National Hockey League
Wild-Flyers Preview
National Hockey League

Wild-Flyers Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 12:52 p.m. ET

John Torchetti's winning streak to start his tenure with Minnesota is over, and stopping it from flipping immediately into a losing streak will require the Wild to extend their season-best road run.

They head to Philadelphia, where the Flyers begin a six-game stretch hoping to regain the home form they had a month and a half ago.

The Wild are 4-1-0 under Torchetti, and while they're embarking on a back-to-back road set concluding Friday against Washington having won three straight on the road under their new coach, they're also concerned with getting it right on home ice after Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders.

"Right now, we have to focus on the road, heading down there, and getting those games," said center Charlie Coyle, who has scored in six of the last eight away games, including the past three. "We have to get back to playing our game, and our style of hockey here, and take care of business in our building."


The Wild (27-23-10) scored 21 times in Torchetti's first four games with those wins coming by at least two goals each, and he said the departure from that was caused by the team being out of sync.

"It seemed like every time the puck was going, we were coming, and every time the puck was coming, we were going," Torchetti said. "We have to do a better job with our puck possession."

The power play has improved some under Torchetti, going 5 for 21, and the Wild have scored at least one power-play goal in their last eight away games while converting at a rate of 31.0 percent.

The Flyers (26-22-11) opened the season series with a 4-3 overtime win in Minnesota on Jan. 7 for their fifth victory in the last seven meetings.

Philadelphia is returning home from a 2-2-1 trip that ended with Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Carolina, despite putting 37 shots on net. The Flyers have outshot their last three opponents by 9.7 per game.

"We played a good hockey game, a real good hockey game, really in almost every area," coach Dave Hakstol told the team's official website. "Their goaltender was the difference. You walk away from this one and we didn't get the two points, and that's all that really matters at this time of year. But we did play a hell of a hockey game. So we've got to carry that play and that mentality into a home game in two days, and we'll do that."

The Flyers, however, have gone 2-3-3 at home since a six-game winning streak there ended in mid-January.

Shayne Gostisbehere's 15-game point streak was one of the casualties of Tuesday's loss, something the rookie defenseman isn't overly sad to see go.

"It was a special streak," Gostisbehere said. "I really can't thank my teammates and coaches (enough). They helped me along the way, not letting me think about it too much, and the biggest thing, not getting a big head about it. It was a fun thing. I'm personally happy it's over and we don't have to talk about it anymore."

Steve Mason figures to be back in net after Michal Neuvirth faced the Hurricanes and replaced Mason in Saturday's 5-4 overtime win in Toronto. Mason has posted a 1.98 goals-against average and .934 save percentage over a 3-1-0 span against Minnesota, whereas likely counterpart Devan Dubnyk has lost both his career games in Philadelphia with a 3.57 GAA and .883 save percentage.

The Wild placed forward Jason Zucker on injured reserve Wednesday because of a concussion suffered in Sunday's 6-1 win over Chicago. Zucker is tied for fourth on the team with 12 goals.


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