penalty was over, the Jamie Benn of the Stars scored his 28th goal of the season getting the Stars on the board. Before the horn sounded ending the period, Simmonds had a wrap around opportunity that was not successful
Later in the third period Simmonds lit the lamp for his second goal of the night. A standing ovation took over Wells Fargo Center just before Jamie Benn scored his second goal of the night less than a minute later leaving the score 3-2. Flyers were all over the ice during the third period leaving Mason out to dry. Michael Raffl snapped his scoreless game streak with his 9th goal of the season. Flyers won against the Stars 4-2.
If it weren’t for Steve Mason’s big saves, the outcome of the game could have been different. “Unbelievable. He played great, he was a rock for us back there,” Braydon Coburn stated regarding Mason’s game “He’s been doing that a lot lately. They got some great chances and he shut the door on them. And they were key saves at key times. That’s maybe understated. He made big saves at big parts of the game.”
Flyers Head Coach Craig Berube was not happy with the sloppy game played by his players “Well I thought tonight wasn’t as good, for sure,” he said. “We were sloppy tonight at times. But overall our team’s competing hard and working hard and playing like a team, and that’s what you’ve got to do.” He continued “You’ve got to talk about them and show things and stay on them,” said Berube. “They know it wasn’t good enough tonight, but we won. But really, it wasn’t good enough.”
Losing their fourth consecutive game, Stars Head Coach Lindy Rusk said “The team played hard. We missed some point blank opportunities and there are probably a couple our goaltender would like back, but if we play like that night after night, we’ll win.” As for goaltender Tim Thomas, the loss was nothing but a disappointment “I really feel bad for the guys with the game that they played,” he said. “Sometimes that is hockey, but I can guarantee that I am going to be better for the guys moving forward from here.” Thomas had 31 saves on 35 shots.
Acquired by the Flyers from the Los Angeles Kings for former Captain Mike Richards in 2011, Wayne Simmonds has not been a disappointment for the Philadelphia Flyers Organization. With 23 goals and 29 assist this season, Simmonds is just five goals shy of creating a new career high. In the last five games the right winger has had 4 goals and 2 assists.
“I think I’m playing more consistently,” he said. “My first year here I did get the 28 goals, but I think there were some lapses in the season where I’d probably go 15, 16 games. I think there was one time I went like 17 games without a goal, and I just try to make sure I play a more complete game and more consistently.”
After collapsing on the bench on March 10th against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars Center Rich Perverley underwent heart surgery Tuesday to correct an abnormal heart rhythm. The surgery was successful according to the Dallas Stars organization. The Dallas Stars medical staff performed a cardiac event that included a defibrillator finding success after one attempt after carrying the center-man into the tunnel during the first period. Perverley was diagnosed with irregular heart beat after having an abnormal EKG during training camp in September where he was prescribed to medication. Prior to the incident, doctors change Perverley’s medication due to him not feeling well causing him to sit out of a game just a week before collapsing.
Dallas Stars Head Coach Lindy Ruff released a statement regarding Perverley’s condition “First thing Rich asked me when I spoke to him- ‘how much time left in the period’. You know, typical athlete” he continued “He’s going to be OK,” Coach Ruff said. “The care he’s getting and the care going forward is the most important thing.” Perverley will not return to the ice for the rest of the season and his hockey career remains uncertain at this time. The NHL suspended the game after the incident with the Blue Jackets leading 1-0, the game will resume April 9th in Dallas.
Coming off a 4-0 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night, the St. Louis Blues head to Philadelphia for the first meeting this season. The Blues currently hold the best NHL record in the 2013-2014 with 101 points. With only 13 games left in the season, the Flyers seek to extend their game winning streak Saturday afternoon against the Blues, puck drop at 1pm.