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GAME RECAP: FLYERS 4, STARS 2

Flyers notch their 4th-straight win after a 4-2 victory at home vs. the Dallas Stars.

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 9:49 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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GAME RECAP: FLYERS 4, STARS 2
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PHILADELPHIA – It’s been awhile since Steve Mason had to steal a game for the Flyers.

Good thing he was up for the task Thursday.

In a game in which the Flyers may have got a little too comfortable after an early lead, Mason made 33 stops, several that rang 10 bells, and backstopped the Flyers to their fourth consecutive win – 4-3 over Dallas - on what was considered by many to the hockey schedule equivalent of the tilt-a-table game Labryinth.

A 12-game stretch filled with pitfalls, traps, and the treachery of some of the best teams in the NHL finds the Flyers 4-0 through the first four games.

It also finds the Flyers (37-25-7, 81 points) still in second place in the Metropolitan Division, and now with some breathing room as the playoffs seem ever closer. They have a three point lead over both the New York Rangers and Columbus, and have a five-point cushion over the Washington Capitals, who are the first team on the outside looking in to playoff positioning right now.

Mason was sensational in net, especially on a 5-on-3 power play by the Stars in the second period where he made consecutive eye-popping saves on Alex Chiasson and Jamie Benn, sliding with great quickness and agility from post to post both times to stop the puck from going in the net.

He even had a brilliant stop on Tyler Seguin on a mini-breakaway in the second period.

Yeah, he was good.

“He was unbelievable,” said Braydon Coburn. “He played great. He was a rock for us back there tonight. He’s been doing that a lot lately so it was good.

“A goalie can always be the difference. I thought Mason played great. They got some great chances and he was able to really shut the door on them and they were key saves at key times. Maybe the understated thing is that he made big saves at big parts of the game.”

The only scores he allowed was a power play tally by Benn that sneaked under him after a couple sprawling saves and another score by Benn off a strange carom off the end boards.

Otherwise, he was perfect.

Meanwhile, Wayne Simmonds continued his career-best season with a pair of goals, first jamming home the rebound of a Scott Hartnell shot on the power play, and later, netting the game-winner with a seed from the top of the slot that proved to be the game-winner.

“I think I’m playing more consistently,” Simmonds said. “My first year here I did get the 28 goals, but I think there were some lapses in the season where I’d probably go 15, 16 games. I think there was one time I went like 17 games without a goal, and I just try to make sure I play a more complete game and more consistently.”

But it was inconsistency that almost did in the Flyers Thursday as they grew a bit lackadaisical in the second period once they built a 2-0 advantage.

The Flyers celebrated Mark Streit's goal which opened the scoring for the Flyers. THe Flyers improved to 26-5-4 when scoring the first goal of the game.

After Mark Streit opened the scoring for the Flyers with a one-timer from the point off a clean faceoff win by Claude Giroux -who extended his point streak to five games and eight-out-of-nine – and Simmonds scored his power play marker, things started to get loosey-goosey for the Flyers.

That’s when Mason saved their bacon with his goaltending, but it was definitely a storm cloud on the horizon.  Sitting back like that can burn the Flyers against some of the upcoming opponents, beginning with the St. Louis Blues, who come into Philadelphia Saturday toting the best record in the NHL.

“Well I thought tonight wasn’t as good, for sure,” said coach Craig Berube. “We were sloppy tonight at times. But overall our team’s competing hard and working hard and playing like a team, and that’s what you’ve got to do.”

Nevertheless, Berube feels he still needs to reinforce this message to his team, despite the fact that it is 12-3-1 in its past 16 games.

“You’ve got to talk about them and show things and stay on them,” Berube said. “They know it wasn’t good enough tonight, but we won.  But really, it wasn’t good enough.” 

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTHeFlyers

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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