ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)Mats Zuccarello scored in overtime, Matt Boldy had two goals and the Minnesota Wild returned home with a 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for Minnesota, which had lost three in a row and was 1-3 on a four-game road trip that slipped the Wild out of the top eight spots in the Western Conference wild-card standings.
Boldy, who assisted on Zuccarello’s winner, had his third multi-goal game of the season. The 21-year-old left wing has 16 goals in his second NHL season and has seven points during a four-game point streak.
”You want to get out of it as quick as you can,” Boldy said of the losing streak. ”I think it was just kind of get to our game, play our style and not give them anything. I think we’re giving teams a little bit too much. We played really well tonight, really hard.”
With goalie Carter Hart pulled in the final minutes, Tony DeAngelo sent the game into overtime for the Flyers with his eighth goal of the season with 1:28 remaining in regulation. He wristed a shot high above Fleury’s shoulder that just found its way under the crossbar.
Noah Cates also scored for Philadelphia, which has lost five of seven. Hart stopped 20 shots.
”Happy we get a point, but it leaves you wanting more,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said.
While the teams are infrequent opponents in separate conferences, both appeared to be looking for an early spark. There were three matching fighting majors in the first 10 minutes, all coming within 16 seconds of each other.
Another fight came early in the second period and there was a big skirmish behind Minnesota’s net in the third.
”We lost three in a row,” said Wild forward Ryan Reaves, who started the series of fights against Nicolas Deslauriers. ”They were outshooting us and in our zone a lot. Just a little sleepy start. I think it was time to try to build some energy. That’s my job.”
The Wild’s tough road trip included the benching of veteran defenseman Matt Dumba for two games. Veteran center Ryan Hartman, who scored 34 goals last season while part of Minnesota’s top line, was a healthy scratch Thursday, with coach Dean Evason lambasting Hartman’s penchant for taking penalties.
Cates, a Minnesota native, was credited with a goal to open the scoring just 5:14 into the first period. Rasmus Ristolainen’s point shot deflected off Cates and trickled past Fleury.
”Definitely super special, very happy with that,” Cates said. ”Definitely have scored in other situations: high school and college, I think, I scored here as well, so definitely nice to get one in the NHL.”
Boldy, who signed a seven-year, $49 million contract extension on Jan. 16, scored his first of the game in the second, sending home a behind-the-net pass from Marcus Foligno that first went off a Flyers stick.
Boldy’s second goal came on the power play as Kirill Kaprizov sent a pass across the crease to Boldy, who was crashing the net.
”For him to help his team he needs to shoot the puck into the net because he has the ability to do that,” Evason said. ”Not everybody does. A lot of guys don’t have his gifts. His shot. His vision. His positioning. He has that. He needs to shoot it in the net and understand that he’s not being selfish. He’s being unselfish by helping his team win.”
The Flyers lost forwards Zack MacEwen (upper body) and Wade Allison (lower body) during the game. MacEwen was involved in one of the fights against Foligno. Allison, who also was in a fight with Mason Shaw, later left after blocking a shot.
Philadelphia fell to 1-9 in overtime this season.
”You’ve got to find a way to win some of these games in overtime,” DeAngelo said. ”We’re doing a good job of staying in every game and giving ourselves a chance to win, but not finishing the job enough.”
Flyers: Play at Winnipeg on Saturday.
Wild: Host Buffalo on Saturday.
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