The Philadelphia Flyers are skating their way toward the playoffs after being in last in the league at one point this season. Currently in second place in the Metropolitan Division and 13th overall in the league, the Flyers take on the Dallas Stars tonight in the Wells Fargo Center in the second game of a four-game homestand.
The Dallas Stars are currently in the middle of a slump as they have dropped three straight games. They lost 4-3 in a shootout against the Calgary Flames last Friday. The Winnipeg Jets handed the Stars a 7-2 beating on Sunday. The Stars' most recent game was against the Metropolitan Division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins and the Penguins won 5-1.
Considering the Flyers are on a roll as of recent, winning their last three games and six of their last eight, the Flyers are one of the last teams the Stars want to play right now. The Stars are in the middle of their own playoffs push as they are two points out of the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
The Stars are also slumping on the road as well. In their last five road games, they have gone 1-3-1. Playing on the road in Philadelphia is going to pose a tough challenge for the Stars because the Flyers are hot when playing at home. Earlier this season, the Flyers won 10 games in a row at home.
PLAYER TO WATCH — CLAUDE GIROUX
Claude Giroux is the perfect example of a player putting his team on his back. Giroux is averaging nearly two points per game for the month of March. He has put the puck in the back of the net five times and tallied nine assists in eight games. When the team needed him the most, Giroux pulled off the miracle in overtime on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks by scoring the winning goal with just seconds remaining on the clock. It was his only goal of the game, but he assisted an earlier goal.
Giroux is clearly a different player than what he was at the beginning of the season. It took until the 16th game of the season for Giroux to score his first goal, but now he is averaging a goal about every other game or two.
Giroux was silenced and held pointless by the Stars in their first meeting in January. However, in six career games against the Stars, Giroux has two goals and four assists.
Given his current four game point streak and the fact that he has been playing out of his mind since his Olympic snub 27 games ago (13 goals, 21 assists), look for Giroux to be on the point sheet again tonight.
From this point on until the end of the season, Giroux will always be a player to watch… and a player other teams will fear when he hits the ice.
For one of the few times this season, the Flyers have no injured players going into a game. The timing couldn't be any better. With 14 games remaining and being in the middle of a playoff push, the Flyers need everyone healthy. If everyone does stay healthy going into the playoffs, the Flyers could go deep this year and be a serious contender for the Stanley Cup.
The Stars will most likely be without center Shawn Horcoff as he is dealing with an upper body injury. The most obvious player to be out of tonight's game is center Rich Peverley and he will be out for the remainder of the year. Peverley collapsed on the bench during the Stars' game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. CPR was performed and a defibrillator had to be used after he was taken off of the bench. Prior to the start of the season, it was discovered that Peverley has an irregular heart beat and had underwent surgery to help correct it. Peverley underwent another surgery on Tuesday.
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