Wild top Flyers for seventh straight win, keep pace in Central Division

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild won their seventh straight game when Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves in a 4-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

Kirill Kaprizov scored for the fourth consecutive game, and Joel Eriksson Ek and Frederick Gaudreau each had two assists for the Wild (41-20-4), who are four points ahead of the Nashville Predators for second in the Central Division. Nashville won 4-1 against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

Teams like [the Flyers] that maybe are not in the run for the playoffs are dangerous because they play loose and are trying more plays sometimes, and that’s dangerous if we’re caught cheating the game,” Gaudreau said. to our identity and not start cheating the game. I think overall we did a pretty good job of that.”

Philadelphia (21-35-11) was eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention with the regulation loss, its third in a row. Morgan Frost scored, and Martin Jones made 33 saves.

“I think we just took our foot off the gas pedal,” Flyers forward Cam Atkinson said. “Panic kind of set in for no reason. Obviously, we can’t do that. (We) showed what we could do in the first 15 (minutes), which is playing fast and wanting the puck, manning the puck and trying to make plays.

“I think we had three or four 3-on-2s playing the right way, then it just kind of deflated the bench when they scored. Second period wasn’t our best as well. We just wanted to play hard. You never know what could happen if you score a goal in the third. I thought the third period was definitely our best.”

Matt Dumba scored at 14:29 of the first period to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead. Gaudreau passed to Matt Boldywho found Dumba cutting through the slot.

Video: PHI@MIN: Kaprizov works down wing, beats Jones

Kaprizov made it 2-0 on a power play at 16:23 with a wrist shot from the left face-off circle. It was Kaprizov’s 37th goal this season and fifth during his goal streak.

Jordan Greenway scored at 1:35 of the second period on a rebound of Eriksson Ek’s shot to give the Wild a 3-0 lead.

“We’ve got some different people scoring in different situations,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. “You even look at the overtimes the last three games, we’ve had different scorers, so it’s nice to have that depth. And there’s always an internal competition to play more and different situations. I think our group has done a real good job .”

Kevin Fiala made it 4-0 at 18:49 with an extra attacker on a delayed penalty. Dmitry Kulikov passed to Fiala near the goal line for a one-timer from a sharp angle.

“I just tried to get open,” Fiala said. “A few times, (Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven) Stamkos would do it a lot. (I) practice on it sometimes and yeah, it worked out, so it was good.”

Frost cut it to 4-1 during a four-minute power play at 4:21 of the third period.

Video: PHI@MIN: Dumba shovels feed in slot far side

The Flyers outshot the Wild 17-8 in the third. They have been outscored 15-8 during their skid.

“I give the guys credit, the way that we came out in the third,” Philadelphia coach Mike Yeo said. “Obviously, it’s not easy. It’s frustrating. But I have seen that with this group that they don’t quit. We have to make sure that we keep that.

“It’s tough to sit here, when you lose by the score that we do, to point to positives, but that’s got to be our mindset. There were positives in that game tonight.”

NOTES: Minnesota forward Marcus Foligno left with 1:29 remaining after a collision in the neutral zone with Philadelphia forward Owen Tippett. Evason said he is fine. … The Wild won their previous three games 3-2 in overtime. … Fiala has scored five points (three goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak. … Flyers forward Noah Cates made his NHL debut. He had three shots, three hits and three takeaways at 14:52 of ice time. … Philadelphia forward James van Riemsdyk had a game-high seven shots on goal at 14:32.

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