Thomas Expected in Goal Against Flyers Tonight

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 1:39 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Thomas Expected in Goal Against Flyers Tonight
Stars coach Lindy Ruff doesn\u2019t announce his starting goaltender, but it appears Tim Thomas will get the nod in net tonight as the Stars try to snap a three-game winless streak when they play at Philadelphia.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff doesn’t announce his starting goaltender, but it appears Tim Thomas will get the nod in net tonight as the Stars try to snap a three-game winless streak when they play at Philadelphia.

This could be a case of going with the guy who has a history of success against the Flyers over someone who has hasn’t had any.

Thomas is 14-4-2 against Philadelphia in his career with a 2.21 goals against average and .934 save percentage. Kari Lehtonen, on the other hand, is 0-10-2 in his career vs. the Flyers with a 3.50 goals against average and .891 save percentage.

Most of Thomas’ numbers against the Flyers came with Boston, but he did beat Philadelphia while playing for Florida this season, stopping 39 of 40 shots in a 3-1 victory back in November.

The Stars lineup at forward and defense should be pretty much the same as last game. Alex Chiasson is expected to play on the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, a move Ruff made during Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh.

The Stars enter tonight’s game two points behind Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 14 games remaining on their schedule, and they have one game in hand on the Coyotes, who play at home against Florida tonight.

The Stars have been outscored 14-3 over the last seven periods of regulation, including a 7-2 loss to Winnipeg and a 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh on the first two games of this road trip.

“I think our team has embraced every challenge it has had this year, and we are up against another one,” said Ruff. “We’ve put ourselves back in the middle of a heck of a race again. We’re right there, we’ve got games in hand and we just need to get to that next step again.

“Yesterday being a day off, I think our team should be energized. We are playing against a team that has really been going well. That’s our challenge. … We have to be ready right off the bat. We have to play that first 10 minutes at a higher tempo than we’ve been playing.”

The Flyers, who have won three straight and are 10-2-1 in their last 13 games, are in a battle for playoff positioning as well. They are in second place in the Metropolitan Division, but just three points up on the ninth place team in the Eastern Conference.

Steve Mason is expected to start in goal for Philadelphia.

Thursday’s game

Who: Dallas Stars at Philadelphia Flyers
Where: Wells Fargo Center
When: 6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinAlex Chiasson
Erik ColeCody EakinColton Sceviour
Antoine RousselVernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt
Ray Whitney – Chris Muller – Valeri Nichushkin

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Jordie BennBrenden Dillon
Kevin ConnautonSergei Gonchar

Tim Thomas
Kari Lehtonen

Flyers projected lineup

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
Vincent Lecavalier - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds
Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Steve Downie
Zac Rinaldo - Michael Raffl - Adam Hall

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Mark Streit - Nicklas Grossmann
Andrew MacDonald - Luke Schenn

Steve Mason
Ray Emery

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 76 47 21 8 218 183 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
11 DAL 75 36 29 10 232 240 82
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 75 27 44 -6 71
T. Seguin 65 33 34 -3 67
J. Spezza 75 16 40 -4 56
J. Klingberg 58 10 27 5 37
C. Eakin 71 17 17 -4 34
A. Goligoski 75 4 30 -1 34
T. Daley 61 16 17 -10 33
A. Hemsky 69 11 21 -7 32
S. Horcoff 71 11 17 7 28
V. Fiddler 73 12 14 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 33 15 10 .907 2.84
J. Enroth 14 26 2 .900 3.28
 
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