The Flyers will roll into the American Airlines center tomorrow after noon to take on the the Dallas Stars. The matinee will start at 2:00 pm eastern time.This will be the fourth game for the orange and black on their current six game road trip. With a win tomorrow, the Flyers can improve to 3-1 on the trip.
The Flyers are coming off of a gutsy effort in Detroit on Wednesday night, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to eventually win 6-3 on the road vs the Red Wings. Sean Couturier had an incredible game, putting up four points (two goals and two assists), continuing his terrific play of late. Along with Couturier, the Flyers got goals from Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Steve Downie and Matt Read to secure the victory, improving the team to a 6-3-1 record over the last 10 games.
The Flyers will look to their power play for help in Dallas tomorrow after noon, as the Flyers' man advantage was responsible for 50% of the goals scored in mo-town. Dallas is in the middle of pack in the league in regards to penalty-killing (19th in the league), sporting a 80.5% efficiency when down a man. In addition, Philadelphia needs its third-line of Steve Downie, Matt Read and Couturier to continue its terrific play of late to help out offensively.
The Flyers are currently 5th in the Metropolitan division, two points out of a playoff spot currently held by the Rangers. With a win tomorrow (and losses by both the Rangers and the Hurricanes) the Flyers could leap frog two teams and place themselves into 3rd in the division. Not a bad position considering where the Flyers were a month and a bit ago in the standings.
On the flip side, the Stars will be pushing like heck tomorrow as they are in a dog fight in the wild Western Conference. They currently hold the 4th spot in the wildcard race (identical to Philadelphia) despite having 31 points and being four games over the .500 mark.
The new-look Stars will be a different team since the Flyers last saw them, as they have added many new faces. Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, Sergei Gonchar, Valeri Nichuskin, Dustin Jeffrey and Shawn Horcoff were all added in the off-season by new General Manager Jim Nill. The team is led by the dynamic duo of Seguin and captain Jamie Benn. They have 23 and 25 points respectively thus far, and are no doubt the anchors for the Stars up-front. Berube will look to match up his top pair of Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn against Dallas' two offensive juggernauts.
The Flyers will look to exploit the depleted Stars' defense, as top-four veteran blue-liners Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley are out long-term with respective injuries. Depth defender Aaron Rome is will also be absent with a lower-body injury.
In goal, it's expected that Kari Lehtonen will get the go for the Stars, as he has been their anchor all-season. Lehtonen, one of the league's most under-rated goal tenders, has a .926 save percentage this year in addition to sporting a 2.25 GAA.
His counter part is expected to be Steve Mason between the pipes for Philly in the Saturday matinee. There is no need to emphasize how good Mason has been this year, as every Flyers fan is quite aware of his early-season heroics.
On the injury front, Vincent Lecavalier will not be in the line-up for the third consecutive game. Lecavalier continues to deal with back-spasms. The Flyers' line-up is expected to be the same.
1. Does the third line (especially Coots) continue its dominance?
2. Are the Flyers able to expose Dallas' depleted defense?
3. How does Nicklas Grossmann look in his return to Dallas?
4. Does the power play dominate like last game?
5. Can Jay Rosehill do something positive for a change? (sorry, I had to, hehehe)