Game 5 Preview: Flyers look to start turnaround in Dallas


The Flyers open a three-game road trip in Dallas in search of their first win of the season against the Stars. (Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)

Four games into the season, the Flyers are still in search of their first win. Progress takes many forms. It was definitely seen in their last two games against the Canadiens and Ducks, despite losses in both games in the shootout.

After three days off from game action, the Flyers return to the ice, this time in Dallas to face the Stars in the first of a three-game road trip.

The opening face-off is set for 8 p.m. from American Airlines Arena.

After two regulation losses to open the season, the Flyers have fallen twice via the shootout this week.

It's been hard to fault both goaltenders for the early-season woes. Steve Mason, who suffered the loss on Tuesday, will be between the pipes for the Flyers on Saturday. He has an 0-2-1 record with a 3.30 GAA and .884 save percentage.

A bulk of the offense has come from Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds added a goal on Tuesday for five total through four games. He remains the only Flyer with more than one goal this season entering Saturday. His seven points also lead the team. 

It was announced early Saturday that the Flyers would be without Braydon Coburn and Jason Akeson for Saturday's game. Coburn is still not ready to return from a foot injury, but it appears likely that he will play next Tuesday in Chicago.

Inserted into the Flyers lineup again is Blair Jones and making his season debut will be Chris VandeVelde. VandeVelde had two goals in the Phantoms season-opener before getting the call following Tuesday's loss to the Ducks.

The Stars, 2-1-1 on the season, are coming off a dramatic win against the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this week. Tyler Seguin scored the game-winning goal with three seconds remaining.

Seguin has put together a strong start to his season, scoring four goals in four games. Jamie Benn has also started strong, scoring two goals and adding three assists for a team-leading five points.

Jason Spezza and Antoine Roussel are also among the Stars scoring threats at forward.

Dallas also has some offensive defensemen in the lineup. Trevor Daley has the only goal for a defensemen this season and also two assists. Alex Goligoski has three assists.

In goal, the Stars will start Kari Lehtonen. Lehtonen is 2-0-1 this season with a 1.95 GAA and .933 save percentage. However, in his career against the Flyers, Lehtonen is 0-10-2 with a 3.50 GAA.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (4th, T-18th on road), Stars (16th, 16th at home) 
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (12th, T-27th on road), Stars (23rd, T-16th at home) 
  • The Flyers re 72-39-32-0 all-time against the Stars franchise. Last season, the Flyers split the two games against the Stars. The Flyers lost, 5-1, on Dec. 7 in Dallas, with Andrej Meszaros scoring the lone goal for the Flyers. Tyler Seguin recorded a natural hat trick in the win for Dallas as the Stars scored three goals in 1:02. The Flyers won, 4-2, on March 20 in Philadelphia, as Mark Streit, Wayne Simmonds and Michael Raffl scored for the Flyers. Steve Mason also made 33 saves in the win.
  • Milestone Watch: Luke Schenn needs two points to reach 100 for his career. R.J. Umberger needs three assists for 200 in his career. Jake Voracek needs six points for 300 in his career.

Flyers scratches: Braydon Coburn, Jason Akeson, Vincent Lecavalier

Flyers Projected Lineup

Line 1: Brayden Schenn-Claude Giroux-Jake Voracek
Line 2: Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Wayne Simmonds
Line 3: Michael Raffl-R.J. Umberger-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Line 4: Blair Jones-Chris VandeVelde-Zac Rinaldo 

D-Pair 1: Andrew MacDonald-Nick Schultz
D-Pair 2: Nick Grossmann-Mark Streit
D-Pair 3: Michael Del Zotto-Luke Schenn

Goalie: Steve Mason

Where to Watch

Radio: 93.3 WMMR

Kevin Durso is the lead beat writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

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