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game recap

Wild playoff plans put on hold

Lose to Flyers, fail to clinch postseason berth

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild missed a chance to clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff berth Thursday when they lost 3-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers at Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild (44-23-6) would have become the second Western Conference team to qualify for the postseason if the Los Angeles Kings lost in regulation, but the Kings defeated the Jets 5-2. Minnesota trails the Chicago Blackhawks by eight points for first place in the Central Division and conference.

Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Jakub Voracek scored, and Steve Mason made 24 saves for the Flyers (34-31-8), who trail the Boston Bruins by six points for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"We played very well tonight," coach Dave Hakstol said. "They came at us with a ton of speed in the first few shifts, but the players adjusted real well and played very well for 60 minutes. That's what it takes to win in this building against a good team."

 

WATCH: All Flyers vs. Wild highlights

 

The Flyers ended a four-game road losing streak. They have won five of their past 22 games away from Wells Fargo Center.

"We played with control, we played our game plan, and we didn't drift away," Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux said, "so it was a good team effort and we played the way we wanted to."

Video: PHI@MIN: Mason makes a pair of saves in close

Zach Parise scored on the rebound off an Eric Staal shot 2:07 into the game to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.

Couturier tied it 1-1 with 2:01 left in the first, and Read scored 21 seconds into the second period to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.

Voracek scored into an empty net with 45 seconds remaining to make it 3-1.

"I thought a lot of it had to do with how hard they worked and how hard they played," Parise said. "Any time there was a loose puck, it felt like they jumped on it quicker than us. Any time there was a 50-50 puck, they came out with it, it felt like, the majority of the time. Just, they got it, flipped out and chased us down. It wasn't our best game."

Video: PHI@MIN: Parise picks up the loose puck, scores early

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves in his 16th straight game.

Minnesota, which ended a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, has not won two games in a row since Feb. 27-28.

"If I had answers, I'd try to cure it," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think we can -- they've just got to -- I don't know. They've got to will it. They've got to find a way. They can't get down when things don't go good. That's pretty well the bottom line."

 
Goal of the game

Read capitalized when Wild defenseman Matt Dumba was unable to control the puck on his backhand in front of the Minnesota net, knocking it past Dubnyk to put the Flyers ahead to stay.

Video: PHI@MIN: Read crashes net, buries bouncing puck

 
Saves of the game

Dubnyk pinned Couturier's backhand try against his chest at 10:13 of the second period after stopping a Wayne Simmonds shot on a 2-on-1 rush.

 

Unsung performance of the game

Flyers rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov had one shot on goal, three blocked shots and a plus-1 rating in 22:27. "We were doing all the right things tonight as a team, as a group, and that's why we got the win," he said.

 

Highlight of the game

Couturier swept the puck between his legs and switched to his backhand to beat Dubnyk and tie the game.

Video: PHI@MIN: Couturier buries between-the-legs beauty

 
They said it

"Every game we're playing from here on out is pretty much a must-win. We knew that coming into this building is not easy. They're a great home team as well as road team. In my eyes, they're a top team here that gives a lot of teams troubles, so for us to come in here and have a real strong road effort … somewhere we haven't been real strong all year, it's a big one." -- Flyers goaltender Steve Mason

 

"I'm concerned because I'm used to them having jump [with energy], and for me to sit here and say, 'Ah. Everything's good,' when we've lost six out of seven, eight out of 10, it's not as good as we'd like it, that's for sure. I'm confident that this team is going to be ready when that time comes. But at the same time, we'd like to play every game like we think they're capable of playing." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

 
Need to know

Defenseman Brandon Manning returned to the Flyers lineup after missing five games with a shoulder injury. He had a minus-1 rating, two shots on goal, two hits and two blocked shots in 20:00. ... Couturier has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past six games. ... Parise has one goal and four assists during a four-game point streak. ... Staal has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his past eight games.

 
What's next

Flyers: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, FS-O, CSN-PH, NHL.TV)

Wild: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, SNP, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Read, Mason lead Flyers past Wild, 3-1

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