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Wild flex their muscles in dominant win over Flyers

Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 32 saves to record his second win with the Wild.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild left wing Jordan Greenway (18) celebrates his goal with the team against the Philadelphia Flyers in the second period Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Brad Rempel / USA Today Sports

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Wild coach Dean Evason knows the Philadelphia Flyers have absolutely nothing to lose at this point.

They are among the worst teams in the league, and with the fate of this season already decided, they seem focused on getting young players reps at the NHL level.

Because of that, Evason theorized that the Wild were going to face a very loose group on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center, with the Flyers running and gunning trying to put up goals.

“We can’t afford to do that,” Evason said. “We don’t want to get in any type of bad habits, and the past has shown that that’s not how our hockey club has success. We don’t run and gun.”

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury watches the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers in the first period Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Brad Rempel / USA Today Sports

While the Wild certainly have players that can score — Kirill Kaprizov is now up to 82 points within a point of tying Marian Gaborik’s single-season franchise record for points — Evason noted that most of the scoring chances come from playing responsible up and down the ice.

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That proved to be the case on this particular night as the Wild took care of business in their own end, parlayed that into offense the other way, and coasted to a 4-1 win. They were dominant in all aspects for most of the game, scoring with relative ease, and more impressive, defending hard in front of Marc-Andre Fleury.

Speaking of Fleury, he recorded his second win with the Wild, making a couple of acrobatic saves in the final 20 minutes to bring the announced crowd of 17,874 to their feet.

The game was never in doubt as Matt Dumba put the Wild in front 1-0 in the first period, finishing off a pretty feed from Matt Boldy. A couple of minutes later, Kaprizov ripped a shot into the back of the net to make it 2-0, pulling closer to Gaborik in the process.

Though that was already enough goal support for Fleury between the pipes, Jordan Greenway got in on the scoring action early in the second period, pounding home a rebound to stretch the lead to 3-0.

It looked like Kaprizov scored again later in the frame, only to have the officials wave off the goal due to goaltender interference. For good measure, Kevin Fiala made it 4-0 late in second period, swinging so hard on a shot that he actually fell down.

With the game well in hand in the third period, the Wild shifted into cruise control, and Fleury’s acrobatic saves proved to be the lone highlight. He likely would’ve had a shutout had it not been for a wonky bounce in front that allowed Morgan Frost to cut the deficit to 4-1.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA WILDHOCKEY
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