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Wild 4, Flyers 1: Flyers officially eliminated from the playoffs

Flyers learn firsthand why the Wild are cup contenders.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

1st Period

It was an exciting start to the game and with about ten minutes remaining in the period Nick Seeler and Nicolas Deslauriers decided to drop the gloves. It was a spirited fight with both players getting some really good punches in, but left Delauriers cut on the nose, presumably by his visor.

Minnesota got on the board first with 5:31 remaining in the period thanks to Matt Dumba. The play started with a James van Riemsdyk turnover but the key to the goal was the touch pass from Matt Boldy across the paint to Dumba.

The Wild had an opportunity to double their lead after Ivan Provorov took a holding penalty and they did not fail to make the Flyers pay. It took just 19 seconds into the power play for Kirill Kaprizov to make a deceptive move to change the angle of his shot and beat Martin Jones on the blocker side. The Wild would carry this 2-0 lead into the second period.

It was a back and forth, fast paced period from the very beginning with Minnesota having three or four quality chances in the first minute. The Flyers registered 12 shots on goal in the period while the Wild were credited with 16. While the Flyers had some chances, the period was dominated by the Wild’s speed, skill, and physicality which caused all sorts of issues for Philadelphia.

2nd Period

Minnesota wasted no time picking up where they left off scoring 1:35 into the period. Martin Jones made the original save on a Joel Eriksson Ek shot but Jordan Greenway crashed the net and was able to out muscle Travis Konecny to bang the rebound the home to give the Wild a three goal lead.

The Wild thought they had extended their lead to 4-0, however the goal was waved off due too goaltender interference. Shortly after this, former Flyer Ryan Hartman was sent to the box for a hooking penalty giving the Flyers the first power play chance of the game. They were not able to generate much from this power play aside from a chance in front of the net in they dying seconds.

The Wild went back to the power play with 13:52 remaining in the period and this time the Flyers penalty kill did a much better job of closing lanes and getting pucks out of the zone.

With 8:15 left in the period after a lot of sustained pressure by the Wild the Flyers took another penalty sending the Wild back to the power play. This time the penalty kill was a lot less clean looking but somehow the Wild could not capitalize and the game remained 3-0.

The Wild extended their lead to 4-0 after Kevin Fiala scored on a beautiful slap shot from just above the goal line. The goal came with an extra attacker on a delayed penalty call and it is the Wild’s 18 6-on-5 goal of the season.

The teams headed into the locker room with a 4-0 lead again dominating the period and outshooting the Flyers 13-4 in the period.

3rd Period

After a careless high sticking penalty that left Joel Farabee bloodied, the Flyers were given a four minute power play. They capitalized on the first part of the power play after Atkinson created a rebound that Frost was able to gather and bury to get the Flyers on the board.

The second half of the power play saw the Flyers have good zone time and create some chances but they were unable to finish any the game remained 4-1.

On a delayed penalty call the Flyers were almost able to score with the extra attacker, however Marc Andre Fleury robbed van Riemsdyk with a potential top ten save of the year candidate.

The rest of the game played out with the Flyers having a few more chances but never really looking like a threat.

Final Thoughts

It was nice to see the Flyers battle in the third period but again it was case of being too little too late. In reality this was another game that could have ended 6-0 or worse if not for some decent goaltending by Jones. Minnesota was able to showcase their speed and skill with players like Kaprizov and show their physicality with the the forecheck and on the Jordan Greenway goal. The Flyers were clearly outmatched by a much better team and the unfortunate truth is that this will continue to be the case for the rest season. The Flyers are trying new things, giving more ice time to some young players, and putting people in different positions. Ultimately this means more mistakes and more game like this where they struggle at both end of the ice, as they have all season. The Flyers will have a few days off after this road trip and next up will be the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.