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Flyers-Stars: Game 32 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It was right at this time last year that the Flyers were working on a winning streak, just like they are now. Last year, the streak had reached double of what the Flyers are up to now, a five-game streak entering Saturday night.

The 10-game winning streak from a season ago, almost a year to the day, ended at the hands of the Dallas Stars in a road loss a week after the Flyers had scored a comeback win on home ice to keep the streak going. The Stars are in town again for another mid-December matchup as the Flyers look to keep streaking.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Dallas Stars GP G A P
Jake Voracek 31 7 31 38 Jamie Benn 32 13 16 29
Claude Giroux 31 13 21 34 Tyler Seguin 32 14 14 28
Sean Couturier 31 15 15 30 John Klingberg 32 4 23 27
Shayne Gostisbehere 28 4 18 22 Alexander Radulov 32 10 16 26
Wayne Simmonds 31 10 9 19 Radek Faksa 31 10 7 17
 
Player to Watch
28 Claude Giroux 91 Tyler Seguin
Last 5 Games: 2 G, 4 A, 6 P, +1 Last 5 Games: 0 G, 2 A, 2 P, -5
 
Claude Giroux's line has been at the center of the action for the Flyers all season. But in recent games, while Giroux has continued to put up numbers, he hasn't been the guy in the clutch. He set up Sean Couturier's game-winner on Tuesday. Jake Voracek has been all over the ice with assists of late, setting up more secondary scoring. Wayne Simmonds has gotten his numbers back into the neighborhood of where they usual are. Giroux has truly had the bounce-back season everyone was looking for. And after scoring the first goal of the game for the Flyers on Tuesday, look for him to be active in the closing moments of this one.
 
This last stretch of games for Tyler Seguin hasn't been great. While the Stars have a solid team, Seguin has just two assists in his last five games and was a minus-3 in Friday's 5-2 loss to the Devils. The one thing that makes him worth watching though: shots. In the last five games, Seguin has taken 24 shots, the most on the Stars, even without a goal. He had four more on Friday as well and as long as he keeps shooting, one of those chances will find the net. He's worth keeping an eye on throughout the game.
 
Goalie Matchup
37 Brian Elliott 30 Ben Bishop
11-6-6, 2.68 GAA, .913 SV% 13-9-0, 2.75 GAA, .909 SV%

Brian Elliott has really been the catalyst behind the Flyers winning streak. Elliott started eight of the 10 games on the Flyers losing streak, but the results really weren't on him. In the Flyers current winning streak, he's had to be the everyday guy with Michal Neuvirth out and has done a tremendous job just being a steady netminder. He's allowed just eight goals during the winning streak, making 142 saves (.947 save percentage) in that time.

It's primarily been Ben Bishop's net for the Stars this season, as this is Bishop's 24th game of the season to Kari Lehtonen's 12 appearances. But Bishop's been shaky lately and it's led to more starts for Lehtonen. Bishop's last start was last Saturday in a loss to the Vegas Golden Knights where he allowed four goals on 38 shots. He allowed three goals on 15 shots to Nashville in his start before that on Dec. 5. Since a personal four-game winning streak from Nov. 24 to Dec. 2, Bishop has lost both starts, making 46 saves on 53 shots, a .868 save percentage.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Injuries: Michal Neuvirth, Brandon Manning

Scratches: Mark Alt, Jori Lehtera

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 17 Wayne Simmonds
12 Michael Raffl 51 Valtteri Filppula 93 Jake Voracek
40 Jordan Weal 19 Nolan Patrick 22 Dale Weise
20 Taylor Leier 21 Scott Laughton 11 Travis Konecny
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 47 Andrew MacDonald  
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 8 Robert Hagg  
6 Travis Sanheim 3 Radko Gudas  
Goalie    
37 Brian Elliott    

Lineup Notes

Expect no changes to the Flyers lineup again with Alt and Lehtera being the scratches. Manning and Neuvirth remain out with injuries.

Stars Projected Lineup

Injuries: Marc Methot

Scratches: Jason Dickinson, Gemel Smith, Jamie Oleksiak

Left Wing Center Right Wing
40 Remi Elie 91 Tyler Seguin 17 Devin Shore
13 Mattias Janmark 90 Jason Spezza 47 Alexander Radulov
14 Jamie Benn 12 Radek Faksa 18 Tyler Pitlick
21 Antoine Roussel 10 Martin Hanzal 25 Brett Ritchie
Defense    
23 Esa Lindell 3 John Klingberg  
2 Dan Hamhuis 29 Greg Pateryn  
28 Stephen Johns 6 Julius Honka  
Goalie    
30 Ben Bishop    

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (16th, 28th at home), Stars (15th, 10th on road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-28th, 29th at home), Stars (16th, 21st on road) 
  • Recent History vs. Stars
    • Dec. 10, 2017 - Flyers 4, Stars 2 (in PHI)
    • Dec. 17, 2017 - Stars 3, Flyers 1 (in DAL)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Stars
    • Claude Giroux - 13 GP, 3 G, 8 A, 11 P
    • Valtteri Filppula - 29 GP, 4 G, 13 A, 17 P
    • Wayne Simmonds - 25 GP, 7 G, 7 A, 14 P
    • Brian Elliott - 13 GP, 7-5-0, 2.62 GAA

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

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