PHILADELPHIA – Zach Parise folded a piece of pizza in his hand, but it wasn’t exactly his comfort food Monday night following a 7-4 Wild loss to the Flyers, a game the Wild felt it should have won against a stumbling Eastern Conference opponent on the road.
Parise took some personal responsibility, specifically for a backbreaking goal from Wayne Simmonds with 5.2 seconds left in the second period that put Philadelphia ahead by two.
“I got to look at myself. I made a couple costly mistakes,” Parise said. “The one at the end of the second, trying to make a play, but I turned it over and they ended up scoring. If that doesn’t happen, it’s a 3-2 game. … Got to take some responsibility there. Kind of cost us.”
Parise wasn’t the only one who might look at himself and not like what he saw. After grabbing a two-goal lead early, the night was one of misfortune and mistakes for the Wild, as the Flyers got a hat trick from James van Riemsdyk and two goals each by Simmonds and Nolan Patrick. In the process, the Wild let another game against a beatable Eastern opponent slip after their home loss to Detroit on Saturday.
“You can’t make the mistakes that we’re making out there and hope to win a hockey game,” coach Bruce Boudreau said.
The mistakes went all the way up to Devan Dubnyk. The All-Star goalie was pulled after he gave up five goals on 20 shots.
“Things are just finding their way in,” Dubnyk said. “It was a weird game. Sometimes in those [kind of games] you don’t feel comfortable. But for the whole, I felt like I was seeing pucks OK and felt comfortable with what was going on in front of me.”
At first, all was positive in front of Dubnyk. The Wild led 2-0 behind goals from Jason Zucker and Joel Eriksson Ek, but the lead didn’t last the first period. Van Riemdsyk tipped in a shot from Jakub Voracek and had another from Claude Giroux go off his skate to tie the score 2-2. Boudreau challenged the first goal, alleging van Riemsdyk didn’t tag up on the blue line as the Flyers were entering the zone, but he lost the challenge.
“I think it would’ve been a 2-0 lead going into the second, probably would’ve been a lot different hockey game,” Boudreau said. “I don’t know what they see and what we see. I mean, I don’t know what’s right or what’s wrong anymore. I’d surely like to know the angle they had because they certainly looked offside to me.”
The Wild grabbed a 3-2 lead in the second period on a goal from Marcus Foligno, but the Flyers closed out the period with three more goals, including Simmonds’ before the buzzer and one from Patrick where he went between his legs. The Wild cut into the deficit in third with a goal from defenseman Ryan Suter before Simmonds got free on a breakaway and beat Alex Stalock, who was in for Dubnyk, to seal the game for Philadelphia.
Boudreau wanted more intensity from the Wild after Saturday’s loss. He got that, at least offensively, but the defense, coverage and goaltending were still lacking — and the Wild squandered another chance to make up ground in the standings.
“We just need to not look at who we’re playing or where they are in the standings,” Dubnyk said. “And not worry about whether a team has been struggling or lost some games in a row.”
Right now, that would be the Wild.