The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling
ST. PAUL — After yet another third-period comeback that resulted in a victory, the Wild will try and extend its winning streak to seven games on Tuesday night when it hosts the Philadelphia Flyers at Xcel Energy Center.
The game marks the penultimate game of a franchise-long nine-game homestand, on which, the Wild is currently 6-1-0 after a 3-2 overtime win over NHL-leading Colorado on Sunday.
Ryan Hartman‘s goal late in the third period knotted the game at 2-2 before Kevin Fiala scored the game-winning goal 15 seconds into the extra session, delivering a third consecutive overtime victory for Minnesota and sixth-straight win overall.
The Wild’s six-game streak is the third such winning stretch for Minnesota this season, making it the only club in the NHL with three winning streaks of six games or more.
It’s the first time in franchise history the Wild has accomplished the feat.
Cam Talbot has played a big part in Minnesota’s current stretch, having won each of his past eight starts, the longest active streak in the league and tying the longest personal winning streak of his NHL career.
For his work over the past week, Talbot was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Monday, after he went 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average, a .959 save percentage and one shutout in wins over the Vegas Golden Knights, Vancouver Canucks and the Avalanche.
He stopped 40 of 42 shots on Sunday, his 14th career 40-save performance and second of the season. His 27 wins this season are 10th-most in the NHL.
Minnesota is 8-1-1 in its past 10 overall and sits second in the Central Division, three points clear of the St. Louis Blues while also having one game in hand. The fourth-place Nashville Predators are four points behind Minnesota, but the Wild has two games in hand.
The victory Sunday was the Wild’s 40th of the season, making it the third team in the Western Conference (Colorado, Calgary) to eclipse the 40-win mark this season.
It also moved the Wild to 7-0 in games decided in overtime this season.
“That’s how these games are going to be down the stretch and in the playoffs. This is how you have to play; we have to be comfortable being uncomfortable, whether it’s a one-goal lead or you’re chasing that one-goal lead , said Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. “It’s huge. You’ve got to be on your toes at all times and just be ready to capitalize at all times or to shut them down.”
Minnesota is aiming for a season sweep of the struggling Flyers, who enter play Tuesday in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division, 31 points behind the Washington Capitals, who currently hold the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Wild rallied for a 5-4 win in Philadelphia earlier this month, scoring twice in a span of 25 seconds in the third period, turning a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead.
Ryan Hartman had two goals in the game, Fiala had a pair of assists and Talbot finished with 26 saves. The win for Talbot snapped a four-game losing skid and he hasn’t lost since, going 8-0-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage over that span.
Since that game, the Flyers have made major changes to the roster, including the trade of its long-time captain, Claude Giroux, at the NHL Trade Deadline last week. Giroux, who would play in his 1,000th NHL game just over a week after the game against the Wild, was dealt to the Florida Panthers.
The game Tuesday marks the final one of a five-game road trip for the Flyers that began one week ago in Detroit, and continued to St. Louis, Colorado and Naahville. Philadelphia is 1-3-0 on the trip so far, having allowed five goals or more in all three losses, including a 5-2 loss to the Predators on Sunday.
Cam Atkinson is the lone Flyer with 50 points this season, leading the club with 23 goals. Travis Konecny has a team-high 31 assists.
Carter Hart has seen a bulk of the action in net this season, going 13-21-7 in 42 games (41 starts) with a 3.04 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. Hart made 33 saves in a losing effort versus Minnesota earlier this month.