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’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 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 51 25 19 7 113 121 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 53 28 31 15 59
T. Seguin 53 28 28 10 56
J. Klingberg 53 8 35 14 43
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 53 16 24 -1 40
C. Eakin 53 10 13 1 23
A. Goligoski 53 3 20 17 23
M. Janmark 53 10 9 13 19
A. Roussel 51 8 10 5 18
V. Nichushkin 50 6 12 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 13 5 0 .907 2.82
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