Wild lose 4th straight

ST. PAUL -- Center Vincent Lecavalier scored an insurance goal in the third period and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Minnesota Wild 5-2 Tuesday night.

Zach Parise
Minnesota forward Zach Parise walks to the locker room after the Wild’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL - Center Vincent Lecavalier scored an insurance goal in the third period and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Minnesota Wild 5-2 Tuesday night.
Center Sean Couturier and right wingers Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds also scored for Philadelphia, which won three straight and five of seven. The Flyers are 6-1-3 in their past 10 games. Left winger Michael Raffi added an empty-net goal.
Leading 3-2 in the third period, Philadelphia defenseman Pierre-Edouard Bellemare sent a pass to defenseman Andrew MacDonald near the left point. His wrist shot from there was deflected by Lecavalier past Minnesota goaltender Darcy Kuemper at 5:29.
A healthy scratch for seven games earlier this month, Lecavalier scored two goals in the third period Sunday to tie the game before the Flyers beat Winnipeg 4-3 in overtime.
Minnesota, losers of four straight and 1-3-2 in its last six games, got goals from defenseman Marco Scandella and center Charlie Coyle. Kuemper made 25 saves.
Kuemper, who had been pulled in four of his past five home starts, was thrust into a starting nod when Niklas Backstrom became ill. Coach Mike Yeo said earlier in the day that Kuemper needs a couple days to not think about hockey.
Kuemper didn’t get much help when Philadelphia took an early 2-0 lead.
First, Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin tried to clear the puck in the slot, but Couturier intercepted the attempt, cut across the crease to his left and tried to pass back to center R.J. Umberger near the right post. However, the puck deflected off defenseman Ryan Suter’s skate and into the net to make it 1-0 at 7:16.
A little more than two minutes later, Giroux added to the lead.
Kuemper stopped a slap shot from defenseman Luke Schenn, but the rebound went to Giroux alone in the left circle. His quick shot went just inside the left post.
The Flyers had the game’s first eight shots, with Minnesota not getting its first until midway through the opening period.
Eight seconds later, the Wild scored on its second shot when a slap shot from Scandella went through traffic - including a screen by left winger Zach Parise - and behind goaltender Ray Emery. It was Scandella’s third goal in four games.
Emery finished with 22 saves.
Coyle tied the game with a power-play goal 3:43 into the second period.
Suter passed across to Pominville at the top of the right circle. His weak one-timer deflected off Coyle in front as he was tied up by a Philadelphia defenseman and behind Emery, who had little chance on the play.
Philadelphia took a 3-2 lead before the period was over.
Schenn won a battle at the half wall and was able to poke the puck over to Simmonds. He took two strides before his shot from the right dot went over the shoulder of Kuemper and into the top left corner of the net for his team-leading 15th goal.
NOTES: Flyers GM Ron Hextall said G Steve Mason, out since suffering an upper-body injury at practice last Friday, will rejoin the team on its road trip after the holiday break, but will not be available to play in Nashville on Saturday. ... Minnesota recalled G John Curry from AHL Iowa under emergency conditions to replace G Niklas Backstrom, who became ill. ... Minnesota C Mikael Granlund returned after missing Saturday’s game with an illness. ... Flyers C Zac Rinaldo missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury, meaning Minnesota-native Chris VandeVelde stayed in the lineup.

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