The Dallas Stars take on the Flyers this afternoon in Philly. Bet the over.
The Flyers have allowed the most goals against in the NHL with 90 against already this season. The Stars? Second most at 89. Stellar defending doesn't seem to be on the menu this afternoon, but where Dallas has faltered, the Flyers have soared, scoring 93 times already this season to the Stars' 72.
In other words, the Flyers are the Stars. From last year, at least on paper.
Dallas' newest bid to find their way to consecutive wins comes, alas, against a team that many say is the hottest in the NHL. Despite their, as Razor would say, "cadaverous defending," the Flyers have reeled off seven straight victories and are looking for number eight in this early start.
After a slow start at the Wells Fargo Center dropping four of their first give, the Flyers have excelled at home with a 8-2-2 mark. Philly's also eclipsed 40 shots on home ice five times already. And it's December. Early December.
So the Stars have to keep up. The Oilers tried to keep up Thursday night at Wells Fargo and appeared to be headed toward at least a point in overtime as the third period waned in a wild 5-5 game. Michael Raffl had different ideas as he scored with less than 90 seconds to go to give the home team a thrilling win, and even more momentum heading into this one.
Raffl is getting all the attention in Philly after moving up to the team's first line and scoring the big game-winner. From CSN Philly-
Juggling his lines in an attempt to find chemistry, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol moved Raffl up from the third line to the top line with Voracek and captain Claude Giroux on Nov. 27. Coincidentally, that was the start of this seven-game winning streak.
On Thursday night, Raffl showcased the reasoning behind the move to the top line, a spot he's familiar with, having played with Giroux and Voracek in seasons' past.
"He's good from coming off either way as he enters the zone," Hakstol said. "He's got the ability to take it to the net.
"Obviously at a critical time of the hockey game. But, that's Raffl when he's at his best. He's a power forward that can do those type of things offensively." [CSN Philly]
- Their lineup:
Like Klingberg, Gostisbehere must be feared, but also has had his ups and down.
Expect Steve Mason in goal. Matt Read and Sean Couturier are injured, but they don't seem to miss them.
For Dallas, more bad news and some good news. Julius Honka was placed retroactively on IR to Tuesday night. Patrick Sharp is back to skating but not practicing. Johnny Oduya will probably play a game this weekend. Jiri Hudler could be back as early as today, and practiced on a third line that contained Cody Eakin and Laura Korpikoski.
Jaosn Dickinson was sent back to the AHL. Kari Lehtonen, say what you will, is still looking pretty good coming off another good performance. Will he get to continue his play today? Either way, both goaltenders figure to get action this weekend.
On a personal note- I will be in Philadelphia for the game, American Airlines willing, so follow me on Twitter @bradgardnerdbd for observations and pictures of batteries that are thrown at my person.