Fleury, Wild beat Flyers 4-1, extend win streak to 7 games
By TYLER MASON Associated Press
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves and won his second straight start for Minnesota, and the Wild extended their winning streak to seven games with a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.
Matt Dumba, Kirill Kaprizov, Jordan Greenway and Kevin Fiala scored for the Wild. The victory ended a streak of three consecutive overtime wins by the score of 3-2 for Minnesota.
Morgan Frost scored a power-play goal in the third period for Philadelphia, ending Fleury’s shutout bid. Martin Jones made 33 saves as Philadelphia lost its third straight.
Fleury, the three-time Stanley Cup winner who has the fourth-most playoff wins in NHL history, was acquired by Minnesota in a trade-deadline deal that sent a conditional 2022 first-round draft pick to Chicago. The 37-year-old former Vezina Trophy winner won his debut with the Wild on Saturday in a 3-2 victory over Columbus.
After a fan threw a bouquet of flowers onto the ice for Fleury — after his nickname of Flower — following his debut, several more did so Tuesday after he was announced as the game’s No. 1 star.
“Like I said last time, it still feels like a figure skater picking up those flowers,” Fleury said. “Obviously, it’s very nice of the people. They don’t need to waste money on flowers. It’s OK.”
Dumba opened the scoring for Minnesota after a tic-tac-toe pass from Frederick Gaudreau and Matt Boldy, who found Dumba in front of the net. Dumba beat Jones on the glove side.
Kaprizov gave the Wild a two-goal lead less than two minutes later. The star second-year forward used a screen from teammate Joel Eriksson Ek and scored on the power play for his 37th goal of the year.
The Flyers didn’t have an answer for those two Wild goals after hanging with Minnesota for much of the first period.
“I think we just took our foot off the gas pedal,” Flyers forward Cam Atkinson said. “It just kind of deflated the bench when they scored.”
Kaprizov nearly had his second goal of the game in the second period, but it was waved off immediately as Minnesota’s Ryan Hartman made contact with Jones before the goal.
Fiala extended his point streak to four games with his 23rd goal of the season to put Minnesota up 4-0 late in the third. Fiala buried a shot from a tough angle along the goal line on a delayed penalty, swinging so hard on the shot that he fell over.
“We’re rolling right now, all four lines, the defensemen, both the goaltenders, everyone’s on board,” Fiala said. “If the leaders just keep going, it’s going to be tough for any team to stop us.”
Frost scored on a power play 4:21 into the third. With Minnesota’s Tyson Jost serving a double minor for high sticking, Frost intercepted a clearing attempt and fired it past Fleury.
“I give the guys credit the way that we came out in the third,” Flyers head 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.”
NOTES: Flyers F Noah Cates made his NHL debut Tuesday not far from his hometown. Cates, who ended his collegiate career with Minnesota-Duluth after the Bulldogs’ season ended Saturday, grew up in Stillwater, Minnesota, 20 miles northeast of St. Paul. Cates was selected by Philadelphia in the fifth round of the 2017 NHL Draft. … The Wild announced Tuesday they signed F Sam Hentges to a two-year entry-level contract, beginning in the 2022-23 season. Hentges, who had 22 points for St. Cloud State this year, was Minnesota’s seventh-round pick in 2018.
Flyers: Host Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Wild: Host Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.
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