Bill Meltzer: Stars Gameday: 10/18/14 vs. PHI

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STARS VS. FLYERS: ABBREVIATED GAME PREVIEW

Looking to build a three-game winning streak after capturing back-to-back road wins in Columbus and Pittsburgh, the Dallas Stars (2-1-1) return home to the American Airlines Center tonight to take on Craig Berube’s Philadelphia Flyers (0-2-2). Game time is is 7:00 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised locally on Fox Sports Southwest and on CSN Philadelphia in the Delaware Valley.

A detailed game preview is available on today’s Flyers blog.

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I don’t usually include personal notes in my blogs, but tonight’s game merits one. I’ve had the game circled my calendar ever since the NHL announced its 2014-15 regular season schedule.

First of all, any meeting between the two teams I cover for HockeyBuzz is special to me. Secondly, I was supposed to cover last year’s Dec. 7 game with the Flyers from the pressbox at the American Airlines Center but the ice storm in north and east Texas made the commute nearly impossible. The game went on as scheduled, but I had to watch it on TV back at the house. It was a big disappointment.

This year, the schedule worked out perfectly to jump on the opportunity to cover the team’s only meeting at the AAC in person. The Flyers are starting a three-game road trip, which enables me to not only cover tonight’s game from the pressbox but also to spend a week with my family in Texas and then return to the Delaware Valley in time to cover the Flyers’ next home game. That’s pretty rare.

I usually get back to Texas only during the winter holiday season (when the Flyers annually take an extended road trip) and then right around my daughter’s birthday in early March. After hockey season, my schedule reverses. I spend most of the late spring and summer in Texas with a short trip to the Philadelphia area mixed in around the time of the Flyers’ annual development camp.

I got back to Texas early on Wednesday morning, the day after the Flyers played the Anaheim Ducks before embarking on their road trip. I will leave next weekend, arriving back in Philly to cover their Oct. 25 home game against Detroit.

While there is a bit of journalistic sacrifice in not covering practices — I notice a difference in feeling plugged-in with direct access on a daily basis — it’s been a small price to pay in exchange for a week with my wife and especially my 19-month-old daughter.

This post originally appeared on www.hockeybuzz.com and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.