Last Saturday’s matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Dallas Stars was headlined by a Brayden Schenn hat trick and win number eight of the win streak. Steve Mason was called upon once again, starting his fourteenth game out of the last sixteen. Dallas was also without forward Cody Eakin, who is serving the first of a four-game suspension handed down after laying out Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
The Flyers came into today’s game looking to improve their all time record of 5-7-3 when playing in Dallas. With Jamie Benn on the fourth line and Antoine Roussel on the first line, coach Lindy Ruff decided to shake up the Stars’ lines after a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the New York Rangers on Thursday.
The Flyers started off the first few minutes of the game like any good hockey team does: by being pinned in their own zone. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Shayne Gostisbehere had the team’s first quality scoring chance at 15:25 of the first period. Claude Giroux also wanted to showcase his lacrosse skills by knocking the puck out of mid air above his head not once, but twice.
Claude Giroux attempting to make himself 7 feet tall, knocking down this puck. pic.twitter.com/zSJcDRKQzq— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 17, 2016
Emotion from last weekend’s match up could also be seen spilling over into the first period. After a shot by defensemen Stephan Johns, Curtis McKenzie was shoved in front of Steve Mason starting a small scrum.
Jake Voracek also showcased his ability to preform a spinning poke-check.
Check out this spinning poke check, by a Czech. pic.twitter.com/1EE8F9xRME— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 17, 2016
Scoring was not plentiful in the first period, but 2012 fourth-round draft pick Taylor Leier officially entered the goal-scoring column in the NHL by picking up the rebound from a Nick Cousins shot.
Brandon Manning and Jason Spezza dropped the gloves at the start of the second period. It was the first fight since 2009 for Spezza, who previously fought against the Flyers in the now infamous Flyers-Senators brawl in 2004 against now teammate Patrick Sharp.
Brandon Manning V Jason Spezza pic.twitter.com/OtPQC2M4aF— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 17, 2016
Roman Lyubimov assisted Steve Mason in a save, by knocking the puck out mid air. Lyubimov is proving himself worthy of being an NHL regular game in and game out.
Roman Lyubimov assists Steve Mason in a save pic.twitter.com/A0RRkLseev— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 17, 2016
Sloppy play was the story of this game, as a turnover by Andrew MacDonald, a missed assignment by Michael Raffl, and bad rebound control by Mason led to Stars first goal of the game.
Bad turnover from Andrew MacDonald leads to a Stars goal pic.twitter.com/yF0aH3pgh6— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 17, 2016
Not only were the Flyers not playing up to snuff, someone might want to help out or friendly referee buddies and Francois St. Laurent on their basic math skills. How many skaters do you count on the ice when the Flyers are touching the puck in this next clip?
Someone should really help out our striped shirt wearing friends with their basic math. pic.twitter.com/Uvv5sKGAnm— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 17, 2016
If you counted five, well, congratulations, you’ve passed first grade! Not only did was there a questionable call there, later in the period Brayden Schenn had his stick slashed out of his hands. But after coming back from a TV break, our striped friends decided the play was offside and recalled the Stars penalty.
Ref: Flyers PP— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 17, 2016
2 min later...
Ref: Yeah nevermind lmao pic.twitter.com/NVsR89hHwi
Ivan Provorov has been cementing his spot as one of the best defensemen in Philadelphia of late, looking very solid on both end of the ice. He is creating chances in the offensive zone while holding down the fort in his own zone. While he is only 19 years of age, Provorov made himself look like an NHL veteran with this fantastic shift:
Fantastic shift by Ivan Provorov.. we could get used to this pic.twitter.com/VzwGtgLZ7Z— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 17, 2016
With the ten-game winning streak on the line the Flyers came into a third period that was could have been anybody’s game. It was tied at one until Adam Cracknell had something to say about that. Cracknell, a free agent pickup by the Stars, pounced on a rebound from John Klingberg to put Dallas up by one.
So about those powerplays... pic.twitter.com/to9nZTAnHx— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 17, 2016
With around 10:00 remaining in the third the Flyers’ winning streak was in real jeopardy, Roman Lyubimov was sat on the bench in favor of double shifting Jake Voracek with the VandeVelde-Bellemare line. Ivan Provorov came within inches of typing the game going bar-down, only to hit the post.
The Flyers continued to press, however, they could not maintain possession in the Dallas zone. Sloppy play, the theme of the game, continued when Tyler Seguin made his was alone into the Flyers zone, but ended up slipping and falling on his breakaway.
Finally, with 2:55 remaining in the third period the Flyers received their first power play of the game as Jordie Benn went to the box for tripping. With this golden opportunity to continue this Cinderella story of a win streak the Flyers did what any good ol’ Philadelphia team would do: waste the entire power play. The Stars were too much for the Flyers PP to handle, and after another Provorov shot rang right off the post, Jordie Benn secured the Stars’ win with the empty-net goal.
Oh well, it had to happen sometime but can we take a moment to reflect on this winning streak? This 10-game streak was the longest by an NHL team this season, as well as the Flyers’ longest winning streak since 1985.
Looking to start a new winning streak, the Flyers will be back in action at home Monday against former head coach Peter Laviolette and the Nashville Predators.