The Dallas Stars have an all-time record of winning three consecutive games, but their chances of beating the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round of the playoffs are looking slim.
Injuries have kept star winger Patrick Sharp from playing this postseason, and the Stars are playing a heavy defensive game against a Flyers team that has been better on the power play than on the penalty kill.
Sharp is tied for the NHL lead in goals with four and he’s scored four goals in the past four games.
He’s been a major factor in the team’s success in the first round.
“I just think we’re playing the right way, but it’s going to be up to us,” Sharp said.
“We’re playing a very physical game and we’re trying to do a good job with our puck management, and I think our power play has been pretty good as well.”
Sharp, who leads the league in average time on ice (21:21) and points (19) is the Stars’ most consistent scorer on the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
He was fourth on the team with 11 power-play goals and has three goals and five points in the playoffs.
Seguins goal in Game 1 was a highlight.
It came at 8:09 of the first period and it tied the game at 3-3.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he’s been impressed with Sharp and that Benn is getting more minutes.
Ruff said Benn has played a lot of minutes this postseason and has shown that he can score when he needs to score.
“He’s played some really big minutes and has had some really good nights,” Ruff said.
“(Sharp) is a big part of that.
I’m excited to see what he does when he gets the opportunity to play in a big game like that.”
He can score big goals and he has the ability to do that. “
Patrick has scored big goals.
He can score big goals and he has the ability to do that.
He has that ability to make plays.
But Jamie has scored a lot, too, too.
Jamie is getting the most time and playing in big games and we’ll see what happens.”
Sharp had four assists in the series opener and was on a team-high seven shots in the opening period of Game 2.
He had seven goals and 11 points in six playoff games.
Ruff didn’t say if he’s used Benn more in his first postseason game than in the last.
“No comment on that,” Ruff responded.
The Stars are 8-4-1 in their past 10 playoff games, including 5-3-0 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
They are tied for third in the Western Conference with 51 points.
“You look at what Patrick’s doing.
He does a lot,” Ruff joked.
“And he’s going through some adversity, too.”
Benn was not a factor in Game 2, scoring one goal and two points in 11:30 of play.
The Flyers outshot the Stars 26-20 and took a 2-0 lead into the third period.
“It’s a tough matchup,” Ruff told the Dallas Morning News.
“But we know we have a chance.
We have a lot to play for.
We’re playing well defensively.
We don’t have to play as hard as we used to.”
The Flyers have lost four straight to the Stars.
In the last meeting, the Stars scored three goals in overtime to advance to Game 3 on home ice.
The second game will be played in Philadelphia.
The Rangers play the Kings on Friday.
The teams meet in the third round on Saturday night.
The winner of the game will advance to the second and final round.
The Dallas-Philadelphia series is the first of five meetings this series.
The series will conclude on Monday night at Staples Center.
The game is televised on Sportsnet, and it will be streamed live on the NHL website and NHL GameCentre Live.
It will be the third and final meeting between the Stars and Flyers.
Stars forward Patrik Nemeth has played in the Flyers’ last two games, scoring two goals and four points.
Antoine Roussel had seven assists in that series.
He also scored in the Game 1 win.