Wildlife coach Dean Evason knows the Philadelphia Flyers have absolutely nothing to lose at this point.
They are some of the weakest teams in the league, and with the fate of this season already decided, they seem to be focused on getting young players at the NHL level.
As a result, Evason theorized that the Wild would encounter a very loose group Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center, with the Flyers running and shooting trying to set goals.
“We can not afford to do that,” Evason said. “We do not want to learn any type of bad habits, and the past has shown that this is not how our hockey club achieves success. We do not run and shoot. “
Although the Wild certainly have players who can score – Kirill Kaprizov is now up to 82 points within a point to equal Marian Gaborik’s single-season franchise record for points – Evason noted that most of the points come from chances of playing responsibly on and off the ice.
This was the case on this particular night, as the Wilds took care of their own goal, brought it back in attack and carried it over to a 4-1 victory. They were dominant in all aspects for most of the game, scored relatively easily, and more impressively, and defended hard before Marc-Andre Fleury.
Speaking of Fleury, he recorded his second win with the Wild and made some acrobatic saves in the final 20 minutes to get the announced crowd of 17,874 on their feet.
The game was never in doubt, as Matt Dumba put the Wild ahead 1-0 in the first period, concluding a nice feed from Matt Boldy. A few minutes later, Kaprizov snatched a shot from behind in the net to make it 2-0 and in the process drew closer to Gaborik.
Although it was already enough goal support for Fleury between the pipes, Jordan Greenway started hitting the score early in the second period and pushed back a setback to stretch the lead to 3-0.
It looked like Kaprizov scored again later in the frame, only to have the officers wave off the goal due to goalkeeper interference. For good measure, Kevin Fiala made it 4-0 late in the second period and swung so hard on a shot that he actually fell.
With the game well in hand in the third period, the Wild switched to speed control, and Fleury’s acrobatic savings were the only highlight. He probably would have had an exclusion had it not been for a shaky refusal before that allowed Morgan Frost to reduce the deficit to 4-1.