What Happened: Stars have had issues getting off to quick starts this season, but Michael Ryder remedied that when he scored just 56 seconds into the first period. The Stars kept the pace up but the young star Claude Giroux, in his first game back from a concussion, scored his 17th goal of the season eight minutes later. The Flyers took control of the game and a penalty from Vernon Fiddler led to a power play goal by Wayne Simmonds to put the Flyers up 2-1. They would take the lead into the second period, and despite two power play opportunities to end the first, and to start the second, the Stars could not get the equalizer. The Flyers fought off the Dallas power plays, and turned around to score their own power play goal from Jaromir Jagr to put the Flyers up 3-1. While there were no more goals for the rest of the frame, the game became a chippy affair, with nine combined penalties between the teams, including two ten minute misconducts handed out to Adam Burish and Brenden Morrow. The troubles continued into the third period, with the Stars letting in a break away goal when they were caught on the change courtesy of Andrej Meszaros, putting the Flyers up 4-1. The Stars got another power play opportunity twelve minutes into the final frame, but were unable to score. The game would end without any more goals, putting the final at 4-1.
What It Means: A hot start means nothing unless you can keep up the momentum, or bounce back from getting down. The Stars showed versus the Ducks that this team is capable of bouncing back, but the Ducks are not the Flyers. Giroux lit up the Stars tonight, in his first game back after sustaining a concussion. Philly is a first place team for a reason. They bounced back from Ryder’s goal in the first minute, and took the lead and never let up. Emotions ran high during the numerous scrums that plagued the second period, and the two misconducts handed out to Burish and Morrow hurt the Stars. Starting a third period down two goals with your Captain stuck in the box for the first chunk of the frame is no way to start a come back. Dallas has been historically bad against Philadelphia, even more so in the Laviolette era, and the trend just continued tonight. It’s imperative that the Stars put this game away and get ready for the next tilt.
What’s Next: The Stars look to bounce back from tonight’s loss in the next game on their holiday home stand on Friday, December 23rd, versus the Nashville Predators.
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