The Minnesota Wild put up 4 goals on home ice, carried a 2 goal lead into the 2rd period, but the Philadelphia Flyers came soaring back as the Wild were boo’ed off the ice with a 5-4 loss at the X tonight. The Wild seemed to carry much of the play Tuesday night but were stifled by Flyers goalie Anthony Stolarz despite being given every opportunity to really put this game away. Things went from bad to worse for the Wild as they would finish the game with just 10 forwards on the bench.
Victor Rask and Matt Hendricks both had to leave the game with injuries, shortening the Wild’s bench which isn’t really your ideal situation when you’re clinging on to a playoff spot and playing a Flyers squad that has been on fire lately, winning 11 of their last 14 games. For the Wild this marks their 6th loss in 7 games as the team is slowly sliding into oblivion.
As is par for the course in most Wild games, they relinquished the first goal of the game to the Flyers, a seeing-eye goal off the stick of when Ivan Provorov that deflected down into the ice before bouncing over Devan Dubnyk’s blocker just under 3 minutes into the game. While there wasn’t much that Dubnyk could have done to prevent this goal, it kind of serves for the story of how this game went. The Wild were doing a lot of things right all game, but that bouncing puck killed them in the end.
The Wild converted on just 1 of 6 power play opportunities Tuesday night, the lone marker being the Wild’s first goal while they had a 5 on 3 advantage early in the 1st period. On the play Mikael Granlund drew a couple defenders outside the danger zone and ripped a pass down to Zach Parise who was able to one-time a shot past Stolarz from a tight angle.
Luke Kunin followed up with a pair of goals himself. The first was off a flukey little play where Rask threw the puck towards the slot where it was intercepted by Shayne Gostisbehere who just kind of deflected the puck right to Kunin’s stick, right in the slot and he was able to flip a wrister past Stolarz. His second goal came from a great feed from Joel Eriksson-Ek shuffled the puck out front as he was falling to the ice, but he put it right in front of Kunin who wristed one past the Flyers netminder. The pair of goals marked Kunin’s 3rd and 4th goals on the season.
The Flyers would score 2 goals in the 2nd period from James Van Reimsdyk and Sean Couturier to tie things up. But the Wild were never really on their heels despite the Flyers building their comeback. The Wild ripped 39 shots on goal against the Flyers, including 15 in the final period. The Wild would retake the lead early in the 3rd period on another fluky goal, this time off the stick of Jared Spurgeon. Spurgeon fired one from a sharp angle that went into the net, but slipped out underneath the net which was lifted by Stolarz. The goal was initially waived off but after review the goal was allowed.
Claude Giroux would tie things back up 4 minutes later, taking advantage of a bad line change by the Wild and blasting a slap shot past Dubnyk. Van Reimsdyk would score for the Flyers with just under 5 minutes remaining, sealing the deal for the Flyers. While the Wild were pressing hard in the final minutes of regulation, they would unfortunately shoot themselves in the foot when Ryan Suter would head to the box with 90 seconds left in regulation for holding the stick.
The game would close out with fans booing the Wild off the ice. Their lack of finish over this recent stretch has been frustrating for Wild fans who have been waiting and waiting for this team to live up to their potential. Even in a game where they scored 4 goals, it still feels like that killer instinct just isn’t there. Or maybe this team just has some of the worst puck luck in the history of ever. Either way, it’s getting pretty flipping old, wouldn’t you agree?