Flyers top Dallas in 3-1 home victory

By JAY BOEHMER
Senior Hockey Insider — jboehmer@highhopesblog.com
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Andrej Meszaros celebrates his first period goal as the Flyers top the Stars 3-1 (Courtesy Philly.com)

Facing a tough Western team, the Flyers stepped up to the challenge, held down the fort defensively, and turned up the offense when they had to in order to walk away with this 3-1 home win.

 

The Flyers started the game by shutting down the Stars, swarming puck carriers, forcing turnovers, and taking away opportunities. This ability to stifle the Dallas offense seemingly at will – with the Flyers’ defense controlling the flow of the game – was the key factor in their victory.

Late in the first, the Flyers’ broke through on the scoreboard as Andrej Meszaros put a wrist shot past Kari Lehtonen for the lead.

Darroll Powe followed it up with a shorthanded goal to kick off the second period, his first goal in 34 games and the first shorthanded goal of his career.

Having the ability to add to the score from the fourth line makes this Flyers team all the more deadly.

“It’s nice for the fourth line guys to chip in offensively. It might give the team a boost,” Powe said. “Our line has been playing well the last few games so it is nice to get rewarded for it.”

A two goal lead established, the Flyers continued to focus on defense, and held the Stars off well. But eventually every team is going to break through with some opportunities, and the Stars found their share as the game went on.

It took a stellar effort from the Flyers defenders to keep pucks away, blocking 24 shots.

But for 30 of the 31 shots that found the net, Brian Boucher had the answer.

“[Boucher] looked really good tonight,” said Peter Laviolette. “He was in control of everything.”

After holding off a bit of a second period surge, the Flyers made their lead stick by topping it off with a Jeff Carter tip past Lehtonen in the third period.

Jeff Carter simply continued the tear he’s been on with his linemates Claude Giroux and Nikolay Zherdev, as he now has eight poins (5G, 3A) in the last five games and continues to enjoy this new calendar year.

“I think our line has started to gel a little bit more,” Carter said. “I think [Zherdev] plays a lot like Giroux. When those guys have the puck I just try and find holes.”

 

Once they re-established the two goal lead, the Flyers locked it up and cruised to another victory, continuing to distance themselves from the pack in the Eastern conference.

“Every time you have a lead you want to protect it,” said Andrej Meszaros. “We just tried to play our game and we scored our third goal and we won the game.”

 

Carle’s Big Heart

Flyers’ defenseman Matt Carle is trying to help save a little bit more than just goals this season.

The veteran defensean is using Twitter as a way to help raise money for a cause near to his heart. Carle says he will donate $10,000 to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia if he reaches 10,000 Twitter followers by the end of the regular season.

“In setting the whole thing up I just wanted to do something for a charity and I thought that was a good idea,” Carle told Philly Sports Daily Friday.

The idea started when his friend Ryan Jones of the Edmonton Oilers did a similar thing on his page. For Carle, picking the charity was a no-brainer.

“We went [to CHOP] over Christmas and got to go cruise around and meet some of the kids. It’s a good opportunity to kinda go there and see what they’re all about,” Carle said. “I wanted to get involved in a local charity here, and I thought that was a good way to do it.”

The response has been incredible. Carle jumped from about 1,600 followers Thursday to close to 6,500 as of Saturday night.

It looks like he’ll be on the hook for that 10 grand. Just to make sure, follow him @mattcarle25 on Twitter.

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