Michael Raffl and Wayne Simmonds celebrate Raffl's third-period goal in the Flyers 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Simmonds scored two goals in the win. (Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com)
After playing an even game for the first 10 minutes, the Flyers continued a run of hot starts and good goal scoring from all sources. Mark Streit and Wayne Simmonds scored to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.
That would be the score after another solid 20 minutes to open a game. For the fourth straight game, the Flyers had scored multiple first-period goals.
The next 40 minutes were not nearly as good. Despite a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night, the Flyers fourth straight, it proved to be an off night.
"We had a good start and got the lead. But the second period we took a few penalties, they got momentum and scored a goal," Streit said. "The last 20 minutes is always tough. It was a tight game but we found a way to win it and that's what's important."
If there was a night for the Flyers to make mistakes and get away with it, this was it. The Stars are one of the West's better teams and still in playoff contention. But they also entered Thursday's game with a 5-4-1 record in their last four games.
The Flyers will play the St. Louis Blues - winners in eight of their last 10 games - and Los Angeles Kings - owners of a 7-3-0 record in their last 10 games - in the next two games.
"We can look at what we did right and what we did wrong," Simmonds said. "I think there's always room for improvement. We played a decent game but we can always get better."
The Flyers lost puck battles. They took three penalties in the second period. The Stars fired 29 shots on Steve Mason in two periods. After three games of excellent play, the Flyers appeared to be on tired legs.
"I thought tonight wasn't as good," head coach Craig Berube said. "We were sloppy tonight at times. But overall our team is competing hard and working hard and playing like a team. That's what you have to do."
Mason was up to the task throughout the game. He allowed two goals on 35 shots after having Tuesday night off.
"Any time you can utilize the rest you can get coming down the stretch is going to be big," Mason said. "It's a lot of management away from the rink making sure you're not wasting energy. We're in a good spot right now but we have to keep playing well. Every game is going to be a must-win down the road."
Mason faced 17 shots in the second period. Despite allowing a goal to Jamie Benn on the power play, Mason made several spectacular saves, especially as the Flyers attempted to kill off a two-man advantage for Dallas.
"In that second period, Mase was key," Simmonds said. "He made some huge saves for us and he gave us an opportunity to keep the lead and get the win."
The win for the Flyers was the fourth straight and keeps an incredible week going. But to Berube, the negatives on the ice outweighed the positive of getting two points for the win.
"They know it wasn't good enough tonight but we won," Berube said. "You have to talk about them and show things and stay on them. But really, it wasn't good enough."
Kevin Durso is the lead beat writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.