By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
There have been multiple times this season when the Flyers playoffs hopes were long since dashed and elimination was only a mere formality. Tuesday night was not just the final game of a five-game road trip for the Flyers, nor the final game of March. It officially eliminated them from playoff contention.
The Flyers took a 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild to close out the 1-4-0 road trip, also knocking them out of playoff contention for the second straight season.
Early in the first period, the Flyers did a solid job of maintaining pace with the Wild. They had a 9-5 lead in shots as the period approached the mid-point, and got a spirited bout from Nick Seeler, dropping the gloves with experienced fighter Nicolas Deslauriers.
Shortly after that, at 14:29, the Wild broke the ice with the opening goal of the game. Off a turnover, the Wild quickly moved the puck to set up Matt Dumba at the side of the net for the goal, his sixth of the season.
Less than two minutes later, Minnesota was on the power play and cashed in, as Kirill Kaprisov fired a shot through a screen to beat Martin Jones for his 37th goal of the season.
Through 20 minutes, the Wild had a 16-12 lead in shots.
Just 1:35 into the second, the Wild added to the lead. Joel Eriksson Ek fired a shot that Jones stopped, but the rebound came right out into the slot and Jordan Greenway was there to finish it off for his eighth goal of the season.
Late in the period, with a delayed penalty call on the Flyers, the Wild padded the lead further. Kevin Fiala scored from a ridiculous angle while falling backwards to make it 4-0 with his 23rd goal of the season.
Through two periods, shots were 29-16 Minnesota.
The Flyers got a four-minute power play early in the third and did get on the board as a result. Morgan Frost scored from the slot for his third goal of the season to make it a 4-1 game at 4:21 of the period.
That was as close as the Flyers would get, despite out-shooting Minnesota, 17-6, in the final period.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves on 33 shots in the win. Jones made 33 saves on 37 shots in the loss.
Eriksson Ek and Frederick Gaudreau each had two assists in the win. Noah Cates played 14:01 in his NHL debut with three shots on goal, three hits, and three takeaways.
The Flyers return home to start the final month of the season, facing off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.