Flyers (38-25-13) at Stars (38-30-8)
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: American Airlines Arena
BROADCAST & STREAMING: NBCSP, NBCSports.com/live, 97.5 FM
KEY PLAYERS: With six regular-season games left and their playoff spot far from assured, the Flyers can’t afford any letdowns the rest of the way.
They will play a Dallas team that has lost eight straight (0-6-2) and probably needs to sweep the rest of its games to even have a slim shot at a Western Conference playoff berth. The Stars are six points out of a playoff spot with six games left.
According to spotsclubstats.com, the Stars have a 0.5 percent chance to make the playoffs, while the Flyers have an 87.4 percent chance. The Flyers hold the Eastern Conference’s top wild-card spot and are four points ahead of Florida, which has two games in hand and is trying to get into a playoff position.
Dallas, which was booed by its home fans at the end of Sunday’s 4-1 loss to lowly Vancouver, has a league-low 40 goals in 20 games since Feb. 11. That’s surprising because the Stars have dangerous scorers like Tyler Seguin (39 goals), Jamie Benn (28), and Alexander Radulov (26).
Those three players compose the top line. Shut down that unit and you pretty much shut down the Stars.
Captain Claude Giroux (26 goals, 65 assists) leads the Flyers and has seven assists over his last three games. Jake Voracek (80 points, 61 assists), Sean Couturier (31 goals, 71 points, plus-26), Wayne Simmonds (23 goals). and Travis Konecny, who has 16 of his 22 goals in the last 30 games, also key the offense.
The Flyers will announce their goalie after the morning skate. Michal Neuvirth, who hasn’t played since Feb. 18 because of an injury, may be ready to return. If he doesn’t get the nod, it will be either Petr Mrazek or Alex Lyon.
THINGS TO KNOW: After failing to score in his first 12 NHL games, Flyers left winger Oskar Lindblom has points in four of the last five games (two goals, two assists)…..Dallas has just five wins in its last 20 games (5-11-4)…..Benn has a goal in three of the last four games….Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen has allowed three goals or more in the last six games…The Flyers have killed 11 of 12 penalties over the last six games….Flyers center Scott Laughton (10 goals) is goal-less in his last 17 games….In their last five games (3-0-2), the Flyers have outscored their opponents, 22-17. Not exactly tight-checking, playoff-type hockey, eh?
HEAD TO HEAD: The Flyers are 1-0 vs. the Stars this season, scoring a 2-1 OT win Dec. 16 as Shayne Gostisbehere collected a pair of power-play goals. The Flyers lead the all-time series, 75-43-32.
UPCOMING FLYERS GAMES:
Wednesday: 10 p.m. at Colorado
Sunday: 12:30 p.m. vs. Boston
April 3: 7 p.m. at New York Islanders
April 5: 7 p.m. vs. Carolina
April 7: 3 p.m. vs. New York Rangers