Vernon Fiddler scores winning goal, Stars beat Flyers 2-1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen finally solved the Flyers.
Lehtonen made 24 saves for his first career victory against Philadelphia, and Vernon Fiddler scored the winning goal late in the third period to lift Dallas Stars to a 2-1 victory over the Flyers.
Lehtonen improved to 1-10-3 against the Flyers.
”Some nights you get (the bounces) and some nights you don’t, and it seemed to be always the Philly night when pucks were bouncing in and not hitting me,” Lehtonen said. ”But tonight was different.”
Lehtonen’s best save may have come in the second period when he denied Jakub Voracek from point-blank range.
”It was really a nifty move,” Lehtonen said. ”My blocker was in the right spot. I didn’t have time to move or react. There were a couple of other chances Voracek had and I got a little lucky in a couple of them, so I have to be happy about that.”
Brett Ritchie also scored for the Stars, who won for just the fourth time in their last 38 trips to Philadelphia.
”There’s been a lot of different ways we’ve lost games and it was nice to find a way to win one,” Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said.
Luke Schenn scored for the free-falling Flyers, who lost their third straight to tumble further out of playoff contention. The loss snapped a six-game home point streak for Philadelphia, which lost at home in regulation for just the second time in 13 games.
It was another blow to the Flyers, whose slim playoff chances took a major hit over the weekend. It began with Saturday’s overtime loss to Boston when Philadelphia gave up the tying goal with 14.1 seconds left in regulation. That was followed by Sunday’s 5-2 defeat at New Jersey.
”There’s no desperation,” said Philadelphia goalie Steve Mason, who made 37 saves. ”It’s tough to come into a room after games like that where we needed a much better effort and it just wasn’t there. I’m embarrassed. I hope everybody else is embarrassed, too, to have any effort like that, at home.”
The Flyers began Tuesday in 11th place, seven points behind the Bruins for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.
Fiddler scored the game-winner with about 6 minutes left in the third period. Colton Sceviour centered a pass from the right boards and Fiddler redirected it past Mason from the goalie’s doorstep to give Dallas a 2-1 lead.
”It was just a good chip by (Sceviour),” Fiddler said. ”I just tried to get to the net, create some traffic, get my stick on the ice and lucky enough it went in the net.”
Schenn opened the scoring with a slap shot from the point that went over Lehtonen’s glove to put Philadelphia in front 1-0 just 1:13 into the contest.
Dallas evened it at 1 with 8:37 remaining in the period when Ritchie fired a wrist shot between Mason’s legs from the slot.
Tyler Seguin, among the league leaders with 31 goals, was playing in his second game after missing 10 due to a sprained knee. He scored two in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay but didn’t have a point against the Flyers.
Philadelphia’s recent struggles on the power play continued, as the Flyers went 0-for-3 on the man-advantage. The Flyers, who entered third in the NHL in power-play scoring (23.1 percent), have scored just once on their last 15 power-play opportunities.
Dallas began Tuesday trailing Winnipeg by 10 points for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
NOTES: Flyers C Vincent Lecavalier, a healthy scratch for seven of the last nine games, returned to the lineup while LW R.J. Umberger was a healthy scratch. Umberger has gone 18 games without a goal. … Stars D Jason Demers (sick) wasn’t in the lineup. … Flyers D Nicklas Grossmann (upper body) returned after missing four games. Grossmann took a puck to the face on a second-period shot by Antoine Roussel but remained in the game. . Ruff held C Cody Eakin out of the lineup due to a ”team discipline issue.”