Preview: Stars at Flyers
Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin has done his best to tune out the noise after both a sluggish start to the season and public criticism from the team's CEO. Fresh off his third two-goal performance in four outings, Seguin and the ascending Stars look to continue their hot streak on Thursday as the club wraps up a three-game road trip against the free-falling Philadelphia Flyers.
"I don't even want to talk about it. You call it puck luck, crossbars, all that stuff, it's part of the game," Seguin said. "I knew things were going to start going in and I didn't know when. I wanted to keep shooting. Right now, they're going in." The 26-year-old, who is tied with captain Jame Benn for the team lead in goals (17), also had an assist in Tuesday's 3-1 triumph over St. Louis to boost his point streak to six games (six goals, four assists). While Dallas' 5-1-1 mark since the holiday break has vaulted the club into third place in the Central Division, Philadelphia's doom-and-gloom season continued as the use of its NHL record-tying seventh goaltender (Mike McKenna) did little to alter its fortunes as it fell for the eighth straight time (0-6-2) following Tuesday's 5-3 loss to Washington. Rookie netminder Carter Hart will bid to snap a personal five-game winless skid (0-4-1) on Thursday, although he has turned aside 63 of 68 shots in his last two contests.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (Dallas), NBCS Philadelphia
ABOUT THE STARS (23-17-4): Improved special teams play is one of the primary reasons for Dallas' rise in the standings, as its ninth-ranked power play has scored a goal in six consecutive contests (6-for-15) while its eighth-ranked penalty kill is 27-for-32 in its last 11. "The power play is something we thought we needed to take to a new level," Seguin said. "We're growing with it every game, getting better every game. We want to keep that up." Alexander Radulov, who scored 40 seconds into overtime of a 3-2 win versus Philadelphia on March 27, set up a pair of goals on Tuesday to match Seguin with a club-best 25 assists and boost his point total to 10 (three goals, seven assists) in the past six contests.
ABOUT THE FLYERS (15-22-6): Philadelphia was once again done in by a porous performance in the second period, as it surrendered three goals against the Capitals and has been outscored 15-1 in the middle session during its losing skid. "The second period (on Tuesday), we just stopped skating," forward Jakub Voracek said. "You play 40 minutes, you're not going to win many games." Captain Claude Giroux scored that lone second-period goal in a 6-5 overtime loss to Tampa Bay on Dec. 27 and tallied again on Tuesday to move within one of Sean Couturier (15) for the team lead.
1. Philadelphia D Shayne Gostisbehere scored two power-play goals in a 2-1 win over Dallas on Dec. 16, 2017, and added two assists in the March encounter.
2. Stars G Anton Khudobin will get nod on Thursday after turning aside 85 of 86 shots in his last two starts.
3. The Flyers' minus-37 goal differential is the worst in the NHL.
PREDICTION: Stars 6, Flyers 1