The Minnesota Wild treated its fans to a flat final period in its "jerseys off their backs" game to begin its fan celebration week.

The 19,093 fans in the Xcel Energy Center had opportunities to cheer, but the Wild could not turn the shots into goals.

The Wild carried the play through two periods, but still trailed. It eventually lost to the Calgary Flames 4-1 Sunday.

"I don't think we did a very good job the third period," Mike Yeo said. "Not consistently sustaining the pressure and putting them on their heels. I thought we made it easy for them."

The Wild (24-18-3) may be experiencing the fatigue that comes with a condensed season and few practice opportunities.

That fatigue starts with goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who has started the last 15 games for the Wild. He was a little slow to react to the shooter and was too quick to go into the butterfly position. But, that isn't going to stop Yeo from playing his No. 1 goaltender.

"I'm not concerned," he said. "That's one thing this guy has proven over and over again that the way he prepares and commits himself, he's a professional, he's a veteran. Those are the guys you want in this situation. It doesn't matter about the last game or the game before that me it's about the next one. He's the guy I want in the net."

Backstrom has stopped just under 85 percent of the shots he has faced in the last four games (78 of 92).

The Flames (19-22-4) took advantage of their opportunities and scored four goals on their 24 shots (one into an empty net from center ice) while the Wild scored just once on 35 shots.

After playing so well at home this season, the Wild has dropped five straight in front of the home fans.

"We've got to be better for sure," Yeo said. "There's no excuses. We can sit here and say we were doing lots of good things, but the bottom line is we have to be better."

The Wild are on the verge of making the playoffs for the first time in five seasons, but continue to keep the teams behind them in the race.

"We certainly don't like doing things the easy way," Yeo said. "That's for sure."

The Wild entered the game with five as the magic number to clinch a playoff spot. It needed to get five points or the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets to fail to get five points.

Three Stars

No. 3 – Joey MacDonald. The Flames goaltender stopped 34 shots.

No. 2 – Mark Cundari. The Flames defenseman recorded a goal and an assist.

No. 1 – Mike Cammalleri. The Flames forward registered a goal and two assists.


Calgary……..1 1 0 – 2

Minnesota…..1 0 0 – 1

First Period – 1, Calgary, Cundari 1 (Brodie, Cammalleri), 13:37 (pp). 2, Minnesota, Parise 17 (Coyle, Koivu), 18:44. Penalties – Cammalleri, Cgy (tripping), 4:38; Jackman, Cgy (hooking), 10:44; Granlund, Min (interference), 12:38.

Second Period – 3, Calgary, Backlund 8 (Stempniak, Baertschi), 8:50. Penalties – Stempniak, Cgy (goaltender interference), 6:06; Sarich, Cgy, major, (fighting), 6:06; Stoner, Min, major, (fighting), 6:06.

Third Period – 4, Calgary, Cammalleri 13 (Cundari, Brodie), 12:40. 5, Calgary, Hudler 10 (Reinhart, Giordano), 19:28 (pp-en). Penalties – Gilbert, Min (holding), 12:01; Coyle, Min (tripping), 18:02.

Shots on goal – Calgary 5-7-12 24. Minnesota 14-11-10 35.

Goalies – Calgary, MacDonald (34-35). Minnesota, Backstrom (20-23). A – 19,093. Referees – Justin St. Pierre, Kevin Pollock. Linesmen – Andy McElman, Bryan Pancich.