Dallas Stars

Most frustrating loss yet gives Flyers their first 4-game skid in October since 2014-15

Most frustrating loss yet gives Flyers their first 4-game skid in October since 2014-15

BOX SCORE

The Flyers have a slogan this season that reads "all or nothing."

The Flyers did nothing with prime opportunities in a prime chance to quell an early three-game skid.

That losing streak ballooned to four Saturday night as the Flyers lost to the Stars, 4-1, at the Wells Fargo Center.

Following some lengthy travel over a 20-day span (the team was in four different countries), the Flyers (2-3-1) scored 43 seconds into Saturday's home game and could have taken the life out of struggling Dallas, which entered 1-7-1. Instead, the Flyers fizzled despite holding the Stars to five shots over the final two periods.

The Flyers hadn't lost four straight games in October since the 2014-15 season, when they opened the year 0-2-2 (see story).

• The Flyers' first period was really disappointing for a few reasons and it changed the entire complexion of the game.

After the team jumped out to its lead in the opening minute, the Flyers went on the power play two seconds later but didn't capitalize.

Seven seconds after the Stars tied the game at the 13-minute mark, Dallas committed a silly tripping penalty behind the Flyers' net. It gave the Flyers another chance to regain momentum but the man advantage came up empty.

The Flyers ended up trailing, 2-1, at first intermission. They have three first-period goals through six games — that won't get it done.

• Last season, Carter Hart was pulled in his fifth career start. He went 11-3-1 with an NHL-high 488 saves, a 2.46 goals-against average and .930 save percentage over his next 15 starts before he was pulled again.

Hart was yanked Wednesday in Edmonton after allowing four goals on 14 shots.

On Saturday, he could have been much better. He allowed three goals on 15 shots and failed to deliver timely stops like we've seen him do in the past.

Dallas' first goal came on a nice play by Roope Hintz, who beat Matt Niskanen and then scored on his own rebound. The second goal, Esa Lindell snuck in front of Niskanen on the Stars' power play and redirected a pass by Hart.

Niskanen, who has been pretty darn good so far, was not on his game Saturday.

Hart allowed a killer goal 1:24 into the third period.

Ben Bishop made 38 saves to beat the Flyers.

• The Flyers' power play finished 0 for 4.

Ivan Provorov replaced Shayne Gostisbehere on the first unit. Gostisbehere is scoreless through the first six games and will have to earn back his role.

Dallas, which was 1 for 25 on the man advantage coming into the game, went 1 for 2.

• Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier gave the Flyers the loud start that ultimately led to nothing.

• If you recall, Wayne Simmonds fought Jamie Oleksiak last season in Pittsburgh.

Oleksiak is a big dude, standing at 6-foot-7, 255 pounds.

Chris Stewart challenged Oleksiak during the opening period as the Flyers had lost momentum and an early 1-0 lead.

It was a heavyweight bout.

• A note on prospect Joel Farabee, who is off to a fast start yet again. How long will he be in Lehigh Valley if he keeps scoring?

• The Flyers are off from practice Sunday before welcoming the Golden Knights Monday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Four of their next five games then come on the road.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers vs. Stars: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Stars: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers are happy to return home after some extensive travel over the span of 24 days.

They could also use a win following three straight losses on the road.

The Flyers (2-2-1) will look to jump back into the win column on Saturday when they host the Stars (1-7-1).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Could this be the game Shayne Gostisbehere gets going?

It could be for a few reasons.

Gostisbehere has four goals and seven points in seven career games against the Stars. The four goals are tied for his most against any NHL opponent.

Dallas entered Saturday with a minus-13 goal differential, tied for second worst in the league.

Gostisbehere, an offensive-minded defenseman, has gone scoreless through the first five games of the season for the first time in his career. He has eight shots over his last two games and the Flyers' power play was impressive in the team's first game at the Wells Fargo Center.

Look for him to strike Saturday.

I like his overall effort. I think he’s working extremely hard at both ends. I think offensively, he might be double clutching a little bit right now. But we’ve got a strong belief in him, he’s a good player. He’s coming in here with the right mindset. He’s a little bit like our team right now — we’re not quite there but we’re working and we’re going to get there with that work and that preparation.

- Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault on Gostisbehere

• Keep an eye on the Flyers' second line. Jakub Voracek is coming off a strong game, Oskar Lindblom has three goals in five contests and Kevin Hayes went scoreless over the three-game road trip, so the 27-year-old center is in a good spot to generate offense at home.

Prior to his three-point effort against the Oilers, Voracek had gone quietly on the score sheet. Following practice Friday, he opened up about his start.

• Last season, the Stars were one win away from making the Western Conference Final. This season, they're off to a rough start. Dallas is 1 for 25 on the power play and it has been outscored 17-7 on its current five-game losing streak.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Scott Laughton-Tyler Pitlick
Carsen Twarynski-Michael Raffl-Chris Stewart

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Shayne Gostisbehere-Robert Hagg

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers trade Ryan Hartman to Stars in exchange for Tyler Pitlick

Flyers trade Ryan Hartman to Stars in exchange for Tyler Pitlick

Well, Chuck Fletcher won't have to worry about re-signing Ryan Hartman.

That's because the Flyers' general manager traded the restricted free agent on Monday to the Stars in exchange for forward Tyler Pitlick.

"Tyler is a hard-working, versatile player who will bring speed, energy and a competitive edge to our team," Fletcher said in a release by the team.

Hartman, 24, was acquired at the Feb. 25 deadline in the Wayne Simmonds trade. The Flyers also received a 2020 fourth-round pick in that deal. Hartman, a 2013 first-round pick, scored six points (two goals, four assists) in 19 games with the Flyers. He was set to play winger on the third of fourth line in 2019-20. Fletcher last week did not rule out the chance of a prospect taking a third-line winger spot in training camp.

Pitlick, a 27-year-old who can play center or winger, is 6-foot-2, 201 pounds and appeared in only 47 games last season because of wrist surgery in February. He finished with 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in 2018-19. His best season came in 2017-18, when he scored 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 80 games with Dallas.

"I'm a physical, north-skating player," Pitlick said, via Flyers public relations. "I can score and make plays when I get the chance. I'm going to be physical and I'm going to create energy and compete as hard as I can."

Pitlick is on the final year of a three-year contract with a cap hit of $1 million. The move could help the Flyers slightly with the cap. There's a chance Hartman could have received more than $1 million on his new deal, and for more than one year. Pitlick will be off the books after 2019-20 if the Flyers decide they don't want to re-sign him. According to CapFriendly.com, the Flyers have a little over $17 million in cap space.

Fletcher still needs to handle four of the Flyers' remaining restricted free agents and figure out the team's backup goalie situation (see story).

In a span of 11 days, Fletcher has parted ways with Radko Gudas, Andrew MacDonald and Hartman, signed Kevin Hayes, traded for Matt Niskanen, Justin Braun and Pitlick, re-signed Travis Sanheim and drafted seven new Flyers prospects.

Busy times, indeed.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers