(SportsNetwork.com) – The Minnesota Wild will try to extend their winning
streak to a season-high five games when they visit the sliding Philadelphia
Flyers for Thursday’s clash at Wells Fargo Center.
The Wild, who last won four in a row from April 5-10 of last season, are on
their second three-game winning streak of the season and the current one comes
directly on the heels of an 0-4-0 stretch.
Minnesota had to grind out a 4-3 overtime victory Sunday against visiting
Winnipeg despite holding a three-goal lead in the game. The Wild grabbed a 3-0
lead in the opening period and didn’t score again until Marco Scandella’s
game-winner 61 seconds into overtime.
After the Wild blew their three-goal lead in the third period, Scandella fired
a shot from the point that beat traffic in front and got past Michael
Hutchinson. Scandella had missed the previous two games with an illness and
notched his third tally of the season.
Minnesota forward Zach Parise had two goals in his return to the lineup after
missing the previous five games with a concussion. Nino Niederreiter also lit
“We were frustrated with the way we let them back in the game. Unfortunately,
we gave them a point we shouldn’t have,” Parise said.
Niklas Backstrom was pulled after giving up three goals in the third for the
Wild. Darcy Kuemper made three saves in relief.
Kuemper is expected to start tonight’s game and has never faced the Flyers.
Minnesota is beginning a three-game road trip tonight and also visits Tampa
Bay and Florida on the swing. The Wild are 3-6-0 on the road this season and
just 2-7-0 all-time in Philadelphia.
Philly has claimed three of four and seven of the past 10 overall meetings in
The Flyers will try to halt a three-game losing streak on a night when they
honor two former players by enshrining both Eric Lindros and John LeClair in
the franchise’s Hall of Fame. Lindros and LeClair, who made up two-thirds of
Philadelphia’s famed “Legion of Doom” line along with Mikael Renberg, will be
inducted in a pre-game ceremony.
Lindros won the Hart Trophy in 1995-96 and was an All-Star six times during
his tenure with the Flyers. He is fifth on the club’s all-time scoring list
with 659 points, while LeClair is ranked fifth in goals (333) for the
The Flyers also will induct defenseman Eric Desjardins in the team Hall of
Fame on Feb. 19 before they host the Buffalo Sabres.
Philadelphia dropped its third straight game Wednesday night in New York, as
the Rangers and goaltender Cam Talbot posted a 2-0 shutout at Madison Square
Steve Mason was solid in the loss, making 32 saves for the Flyers, who had won
three straight before the current slide.
The Flyers failed to be buoyed by the last-minute addition of captain Claude
Giroux, who was originally ruled out with a lower-body injury suffered in
practice on Monday. Giroux felt well enough in warmups to gain a slot in the
lineup but couldn’t coax any scoring from his club.
“The trainers did a great job of getting me ready for the game. But I can play
better,” Giroux admitted. “I have to find a way to get our game going. Any
time you lose three in a row there’s concern.”
Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto left Wednesday’s game with a lower-body
injury and is questionable for this evening’s home test. Del Zotto, a former
Ranger who was making his return to Madison Square Garden, left in the third
period and did not return. He is second among Philadelphia defenseman with
eight points (2 goals, 6 assists) in 17 games.
Philly is playing the first of two straight at home tonight and also will
welcome Columbus on Saturday. The Flyers are 5-2-2 at Wells Fargo Center this