Minnesota Wild Losing Streak
March 2, 2022
On Tuesday, March 1, the Minnesota Wild looked to rebound after losing their previous three games while on their Canadian road trip. Minnesota hosted the Calgary Flames, who sit atop of the Pacific division. Minnesota played a poor game against the Flames in Calgary on February 26, where they were outperformed in all assets of the game.
Minnesota started the game with Alex Goligoski committing an interference penalty in 24 seconds from puck drop. The Wild, who has allowed a powerplay goal in their previous three games, did not start the night how they wanted. 48 seconds into the Calgary powerplay, captain of the Flames Matthew Tkachuk found the back of the net to give Calgary a 1-0 lead.
After the goal, Minnesota controlled the next 10 minutes of the period, where they had many quality scoring chances. Calgary did not allow Minnesota to control the game’s pace for very long once Andrew Mangiapane scored the second goal of the game for the Flames giving Calgary a 2-0 lead against a deflated Minnesota team. Minnesota had the opportunity to respond on the powerplay after an interference call on Milan Lucic. Minnesota’s powerplay was in complete disarray, with Calgary not allowing Minnesota to set up in the offensive zone. Cam Talbot made some incredible saves on the powerplay to keep the deficit only at two heading into the second period.
Minnesota came out of the locker room with a chip on their shoulder, looking to respond to a team that just embarrassed them in their previous game. The Wild had many quality chances to cut the lead in half, but it took eight minutes into the second period for the Wild to score their first of the night. Marcus Foligno scored the goal for the Wild off of a beautiful assist by Kirill Kaprizov and the second assist to Joel Eriksson Ek. Foligno’s goal was his 18th season and Kaprizov’s 40th assist.
It did not take long for the Flames to respond to the Wild’s goal. Calgary scored 21 seconds after Minnesota off a lazy play by the Wild defensemen. The goal scorer for the Flames was Elias Lindholm and assisted by Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau. The quick response by the Flames seemed to suck the life out of the Minnesota Wild and their fans. Calgary left the end of the second period with one minute remaining on their powerplay heading into the third period.
At the start of the third period, Minnesota needed to kill off their penalty and get back in attack mode to cut the lead back to only one. Calgary ended up capitalizing on the powerplay against Minnesota’s struggling penalty kill with 19 minutes remaining in the game. The goal was scored by Tyler Toffoli, who is a new addition to Calgary’s roster giving the Flames a three-goal lead.
Minnesota failed to capitalize on the powerplay halfway through the third period. The Wild were unable to score another goal throughout the game, which resulted in a 5-1 loss to the Calgary Flames after an empty-net goal. Minnesota continued their losing streak Tuesday night to make it four games in a row without a win.
The Wild found themselves unsuccessful in all four powerplay chances and allowed two costly goals on the penalty kill. After four straight games of playing lackadaisical hockey, Minnesota will need to figure out how they will piece together their next win. Goalie Cam Talbot struggles in goal continue for the Wild, as he allowed four or more goals in his last four starts. Minnesota hopes to bring back injured veteran defensemen Matt Dumba for their game Thursday in Philadelphia. Minnesota needs to respond with a win against a defeated Philadelphia Flyers team that has struggled to win throughout the season.
General Manager Bill Guerin will decide whether to add depth to the roster with the upcoming trade deadline. Guerin will have a look at Claude Giroux Thursday night. Giroux is the Flyers’ captain and is in the last year of his contract. Giroux’s name has been tied to many trade talks, including the Wild, who need depth at center. After their two-game road trip out east, Minnesota will be back home on March 6, against the Dallas Stars.