The Dallas Stars soldier in Philadelphia tonight after more of the same in Tampa Bay. They led after two periods. They had more shots. They scored four times.
And they lost the game. Somehow.
Kari Lehtonen started in Florida and was pulled. Jhonas Enroth finished strong there but then was lit up for four against the Lightning on 27 shots (plus the empty-netter). Expectation says they'll swing back to Kari Lehtonen as Lindy Ruff looks for one of his guys ignite.
Who really knows, however?
The points weren't the only thing they lost on Saturday night, of course. Alreday without Trevor Daley, John Klingberg went down with a lower-body injury and could not play in the third period. After two days off and a practice on Monday it appears that he could be a player Tuesday.
Jamie Oleksiak was re-called and the Stars have eight d-men on the roster.
No word on line combinations from practice, or how Tyler Seguin's knee reacted after a full game. He scored twice on the wing Saturday night and looked like had a little rust- Seguin-rust. Not regular human being rust.
Val Nichushkin skated with the team but is not near a return.
Philadelphia had an exciting opportunity this weekend, finding themselves just seconds away from being only two points out of the East's final playoff spot. Instead, when it was all said and done, they wound up seven points back with only 15 games to play.
They gave the puck away; they failed to clear; they allowed a shorthanded goal.
And, God bless them, after all of that, they insisted that they should be better than their record.
This was Game No. 67.
They are their record.
They are 28-26-13; 24th in the league on the road. They are unable to limit mistakes; unable to finish games; unable to play with discipline and energy for more than 40 minutes a night. And their latest chance to salvage something from the bizarreness of 2014-15 breathed its final breath at the Prudential Center last night. [Philly.com]
That's about the Flyers, not the Stars. Just in case.
They're probably not going to make the playoffs- But that doesn't mean they can't win a game like this. In the last two weeks they've beat the Predators, Blues, Capitals, Rangers, and took those hot Flames to overtime. There's real compete there.
They have points in 16 of their last 20 games and their beat writers are pronouncing them dead, but who wouldn't take a run like that? The problem was that they were 18-22-7 when that run started, and it was too little too late, though they've played well for months now.
Philly took Monday off after a tough weekend, and this will be their third in four games. "We probably have to run the table," Wayne Simmonds told media- "Win every game, and get some help."
The Stars have to avoid being that help. They need a miracle themselves.
From Stars PR:
TIME FOR ME TO FLY
The Dallas Stars travel to Philadelphia to meet the Flyers for the second and final time of the 2014-15 season. In their meeting earlier this season at American Airlines Center, the Flyers won 6-5 in overtime behind Claude Giroux's game-winning goal. Both Jason Spezza (1-3=4) and Tyler Seguin (0-4=4) recorded season-highs in scoring, while Trevor Daley chipped in with two goals (2-0=2). In their only meeting at Wells Fargo Center last season, the Flyers won 4-2 on March 20, 2014. Dallas is looking to snap a four-game road losing streak (0-4-0) to Philadelphia, where the team hasn't recorded a win since the 2007-08 season.