NHL on NBCSN: Hot Stars, Flyers collide


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Philadelphia Flyers host the Dallas Stars at 7:30 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

The Dallas Stars entered the 2014-15 campaign with a lot of intrigue, but by the time they gained any traction the Stars had dug themselves into a hole that they ultimately couldn’t recover from. While the story this season has been much different, it will only matter if they can build off of their 4-1-0 start.

That task will continue tonight with Dallas visits Philadelphia.

Known first and foremost for its offense, Dallas certainly has lived up to expectations in that regard by scoring at least three goals in each of its first five games. Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Jason Spezza have naturally led the charge, but part of their early success can be attributed to the hot starts of Ales Hemsky (1G, 5A in five games), Mattias Janmark (2G, 2A), and Cody Eakin (3G, 1A).

Of course, the bigger question surrounding the Stars going into the season was how their goaltending tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi was going to shake out and while it’s too early to jump to any conclusions, they’ve certainly held their own thus far. It’s not clear which of them will start tonight, but if you want an interesting goaltender storyline, then the Flyers are the team to look at.

Steve Mason had a rough outing on Oct. 10 and couldn’t play on Oct. 12 for personal reasons. Michal Neuvirth started in his place and has gone on to post back-to-back shutouts.

The question now is if the Flyers should go back to Mason or continue to ride the hot hand in Neuvirth. Philadelphia is also scheduled to play on Wednesday against the Boston Bruins, so that has to be factored into coach Dave Hakstol’s decision.

Either way, the Flyers will be looking for more from Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, who have combined for just three points over the Flyers’ first four games. Philadelphia is 2-1-1 despite that sluggish start, but if the Flyers are to make the playoffs this season, that duo will need to step up. Perhaps that will happen tonight.

Update: The Flyers announced that Mason will get the nod tonight.