For years, the shootout was a thorn in the side for the Flyers. This season, though, majority of the games that go past regulation are even making it to the skills competition. And most of them have the Flyers on the wrong end of the result.
That was no different on Thursday night. After tying the game in the final two minutes, Mats Zuccarello was the hero for the Minnesota Wild, as the Flyers fell, 3-2, in overtime.
The Flyers opened the scoring at 5:14. A point shot by Rasmus Ristolainen was deflected by Noah Cates and crawled across the goal line behind Marc-Andre Fleury for Cates’ seventh goal of the season.
The remainder of the first period was dominated by fisticuffs. Three times, the Flyers and Wild engaged in the extracurriculars, with Nicolas Deslauriers facing off against Ryan Reaves, Wade Allison taking down Mason Shaw, and Zack MacEwen getting bested by Marcus Foligno.
Through 20 minutes, shots were 9-7 Flyers.
The fights continued into the second, as Patrick Brown and Brandon Duhaime dropped the gloves.
Finally, at 3:39 of the second, the Wild got on the board. Matt Boldy stayed with the play and drove the front of the net, putting home a bounce to make it 1-1 with his 15th goal of the season.
Special teams time dominated the remainder of the second with neither team being able to take the lead. Through two periods, shots were 21-16 Flyers.
The Wild got the lead for the first time at 4:48 of the third. On a power-play, Boldy scored his second of the game and 16th of the season on a tip at the net, making it a 2-1 game.
In the final minutes, the Flyers were running out of time and made their push by getting Carter Hart to the bench. In just seconds, they got the game tied, as Tony DeAngelo fired a laser past Fleury to make it a 2-2 game with 1:28 remaining in regulation.
That forced overtime, where again the Flyers came out on the wrong end. Zuccarello charged through the neutral zone and walked Travis Konecny before going to the net to finish for the game-winning goal at 2:08.
Fleury made 28 saves on 30 shots in the win. Hart made 20 saves on 23 shots in the loss.
Boldy finished with a three-point game for the Wild. Zuccarello also had a goal and an assist.
Both MacEwen and Allison left the game for the Flyers with injury and did not return.
The Flyers get back on the ice on Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets for their final game before the All-Star break at 7 p.m.