The Minnesota Wild are in trouble. Following a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday at the Xcel Energy Center, they remain without answers.
The Wild have lost four straight and nine of their last 14 games and have been outscored 19-12 and have fallen behind by a goal or early in most of their games this month.
“Same story as it has been,” Parise said.
When asked how they get out it, Parise responded: “I don’t know. I don’t have many answers tonight. There is a lot of frustration on everyone’s part.”
The Flyers (14-14-6) scored twice on eight shots in the first nine minutes and 33 seconds of the game. That all came before the Wild got a shot on goal. Sean Couturier got the Flyers on the board at the 7:16 mark after his pass for R.J. Umberger deflected into the open net off a Wild defender. Two minutes and 17 seconds later, Claude Giroux fired a rebound into the open net. Both goals came after a Jonas Brodin miscue. The second was accompanied by a bad rebound and an uncover Flyer forward.
The Wild (16-13-3) showed some life after falling behind by two goals. Marco Scandella blasted a slap shot through a screen by Zach Parise and past Ray Emery 30 seconds after Giroux scored. It was the team’s second shot on goal.
Despite turning the ice, the Wild trailed by a goal after one period. Charlie Coyle tied the game with a power play tally early in the second period. Jason Pominville did not get much on a one-time and his fluttering shot glanced off Coyle’s leg before going into the net.
The Flyers reclaimed the lead for good when Wayne Simmonds won battle along the boards near the blue line and fired a shot over Darcy Kuemper’s shoulder with Jared Spurgeon late to provide defensive help.
Vincent Lecavalier deflected a shot by Andrew MacDonald through Kuemper to extend the Flyers lead to a seemingly unsurmountable two goals with 14 minutes and 31 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Michael Raffl added an empty-net goal with less than 29 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Decembers have not been kind to the Wild. They have made a habit of going into a funk at this time of the year. Between Dec. 11 and Dec. 31, they have a 4-17-5 record since Mike Yeo took over in 2011. That is over three seasons because there were no December games in the 2012-13 season due to the lockout.
“Every team goes through a funk like this,” Coyle said. “It is up to us to get out of it.”
Last season, they beat up on the Buffalo Sabres and used that as spring board to win nine of 14 in January. Whether they can duplicate that success at the end of this month and beyond is yet to be seen.
“We’ve gone through this before,” Coyle said. “We’ve dug ourselves out before, so we know it’s possible. We just have to take it game-by-game. We can’t think of it any more than that.”
The Wild return to action Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets at the Xcel Energy Center.
No. 3 – Claude Giroux. The Flyers forward scored a goal.
No. 2 – Jakub Voracek. The Flyers forward recorded two assists.
No. 1 – Wayne Simmonds. The Flyers forward scored a goal.
Philadelphia……2 1 1 – 4
Minnesota………1 1 0 – 2
First Period – 1, Philadelphia, Couturier 9 (Umberger), 7:16. 2, Philadelphia, Giroux 11 (L. Schenn, Voracek), 9:33. 3, Mimnnesota, Scandella 8 (Spurgeon, Parise), 10:03. Penalties – Laughton, PHI (tripping), 16:28.
Second Period – 4, Minnesota, Coyle 3 (Pominville, Suter), 3:43 (pp). 5, Philadelphia, Simmonds 15 (B. Schenn, Streit), 15:22. Penalties – Grossmann, PHI (boarding), :14; B. Schenn, PHI (closing hand on puck), 2:23; Voracek, PHI (holding), 6:51.
Third Period – 6, Philadelphia, Lecavalier 5 (MacDonald, Bellemare), 5:29. 7, Philadelphia, Raffl 10 (Voracek), 19:31. Penalties – MacDonald, PHI (hooking), 11:28 Coyle, MIN (roughing), 14:10; Vandevelde, PHI (slashing), 20:00; Carter, MIN (slashing), 20:00.
Shots on goal – Philadelphia 8-11-11 30. Minnesota 7-10-7 24.
Goalies – Philadelphia, Emery (22-24). Minnesota, Kuemper (25-29). Referees – Chris Lee, Tim Peel. Linesmen – Brian Mach, David Brisebois.