The Wild fought their way out of their losing streak.
After getting in four scraps, including three within seconds of one another, the Wild channeled their frustration into their three-game rut and banished it with a 3-2 overtime win against the Flyers on Thursday in front of 19,177 at Xcel Energy Center to end their worst slide since they started the season 0-3.
"The boys stepped up today and showed some fire," Mats Zuccarello said, "and we got the important two points."
Zuccarello dealt the final blow on a heads-up, almost end-to-end rush 2 minutes, 8 seconds into the extra session, the veteran darting at a forward playing defense before flipping the puck over Philadelphia goaltender Carter Hart for his 19th tally of the season, fifth career overtime goal and first with the Wild.
"He's not going to try to do that against a defenseman or a solid guy," coach Dean Evason said. "He doesn't feel that that's the right play at that time. He sees that represent itself with the forward, and he makes a great move to get around and then obviously to score the goal."
Matt Boldy assisted on the play after scoring the Wild's previous two goals to pick up his third three-point game of the season and fourth of his career.
Just before Boldy factored into Zuccarello's clincher, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury fended off a 3-on-1 chance from the Flyers' Travis Konecny, who was the forward Zuccarello eluded en route to his game-winning goal by sending the puck between Konecny's legs.
"I saw it was just me and him," Fleury said of his overtime save, his last of 28 overall. "I got enough of the pad and went in the corner."
Philadelphia's Tony DeAngelo extended the action on a rising shot with 1:28 to go in the third period, but the Wild were in rally mode first after falling behind on a deflection by Stillwater's Noah Cates at 5:14 of the first.
Not long after, Ryan Reaves dropped the gloves with Nic Deslauriers, Reaves' predecessor in the Wild's sparkplug department since Deslauriers finished out last season with the Wild after they acquired him ahead of the trade deadline. Deslauriers went on to sign with Philadelphia in the offseason.
"They were outshooting us and in our zone a lot. Just a little sleepy start," Reaves said. "I think it was time to try to build some energy. That's my job."
The dust-up elevated Reaves to 1,004 career penalty minutes, making him the eighth active NHLer to eclipse 1,000, and his three hits moved him past David Backes into eighth place in NHL history with 2,711.
During the next shift, Mason Shaw and Wade Allison tussled briefly before they were also sent to the penalty box. And then after the ensuing faceoff, Marcus Foligno squared off with Zack MacEwen; Brandon Duhaime and Patrick Brown had the last scuffle early in the second period.
Only 54 seconds later, the Wild finally capitalized when Boldy got on the end of a behind-the-net feed from Foligno at 3:39 to record his 30th career goal and push his point streak to four games.
His finish was also the Wild's first at 5-on-5 in three games, but they'd also get a lift from their power play (1-for-3).
At 4:48 of the third period, Boldy buried a one-time pass from Kirill Kaprizov while crashing the crease at 4:48 to register his 16th goal of the season and fourth in the past four games.
"It's the game we needed to play," Boldy said.
DeAngelo's equalizer came while Hart (20 saves) was on the bench for an extra attacker, but the late lull didn't faze the Wild.
"Sometimes it's difficult to come out of what we've been in," Evason said. "Hopefully this allows us to do that."
With the victory, the Wild regained the playoff position they recently lost during their skid. They have one game left before their bye week and the All-Star break.
"We've got to start climbing the standings," Reaves said. "We want to feel good about ourselves going into the break and coming off it. That's one down."