St. Paul_ The Minnesota Wild experienced their first non-regulation loss of the preseason Saturday night, losing 3-2 in a shootout to the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Wild jumped out to an early lead in the first period with a power play goal just over two minutes into the game. Up and coming centerman, Casey Wellman notched his first marker of the preseason with assists from native Minnesotan Nate Prosser and Martin Havlat. Wellman said of the goal, “I felt a lot more comfortable out there today. You know yesterday was a tough game, but it was good to get the monkey off the back as they say.”
But as happened so many times last season, the Wild gave the goal right back as Philadelphia’s Nikolai Zherdev evened the score at 1 with a goal 28 seconds later.
Both clubs picked up the physical play, with two fights and 20 total penalties. Flyer agitator Dan Carcillo was sent off midway through the second period on a game-misconduct for trying to start a fight while another fight was already going on.
The Wild pulled back ahead seven minutes into the third when Andrew Brunette found Chuck Kobasew standing alone in front of the net to make it 2-1 Wild. Head coach Todd Richards said after the game, “ [Chuck] scored a big goal for us. They [Koivu, Brunette, Kobasew] had their moments. The one thing that would take time with Chuck in that spot is the chemistry.”
The Flyers weren’t done, however, scoring just shy of four minutes later to tie the game back up on a goal by Darrel Powell who pounced on a rebound off a Braydon Coburn slapshot.
Neither team scored in overtime, though, in a rarity, both teams had power plays in the five minute extra period.
The Wild were unable to get one by Flyer goaltender Serge Bobrovsky in the shootout. Philadelphia’s second shooter, Nikolai Zherdev lit the lamp in the second round for the Flyers that ultimately gave them the 3-2 win.
Bobrovsky saved 24 of 26, plus all three in the shootout. Backstrom stopped 16 of 18, and 1 of 2 in the shootout.
The Wild head next to Montreal, where they’ll play Sunday night. Pregame at is at 5:35pm and the puck drops at 6pm on WCCO Radio and the Wild Radio Network.