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Instant Replay: Flyers 4, Stars 2

BOX SCORE

The Flyers have already seen their share of stars in recent days.

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center they saw the Dallas Stars and had their hands full once again with a Western Conference opponent, winning a tight one, 4-2.

Dallas made a strong second-period push, and while Flyers coach Craig Berube was looking for a push back in the third period, it was very late in arriving.

Wayne Simmonds’ second goal of the night (23rd overall) gave the Flyers a 3-1 lead at 12:21, as the Flyers were clinging to Steve Mason’s glove much of the second half of the game.

But Jamie Benn nailed his second goal soon after to make it a nail-biter before Sean Couturier’s pass found Michael Raffl on a breakaway and 4-2 cushion.

After a tepid start, the Flyers scored twice midway into the first period on Mark Streit’s ninth goal and Simmonds' first of the night.

Dallas dominated the second period and were it not for Mason’s acrobatics in the net, the damage could have been severe.

Dallas had 29 shots on Mason through the first 36 minutes of play.

Deadly dozen
This was Game No. 4. The Flyers are a perfect 4-0 with eight points over this critical 12-game stretch. They welcome Ken Hitchcock and his St. Louis Blues, the No. 1 team in the NHL, on Saturday to Wells Fargo Center.

Western record
The Flyers were 13-9-2 against the Western Conference before the game.

Penalties
The holding call on Simmonds late in the second period was bogus. It was Simmonds who got mugged -- not Aaron Rome. Even worse, Simmonds was hauled down out of the box on a rush to the net at the buzzer without a call.

Matchup
Sean Couturier drew Dallas’ Tyler Seguin.

Slow start
This game just didn’t have the same feel to it as Pittsburgh or Chicago, and obviously it’s not quite the same rivalry with the Stars. The Flyers' passing was a tad off at the start, hence a few offside calls 10 minutes into play. Also, they had no sustained shots on Stars goalie Tim Thomas.

Stretch pass
Andrew MacDonald got one off to Brayden Schenn in the first period, but he took it facing the wrong way and, hence, had no scoring chance.

Faceoff goal
Claude Giroux won a backhand draw against Cody Eakin directly to Streit. He one-timed the puck past the glove hand of Thomas at 10:23 of the first period.

30 goals
Streit’s marker represented the 30th goal by a Flyer defenseman this season.

Special teams
The Flyers were 1 for 2 on the power play, while the Stars were 1 for 3.

Power play
The Flyers made it 2-0 on their first power play at 13:21 of the opening period and Simmonds, standing at the doorstep, banged home Scott Hartnell’s shot from slot. Simmonds now has 13 power-play goals -- second in the NHL to Alex Ovechkin (20).

Shorthanded
Dallas had a great scoring chance in the final minute of the first period on a two-on-one, but Mason made the stop on Eakin.

New mask
Thomas’ white mask took a shot from Giroux in the first period. He had to switch to his black mask in the second period.

Penalty kill
Dallas' power-play goal in the second period halted the Flyers' successful penalty kills streak at 19.

Big saves
Dallas had a 31-second, five-on-three power play in the second period in which Mason went post to post to stop Alex Chaisson, then came back seconds later to deny Jamie Benn. Benn, however, scored five-on-four to make it a 2-1 game.

Milestone watch
Vinny Lecavalier came into the game needing two goals for 400 in his career. Also, he now needs just seven more games to hit 1,100 for his career.

Scratches
No changes. Defensemen Hal Gill and Erik Gustafsson; forward Jay Rosehill. All healthy.

Loose pucks
Matt Read missed almost seven minutes in the second period because of an equipment issue as Raffl took his spot on Couturier’s line with Steve Downie. … Derian Hatcher has seen Shayne Gostisbehere play and believes he is more than a year away from being ready for the NHL as good as he is even right now.