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October 20, 2015

At the horn: Stars 2, Flyers 1

The Flyers (2-2-1) were coming off a long layoff, and they looked mighty rusty at home against the potent offensive attack of the Dallas Stars (5-1-0). That, or overmatched by a better team. Take your pick, but the fact is that Dallas will leave Philly with a 2-1 win. Sean Couturier's third-period goal (thanks to a great effort by Wayne Simmonds) made it close, but the Flyers dropped their first game of the year at home. Here’s what I saw:

Instant observations

•    Rough night for Brandon Manning, who was on the ice for both of Dallas' goals. He was particularly responsible for Tyler Seguin's tally in the first period, which only occurred after Manning badly misplayed a puck in the Flyers' zone.

•    After dealing with a personal matter, Steve Mason was in net for the first time since his first-period meltdown in Sunrise, Florida nine days ago. Unlike Neuvirth, Mason actually let in a couple of goals, but neither of them were really his fault. Decent perfomance for Mase: 30 saves on 32 shots.

•    The Flyers’ first power play unit, which is pretty much as good as it gets, seems just a step off their game. As a team, the Orange and Black went 0-4 with the man advantage. That said, Antti Niemi (34 saves on 35 shots) made some excellent stops.

•    Here’s one of those saves (GIF via @BradyTrett):

•    As a team, the Flyers had a lot of trouble getting the puck out of their own zone (the Stars’ forecheck had a lot to do with this). Ryan White and Brandon Manning particularly struggled in this regard. The possession numbers predictably weren’t pretty early. After one, Dallas held a whopping 28-11 Corsi edge. The Flyers were more competitive in the latter two periods.

•    In basketball, when a three-point shooter is struggling, announcers typically say, “He has to see one go through the net.” Jake Voracek, still sitting on only one assist, needs to see one go in the net.

Up next

After almost a week off, the Flyers will play the second half of a back-to-back for the first time during the 2015-16 season in Beantown tomorrow night. They’ll take on the Boston Bruins (2-3-0), winners of their last two, tomorrow night at The Gahhhhden. It’s another nationally televised game, so the puck doesn’t drop until after 8:00 p.m.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann