Published February 05, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers hope to avoid a fifth straight setback to begin the season on Saturday night as they visit the streaking Dallas Stars.
Philadelphia is winless through four games to begin a season for the first time since going 0-3-1 in 2008-09. The Flyers lost their first two games of this season in regulation before suffering back-to-back shootout losses to Montreal and Anaheim.
The Flyers are inching closer to their worst start in franchise history, which came when they started 0-5-1 in 1999-2000. Philadelphia, though, ended up reaching the Eastern Conference finals that season.
Philadelphia lost a 4-3 decision to Anaheim on Tuesday as Steve Mason was bested in the fourth round on a wrister by the Ducks' William Karlsson.
Mark Streit, Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek tallied for the Flyers, who have dropped seven consecutive shootouts dating back to last season. Mason ended up making 25 stops in defeat.
It marks the Flyers' second straight slow start as they began last season 0-3-0 and with just one victory in their first eight games.
"It's a long season, we played four games, and all four games we could have won," said Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who picked up two assists. "Good teams find a way to get it done. Tonight the first period was kind of how we played in the third period against Montreal, and I think second and third we started playing the way we wanted. One day when we play 60 minutes we're going to have a win."
Philadelphia is in line to get a boost tonight with the probable return of defenseman Braydon Coburn. He has been out since suffering a lower-body injury in the season opener on Oct. 8, but returned to practice on Wednesday.
"It'll be huge. Coby's one of our best D," Simmonds told Philadelphia's website. "He eats up a lot of minutes for us. I think it will be huge boost if he does come back."
The Stars have rebounded from two straight losses to begin the season -- one in a shootout -- with consecutive wins. That includes Thursday's thrilling 3-2 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Dallas won it with 2.9 seconds to go as Tyler Seguin took a cross-ice feed from Jason Spezza and wristed home the winner on the power play.
Trailing 2-1 late in the third period, Spezza appeared to tie the game with 3:33 to go, but Seguin made contact with Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and the goal was called off.
The Stars took out their frustration with 2:57 left as Jamie Benn scored the tying goal by batting a loose puck in front of the net.
Antoine Roussel scored in the second stanza for the Stars, who snapped a six- game losing streak against the Penguins in Pittsburgh. Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves.
The Flyers have won seven of their last eight versus the Stars, but did have a three-game winning streak in Dallas snapped with a 5-1 loss on Dec. 7, 2013.