It may not have been their best effort of the season, but the Philadelphia Flyers picked up a much needed two points Thursday night against the Dallas Stars.
Steve Mason was splendid in net, making 33 saves. Mark Streit and Michael Raffl each scored once, and Wayne Simmonds scored twice to help the Flyers to a 4-2 win at the Wells Fargo Center. The win boosted the Flyers to a three-point cushion over the New York Rangers who did not play.
In a complete reversal of their last home game, it was the Flyers who scored two goals in the first period. The first came off the stick of Streit.
Claude Giroux won a faceoff at the left circle and Streit wound up and fired the puck when it arrived. It was Streit’s 9th goal of the season. Giroux earned the assist, which gave him points in five consecutive games.
Almost three minutes after Streit put the Flyers up by one, the orange and black were awarded a power play. Scott Hartnell almost scored, but could not settle the puck and his chance went off the outside of the post. The Flyers regained possession and Jakub Voracek fired a shot off the post, but the puck bounced right to the stick of Simmonds who scored. It was Simmonds’ 22nd of the year.
The Stars would answer in the second period with a goal from Jamie Benn, their captain. During a 5-on-3, Mason went post to post in less than a minute span to keep the Stars down by two. He made another great initial save on Benn, who sliced through the Flyers’ defense, but a second effort at the puck slid past Mason. Benn’s power play goal snapped the Flyers’ streak of 19 consecutive power plays killed.
The final period would prove to be one the most eventful. Simmonds scored off a shot from the right circle to put the Flyers up by two, but the Stars would answer 30 seconds later. A shot by Tyler Seguin went off the boards and bounced to the front of the net. Mason could not find the puck, and Jamie Benn tapped it home to make the score 3-2.
Michael Raffl gave the Flyers a two-goal cushion minutes later. Sean Couturier had the puck in neutral ice and spotted Raffl as he slipped by the Stars’ defense. Couturier swept the pass to Raffl who scored on the backhand.