With loss to Philadelphia, Stars drop another game to one of league’s worst teams

PHILADELPHIA — In a 2-1 loss to the Flyers on Thursday night, another tally in an unfortunate column was ticked for the Stars.

Thursday night was the third time this season the Stars lost to the last-place or second-to-last place team in the NHL standings. They also lost to Detroit on Oct. 28 and Chicago on Dec. 20.

Dallas is 6-6-0 against teams currently in the bottom 10 of the league standings. The loss dropped the Stars to 5-2-1 in their last eight games.

“Yeah, we’ve been winning games, but I still think our team can take another step,” forward Tyler Pitlick said. “We got to win these games, too. We seem to lose some games that realistically, we should win. We need to find a way to get those wins.”

After the game, Stars coach Jim Montgomery said he didn’t think that the Stars played down to their opponent on Thursday night.

“No, I didn’t think that, I thought we skated well we just weren’t doing enough,” Montgomery said. “Not enough players were having an impact, either with the puck or without the puck. I don’t know if there was a hit thrown by either team in the first period.

Defenseman swap: Julius Honka and Connor Carrick continued to swap places on the Stars defense, with Honka drawing back into the lineup on Thursday night in Philadelphia. Honka was a healthy scratch against St. Louis as Carrick played just 6:47 and was called for two penalties.

On Thursday night, Honka played 14:32 and had three shots on goal, four shot attempts, one hit and two blocked shots in 21 shifts. He was active in the offensive zone pinching down, and was decent in the defensive zone to separate players from the puck.

“If he’s around the puck and he’s being aggressive skating, like his feet are moving, that’s when you know Julius Honka is ready to play a good game for us,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said before the game.

Carrick has only played a total of 13:29 in two games since missing 29 with a foot injury.