June 15, 2024

Wild cough up two-goal, third period lead in 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia

NEWS NOW: Wild cough up to…….

Marc-Andre Fleury has waited a long time to pass Patrick Roy for second place on the career wins list for an NHL goaltender. After the Wild coughed up a two-goal, third-period lead on Friday, the veteran will have to wait at least a little longer.


Philadelphia erased a 3-1 deficit with a pair of goals in the last 9 minutes, and Joel Farabee scored his second goal of the game with 2 seconds left on a 4-on-3 overtime power play as the Flyers rallied to beat Minnesota, 4-3, at Xcel Energy Center.

“I think maybe we did get a little soft on pucks, a little soft in our system, myself included,” defenseman Brock Faber said. “And every team in this league will take advantage of that.”


Ryan Hartman and Matt Boldy appeared to break open a 1-1 game with goals in the first 5 minutes of the third period, but Tyson Foerster and Owen Tippett tied the game with goals less than 2 minutes apart midway through the period.


The teams were skating 3 on 3 when Jake Middleton lost control of a pass in Philadelphia’s high slot and the Flyers raced the other way. Mats Zuccarello, reaching from behind for the puck, tripped Cam Atkinson 1:37 into overtime.


Joel Eriksson Ek deflected a puck away at the blue line and raced up ice for a shorthanded shot attempt on Carter Hart, but Jamie Drysdale poked the puck away and play shifted quickly back to Minnesota’s end.


“Clear cut penalty. Clear cut penalty,” Wild coach John Hynes. “Reaches over, grabs his jersey, holds him. It’s disappointing that the call wasn’t made at that time.”


Eriksson Ek thought it was a penalty, as well. So did many Wild fans in attendance, whose boos were directed at on-ice officials.


“I think it’s kind of obvious,” Eriksson Ek said.


On the other end, Egor Zamula sent a shot on net that Farabee deflected past Fleury to win it.


“It’s coming high, guy tips it low, right? It’s right in front of me,” Fleury said. “Just frustrating because we’re right there. Right there. We need points. Tough to lose there.”


Fleury, who pulled within a win of Roy with consecutive victories over Eastern Conference power Boston Dec. 19 and Dec. 23, appeared on his way to finally passing Roy when Boldy scored on a one-timer from the right circle to give the Wild a 3-1 lead at 4:38 of the third period.


After that Hartman said, “We sat back a little bit. A couple of mental mistakes (that) ended up in the back of our net. We’ve gotta be better at holding leads.”


Hart stopped 3 of 29 shots for the Flyers, who beat the Wild 6-2 in Philadelphia on Oct. 26. Fleury stopped 31 of 35 shots on goal.


“I thought for us this was a good game, one of our good ones lately, I think,” Fleury said. “Didn’t give them too much. Didn’t give them too many great chances. We got the lead in the third, too, so that was nice. But, yeah, it still stings to lose it.”


The Wild have lost seven of eight games, a rut similar to the one the team was in during a seven-game losing streak in November that cost Dean Evason his job. The Wild, however, insist it’s different. Since Hynes took over Nov. 28, the team has found an identity and is playing better, even in losses.


“Our game’s fine,” said Hartman, who also earned an assist after setting up Boldy’s goal by chasing down a loose puck in the Flyers’ zone. “We played a really good hockey game. (Had) a couple mental mistakes. Good thing is we play tomorrow and we need to get two points.”


The Wild are host to Arizona, one of several teams the Wild are chasing for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference playoffs, on Saturday at 7 p.m.


“All we can do right now is look at tomorrow and focus on getting a win tomorrow and going from there,” Faber said. “But it sucks. But we’ll make our adjustments. We need to. We need to find our game, and it starts tomorrow.”

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