Tonight was an up-and down game for the Wild as they welcomed the Philadelphia Flyers to the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild were returning from the road and had moments where they asserted their game, but also looked like a team trying to find their legs for stretches of the game. The Wild rallied from a two goal deficit to tie it with less than 7 minutes remaining in the 3rd period via a trademark Zach Parise goal made of pure grit. But as has become predictable, the Wild couldn't finish on several chances in overtime and ultimately conceded the decisive goal with a under a minute to go. The Wild should still be grateful to take a point away as the situation looked dire for much of the game.
The Wild jumped out to early dominance of the game, consistently getting set up in the the Flyers zone and generating several chances and shots in the first period. But an odd-man rush put the Flyers deep in the zone and they took an early lead with a Sean Courtourier goal nearly 8 minutes in. The Wild would add a Marco Scandella goal from a beautiful snipe on the point with 5 minutes to go in the first and the period would end tied. The second would open with tired legs for the Wild and the Flyers opening up the physical side of the game. Zucker was able to walk away from a really big hit behind the Philadelphia goal by Wayne Simmonds. Ryan Carter would go after Simmonds shortly after and both would go to the box for roughing. The Flyers scored a 4-on-4 goal when Michael Del Zotto finished a great setup from Brayden Schenn. Just moments later, Marco Scandella would take a Nate Prosser-esque hit behind the net that twisted his body up and made it look very bad for his ankle. He moved very gingerly to the bench as play continued and Ryan White would capitalize as the Thomas Vanek and the rest of the Wild defenders were in disarray. Vanek did not engage on the back check, and Dubnyk had no chance. Take a look at the hit on Scandella:
Scandella injury pic.twitter.com/mUZXgTAXwO— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 8, 2016
With just 4 minutes left in the second frame, Jason Zucker stole the puck right in front of Devan Dubnyk and took the puck coast-to-coast to finish with the Mikko Koivu topshelf backhand to pull the Wild within 1. The third period opened with the Wild needing an equalizer and they would find it with 6:24 as Zach Parise did what Zach Parise does and stuck with a play until Flyers netminder Steve Mason fumbled it, and Parise made him pay. The Wild third period had been all Wild up to that point, but both goaltenders had made excellent saves to preserve the score.
Then the Wild did what the Wild does and lost with 37 seconds remaining in overtime. The Wild got caught on multiple overextended shifts. Vanek was hung out for an incredibly long time again, but the Wild held. However, on the very next shift Koivu stayed on the ice too long and Zucker looked gassed as the Flyers completed a nice tic-tac-toe to end the game. The Wild capture 1 point at home and are now facing 3 games in 4 nights starting Saturday at Dallas. The good news for the Wild is that Scandella appears to be uninjured and Mikko Koivu had a good game just two days following his trip to the hospital.