By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The Flyers head to Minnesota for the back half of a home-and-home series with the Wild, seeking revenge for a shutout only three days earlier. The Flyers are hoping to slow Jason Zucker, who has all six Minnesota goals over their past three games.
First period: Only 12 seconds in and the Wild took the lead off an unusual Provorov turnover. The Flyers did turn it on after the goal, eventually leading to a powerplay when Mike Reilly went to the box for hooking Simmonds. While Philly did have some good chances on the powerplay, the Wild successfully killed it off. What followed was a back-and-fourth game with both teams getting good chances.
The Flyers looked determined to make something happen offensively, but looked completely lost once the puck entered their zone. A late Simmonds penalty for holding gave the Wild a chance, but the Flyers killed it off.
Second period: The second period opened the same way they did in the first, Niederreiter and Zucker had good chances, but failed to capitalize this time. The Wild continued the onslaught as they hemmed the Flyers in their own zone for over two minutes, all while the game was five-on-five. Brian Elliott made multiple stellar saves, including on Marcus Foligno during a two-on-one.
The Flyers fought back as the period progressed, but other than two great chances by Scott Laughton and one-off the post by Taylor Leier, Dubnyk went fairly untested. Wild took a penalty for too many men and the Flyers didn’t have an inspiring powerplay.
Third period: The Wild got the early jump again as Ennis was stopped on a breakaway. Weise followed suit with a breakaway of his own, but was easily stopped by Dubnyk. Gostisbehere contributed with a solid slide to prevent a breakaway. Ultimately two empty net goals from Eric Staal and Jason Zucker sealed the deal as the Wild shutout the Flyers on consecutive nights, this time 3-0.
Takeaways: Brian Elliott is great. That’s pretty much the only bright side of the team right now. The Wild have shut down this team completely over the past two games, at this point they can only hope they can spark some offense against the lowly Jets on Thursday.
Three Stars of the Game:
3) Eric Staal
2) Brian Elliott
1) Devan Dubnyk
MIN: Niederreiter (Staal)
Staal (Brodin, Granlund)
Shots: Flyers 30 – 18 Wild
Photo credit: hockeywilderness.com