Stargazing: Stars Face Flyers Saturday

The following is a news release published by the Dallas Stars, Dec. 15, 2017.

The Dallas Stars travel to Philadelphia to face the Flyers in the final game of a four-game Eastern Conference road trip. The Stars and Flyers meet on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center for the first of two games during the 2017-18 campaign. Dallas posted a 1-1-0 record in 2016-17 vs. Philadelphia and have recorded points in five of the last six games (4-1-1) against them. In the most recent contest between the two clubs at Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers defeated the Stars, 4-2, on Dec. 10, 2016. Forward Devin Shore recorded both goals (2-0=2) in the contest for Dallas with defenseman Dan Hamhuis (0-1=1) and forward Antoine Roussel (0-1=1) each adding assists in the game. Dallas defeated Philadelphia, 3-1, in the first game of the 2016-17 season series on Dec. 17, 2016 at American Airlines Center. Forward Jason Spezza leads all Stars skaters with 31 points (9-22=31) in 36 career games against Philadelphia.

Head Coach Ken Hitchcock recorded his 799th NHL coaching victory on Wednesday night against the New York Islanders and is one win away from reaching the 800-win plateau. With his next victory, Hitchcock will join Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Joel Quenneville (867) as the only coaches in the history of the NHL to win 800 games. Earlier this season, he moved into third place on the NHL all-time coaching wins list with a victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 14, 2017, passing Al Arbour (782 wins). The native of Edmonton, Alta. holds a 799-487-200 in 1,486 regular-season games over 21 NHL seasons. Hitchcock has amassed a 295-167-73 record in 535 regular-season games over his two stints as head coach of the Dallas Stars, ranking first in franchise history in games coached (535), wins (295) and points percentage (.620). He has also accumulated wins as a head coach with St. Louis (248 wins), Philadelphia (131 wins) and Columbus (125 wins). Over his career, the bench boss guided his teams to eight division titles (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2003-04, 2011-12 and 2014-15) and two Presidents Trophies (1997-98 and 1998-99). Hitchcock was also named the Jack Adams Award winner in 2011-12. He led Dallas to two trips to the Stanley Cup Final and led the Stars to the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship in 1999. 

Goaltender Kari Lehtonen turned aside 32-of-34 shots on Wednesday night to help the Stars defeat the Islanders, 5-2, at Barclays Center and earned his 300th career NHL victory. The netminder improved his record to 4-1-1 over his last six road games, sporting a 1.79 goals against average and a .936 save percentage over that span. Lehtonen became the 33rd goaltender in NHL history to earn at least 300 career victories and is currently tied for 31st in all-time wins with Carolina's Cam Ward and Tomas Vokoun. He has recorded 206 of his 300 victories as a member of the Dallas Stars, with the additional 94 wins with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets franchise. The netminder also appeared in his 624th career NHL game on Wednesday night, passing Miikka Kiprusoff for the most games played by a Finnish-born goaltender in NHL history, and moved into 40th place all-time in games played by a goaltender. Lehtonen has earned a 300-223-65 record in 624 regular-season contests with 37 shutouts and 28 assists. The native of Helsinki, Finland has earned a 1-11-3 record with a 3.45 GAA and a .889 SV% in 15 career appearances against the Flyers.

Captain Jamie Benn tied his season-high with three points (1-2=3) on Wednesday night against the Islanders at Barclays Center. The captain helped the Stars snap a four-game road losing streak to the Islanders (last win: 3-2, Dec. 15, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum) and record the franchise's first win at Barclays Center. Benn has inked the scoresheet in three consecutive games (2-3=5) and has points in six of his last seven games (2-6=8). The captain leads the Stars with 29 points (13-16=29) in 32 regular-season contests, ranking second in goals (13) and is tied for second in assists (16). Additionally, Benn shares first on the club with nine power play points (4-5=9) this season and second in power play goals (4). On the road this season, Benn leads all Stars skaters with 18 points (8-10=18) in 18 games and ranks first on the club in road goals (8). The native of Victoria, B.C. has points in three of his last four games (2-2=4) against the Flyers and has four points (3-1=4) over his last four games at Wells Fargo Center. Benn has skated in 12 career games vs. Philadelphia and has registered 11 points (5-6=11).

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