Flyers-Stars Preview

The Philadelphia Flyers are coming off their best scoring night

of the season, and it came during a game in which they piled up a

full period worth of penalty minutes.

Offensive consistency and keeping five skaters on the ice

couldn’t hurt when the Flyers go for their fourth win in five games

Saturday against a Dallas Stars team that has struggled at

home.

The Flyers’ penalty kill has been excellent lately, and it’s had

to be with 20 short-handed situations coming over the last four

games.

Philadelphia (13-13-2), among the league’s most penalized teams

with 117 power plays allowed, killed all but one of those previous

20 chances – and that goal came during a 5-on-3 situation in

Wednesday’s 6-3 win at Detroit.

Coach Craig Berube would like his team to do away with the

initial problem.

“Stay out of the penalty box,” Berube said he told his team

after five players were sent off in the second period.

The Flyers had scored seven goals in their previous four games

but got it together on the power play with a season-best 3-for-3

performance against the Red Wings.

A four-goal third period completed a comeback from a 3-1 deficit

midway through the second. Berube would prefer a quicker start

against a Stars squad with some young legs.

“They’re a very fast team, a young team,” Berube told the team’s

official website. “They have a lot of skill and play a very fast

game. They’re a lot like Detroit in that they’re a puck-possession

team that plays fast. We’re going to have to be really good

checking them without the puck and making sure that we’re skating

(with them).”

Against Detroit, Sean Couturier scored the go-ahead goal, added

an empty-netter and also had two assists.

“All four lines were rolling,” Couturier said. “We just wanted

to get some chances and capitalize on some chances.”

Ten of Couturier’s 14 points this season have come in the last

nine games. Through 28 contests, he’s already only a point shy of

matching last season’s total of 15 – which took him 46 games to

reach.

The offensive outburst came without center Vincent Lecavalier,

who has missed two games with back spasms and won’t play in Dallas.

Lecavalier wasn’t able to give it a test run Friday because

practice was canceled due to winter storm Cleon.

Saturday’s game is scheduled to go on as planned, and the Stars

(13-9-5) are eager to improve on their 1-2-4 home record since Oct.

26.

Dallas would also like to make up for leaving Toronto on

Thursday with only one point after losing 3-2 in overtime despite

outshooting the Maple Leafs 50-24. Prior to that, the Stars were

outshot 50-18 Tuesday in Chicago but won 4-3.

“It was two games that were the exact opposite on this road

trip,” team captain Jamie Benn told the team’s official website.

“You get dominated in one and you find a way to win. I think we did

an alright job tonight, but I think we could have done better in

the small details of the game.”

Leading goal scorer Tyler Seguin returned to the ice against

Toronto after a two-game absence due to concussion-like symptoms,

but injury issues persist for Dallas.

Ryan Garbutt did not play after taking a puck off his foot at

Chicago and is day-to-day, though he practiced Friday.

Defenseman Trevor Daley is out with a high ankle sprain after

being injured against the Leafs. Coupled with Stephane Robidas

landing on injured reserve last week with a broken leg, the Stars

are now without two top-six defensemen.

That won’t help Kari Lehtonen as he seeks his first win against

Philadelphia. The Stars goaltender is 0-10-2 against the Flyers

with a 3.50 goals-against average.

The Flyers have won six straight against Dallas, though the

teams haven’t met since Dec. 21, 2011.