The Minnesota Wild put their 11-game home point streak on the line Saturday when they host the Philadelphia Flyers in Saint Paul, Minn.
The Wild improved to 9-1-4 over the past 14 games and 8-0-3 in their last 11 games at the Xcel Energy Center with a wild 6-5 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
Minnesota, which began the season with just two points in its first seven games (1-6-0), entered play on Friday just two points out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The team's home point streak record is 13 in a row (10-0-3) set from Dec. 27, 2017, to Feb. 13, 2018.
The Wild blew a 4-2 lead in the third period against the Oilers, who tied it on a Connor McDavid goal with 7:11 remaining. But Minnesota bounced back with two goals in the span of 68 seconds by Eric Staal and Luke Kunin to take a 6-4 lead and held on despite yielding a goal to James Neal with 47.8 seconds left.
"The response (was) good," said Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau. "We've seen a lot of that lately, and that's a really good sign. It was a pretty sloppy game for both teams, but I have no problem with sloppy games as long as we're the team with the higher number at the end."
One of the highlights in the win for the Wild was the play of 22-year-old left wing Jordan Greenway, who had a goal, an assist and also picked up a five-minute fighting major after an entertaining bout with Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse to garner a "Gordie Howe hat trick."
"It's good to get my first one I guess," the 6-foot-6 Greenway said. "I don't know. I didn't expect one honestly, but I'll take it for sure."
"Darnell Nurse is a pretty tough dude, and I thought he stood in there really well," said Boudreau. "In today's game, to get a Gordie Howe hat trick, that doesn't happen very often. When he plays physical, he's into the game more and good things usually happen for him. We hope he plays like that more often."
Philadelphia comes in off a 3-1 loss at Colorado on Wednesday and will be playing the front half of a back-to-back that concludes Sunday at Winnipeg.
The Flyers, who are 7-2-1 over their last 10 games, have not lost back-to-back games in regulation since Oct. 27-29.
Carter Hart had 24 saves and Claude Giroux scored in the loss to the Avalanche, who built a 3-0 lead behind two goals by Mikko Rantanen and another by Matt Calvert. Pavel Francouz finished with 32 saves.
"We couldn't finish today," center Sean Couturier told NHL.com. "The goalie was hot, and maybe we didn't have our best finish as we usually do. They were that much better in the execution part, but I thought we battled hard and created a lot of chances."
News of a more serious nature was announced Friday when the Flyers revealed that forward Oskar Lindblom will likely miss the rest of the season after being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer.
The 23-year-old Lindblom is scheduled to undergo further testing and evaluation next week. He is slated to begin treatments immediately after the testing and evaluations are complete.
"The Flyers will do everything possible to support Oskar and assist him in securing the best care available," general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement. "Out of respect for Oskar and his family, the team will have no further comment at this time."
Lindblom missed Wednesday's game against the Avalanche with what the team said was an upper-body injury. He is tied for the team lead in goals (11) with center Travis Konecny (concussion), who also missed the contest.
"I liked the way we started the game, and then they had that 10-minute really unbelievable push in that first period," Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said before Lindblom's heath status was announced. "That's as quick as I've seen a team come at us. They got quite a few looks. But after that I liked our game."
--Field Level Media