PHILADELPHIA – Looking for a second straight victory, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau marched out to the bench after Saturday's morning skate to get assistant coach Scott Stevens' attention.
"Hey Scott, get all the guys playing off the ice," Boudreau barked.
Boudreau wanted the Wild to save all its energy for the game. Didn't work.
Hours later, even though it was the Philadelphia Flyers who played the night before in Toronto, it was the Wild that played a step behind all night during an eventual 3-2 loss at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers' lethal power play slew the Wild when Brayden Schenn scored the winning goal midway through the third period.
"I'm really disappointed," Boudreau said of not building on a solid win in Pittsburgh two nights earlier. "We're sitting here waiting for them and coming off a pretty good high. I thought we needed better."
It was all downhill for the Wild after the Nino Niederreiter-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle line picked up where it left off during a three-goal, seven-point, 12-shot effort against the Penguins. Niederreiter scored 21 seconds into the game.
"After that I don't think we did enough," Staal said.
The Wild surrendered a pair of one-goal leads, the first when Devan Dubnyk never saw a seeing-eye shot from the point through a maze of bodies, the second off a total breakdown.
After captain Mikko Koivu made a wise play to stay onside, then deked defenseman Michael Del Zotto out of his skates to set up Mikael Granlund's third goal in five games, Koivu didn't get a puck deep, then got beat on the backcheck when Del Zotto gained position on Koivu before receiving a goalmouth pass for his first goal of the season.
Boudreau didn't pin blame on Koivu, though.
"There was a defenseman going up the middle yelling for the puck, yelling for the puck," Boudreau said. "And there was no way he was going to do anything even if he got it because he wasn't in position. Twenty-four was rushing up where he shouldn't have been."
Twenty-four is Matt Dumba, who like many Wild defensemen, had a rough game.
"There's got to be a theory and a reason for it, so I'll talk to him," Boudreau said of some of the ill-advised plays Dumba makes.
Earlier Saturday, Boudreau said the Flyers "live for the power play" and have five guys that "if you give them a chance to make a play, they usually make a great one." They certainly did on the winner.
After Michael Raffl sold a Koivu trip well, the Flyers scored 12 seconds later when Jared Spurgeon bit and chased Wayne Simmonds behind the net. Simmonds made a fabulous pass through their legs to the front of the net for Schenn, and Dubnyk was hung out to dry.
"I don't know if that's how we'd like to execute it," said Dubnyk, who made 33 saves. "It's a good pass from behind the net. You usually aren't going to go at a guy behind the net there."
Added Koivu, "Penalties happen. … It will happen against any team and usually every team has good power plays in this league. It's a thing where we need to still work on it and get better at it."
The Wild's power play had two cracks in the third period, first to take the lead, then to tie the game.
Instead, the Wild fell to a league-worst 2-for-25 on the road.
The high-scoring Flyers have allowed a league-high 3.63 goals per game and entered with the worst save percentage (.863).
They've allowed 31 more goals than the Wild.
Yet, the Wild could take advantage of goalie Michal Neuvirth, then Steve Mason, who was lit up in Toronto, after Mason replaced an injured Neuvirth to start the second.
Unlike in Pittsburgh, the Wild didn't win battles, was weak on one-and-done forechecks. Mason robbed Staal with four seconds left, but Boudreau didn't like the Wild's lack of urgency until late.
"If you're not tenacious enough, bad things happen," Boudreau said.