One week ago the Dallas Stars were three minutes away from putting an end to the Philadelphia Flyers’ winning streak when it was still at seven games. But thanks to a series of penalties late in the game and a Brayden Schenn hat trick they were unable to hold on, allowing Philadelphia’s winning streak to continue and eventually reach double digits.
On Saturday, the Stars were able to finish the job.
Thanks to goals from Radek Faksa, Adam Cracknell and an empty netter from Jordie Benn, as well as a 31-save effort from Antti Niemi, the Stars were 3-1 winners and picked up two much-needed points in the standings as they try to hang around in the Western Conference playoff race.
While the win is big for the Stars and only their fifth in the past 13 games, they certainly did not make it easy on themselves.
After Cracknell gave the Stars the lead 2:27 into the third period, the Flyers put together a massive push down the stretch that saw them record 14 of the game’s final 19 shots on goal. The Stars also nearly experienced a repeat of last week’s game when they had to kill off a late penalty when Benn was sent to the penalty box with three-and-a-half minutes to play for hooking.
They also had a close call with less than 10 minutes to play when Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov rang a shot that could have tied the game off the crossbar behind Niemi. It was one of two posts that Provorov hit on the day.
For the Flyers, it is their first loss since Nov. 25 and keeps them in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division, three points behind the first place Pittsburgh Penguins. They still have an eight-point lead over the Florida Panthers for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Stars, meanwhile, closed to within two points of the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames for a wild card spot in the Western Conference