Before the Philadelphia Flyers jolted Edmonton on Thursday, 4-1, center Noah Cates said it was a chance for his team to make a statement and show they could play with the big boys.
“They’re all so dangerous with their speed, their skill and their power play, and you have to be focused for 60 minutes,” Cates said about the Oilers. “They’re a Stanley Cup-caliber team … If we can sneak some wins in and kind of find our identity against some of these tops teams, it’ll go a long way in our season and our confidence.”
Now the Flyers (3-1) get a chance to make another statement as they play in Dallas on Saturday night, facing a defensive-minded Stars team that is 2-0-1 and has allowed just 1.67 goals in its first three games.
The ageless Joe Pavelski, a 39-year-old forward, leads Dallas with two goals, and 24-year-old goalie Jake Oettinger (1.58 GAA) has stopped 82 of 87 shots for a .943 save percentage.
Dallas’ penalty kill has not allowed a power-play goal in 11 chances. That doesn’t bode well for the Flyers, who are just 1 for 17 (6%) on the power play, the one glaring weakness in their otherwise impressive start.
Cam Atkinson, who had a pair of goals in the Philadelphia Flyers’ victory over Edmonton, and Travis Konecny co-lead Philly with three goals apiece, and the new-look defense has been surprisingly effective in front of Carter Hart (2.01 GAA, .929 SP).
The Flyers could get defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen back from an undisclosed injury that has caused him to miss all four games. Marc Staal suffered an upper-body injury Thursday against Edmonton.
In that win, Sean Couturier and linemates Atkinson and Owen Tippett shutdown Connor McDavid and Co. McDavid had zero shots on goal, something that happened just once in the entire 2022-23 season.
“We did a good job as a unit, as a team, to take time and space away,” Couturier said. “We were disciplined. I think the overall team effort was great.”
The same type of effort will be needed against Dallas, another team that should be a Western Conference power.
How to watch
The 8 p.m. game will be televised by NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Dallas 3, Flyers 2.
Couturier has four points and a plus-7 rating over four games. Couturier is the fourth player in franchise history to skate in 12 or more seasons with the Flyers, along with Bobby Clarke (15), Claude Giroux (15), Rick MacLeish (12) and Bill Barber (12). … In their 3-2 win Thursday in Anaheim, Dallas was paced by defenseman Miro Heiskanen’s goal and two assists. The Stars went 2 for 5 on the power play and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. … In franchise history, the Flyers are 76-49-33 against the Stars.