The Winnipeg Jets scored six goals in their first game this season. They have scored just once in the three games since.
They will look to re-ignite their sputtering offense against the Calgary Flames, who wrap up a six-game road trip Sunday.
"Certainly (we) aren’t going to score goals the easy way," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "Clearly, if there’s an easy answer to that, it’d have been found out 10 minutes into not scoring.
"The simple answer is we’ve got to put more of the basic stuff to the net, so we can find a way to bang some ugly ones in until the offensive guys get that good feeling around the net."
Since Bryan Little netted Winnipeg’s last goal to cap their season-opening 6-2 rout of Arizona, the Jets have scored just once in the last 194 minutes, 53 seconds. The Jets (1-3-0) were shut out for the second time in three games Friday night, losing 2-0 to Nashville in their home opener.
Perhaps most discouraging for Winnipeg is the early lack of production from captain Andrew Ladd. Ladd, who was tied for second on the Jets with 23 goals and finished with 54 points in 2013-14, has only one assist and a team-worst minus-4 rating.
The scoring drought is not due to a lack of effort – they’ve averaged 29.5 shots – and outshot the Predators 31-27.
"We’re getting numbers, we’re getting shots," Dustin Byfuglien said about his team’s drought. "We keep running into decent goalies."
That trend likely will continue against the Flames and Jonas Hiller. He enters Sunday’s matchup fresh off a 49-save effort – two shy of his career high – in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
"It gives you some confidence and you try to carry over those good feelings," Hiller told the Flames official website. "But at the same time, you can’t just rely on that. You definitely have to be ready from ‘puck drop.’"
Hiller, who signed a two-year deal with Calgary after playing seven seasons in Anaheim, is 1-2-0 this season with a 2.62 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.
Ondrej Pavelec will start for Winnipeg. Pavelec finished last season with a 3.01 GAA, and his 2.86 mark since 2010-11 is third-worst among goaltenders with at least 100 starts.
Pavelec beat the Flames in his last meeting with Calgary, making 20 saves in a 5-2 victory. He is 1-2-0 against the Flames in his career.
The Flames will be without rookie Josh Jooris, who scored in his NHL debut in their 3-2 loss to Columbus on Friday night. The 24-year-old sustained an upper-body injury as Calgary’s comeback bid fell short.
Coach Bob Hartley, though, believes it’s that effort that will bring his team success in the future.
"I’ve said it all along. I love this group," Hartley said. "We have work to do, and there’s parts of our game that needs to get better. But the one thing I’m always sure of is that they never quit."
Mason Raymond also scored for Calgary on Friday, his team-leading fourth goal. Raymond, who had 19 goals for Toronto last season before arriving as a free agent, has not registered a point in his last three games versus Winnipeg.