Coach Mike Yeo is looking for more offense from the Minnesota Wild. Getting the power play going would surely make a major difference.
The Wild look to find a way to create more power-play opportunities as they try to prevent a four-game home losing streak Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets.
Minnesota (22-13-8) is averaging 2.23 goals during a 5-6-2 stretch, and it's been held to two tallies or fewer in eight of those games – losing six. That's a significant drop in production from their 2.80 goals per game over their first 30.
The Wild generated 18 shots in Sunday's 2-1 loss to New Jersey and had 30 two days later while giving up the first three goals in a 3-2 defeat to Buffalo.
“If you're not willing to shoot against a team that's – they're protecting a lead. They're obviously going to play tight, so if you're not trying to create off the shot then you're not going to get much,” Yeo told the team's official website.
Power-play chances could go a long way in helping Minnesota avoid a four-game skid at home for the first time since Dec. 17-27, 2014. The Wild is 1 for 23 on the power play over the last 13 games and 0 for 15 in the past eight.
The unit, however, has only been used once in each of the last four games.
“It's a little bit of an excuse, but there really hasn't been a lot of time to get any rhythm with it, whether it is practice or, (getting) one a game,” left wing Zach Parise said.
Parise's 16 goals lead the Wild, but he failed to find the net against the Sabres after doing so five times over the previous four games.
He's had a tough time scoring at home with five goals in 19 games. Parise is pointless in his last three there against the Jets (20-21-3).
The Wild are 1-3-1 in their last five meetings with Winnipeg, losing 3-1 at home Nov. 27. Ryan Carter scored for Minnesota, but he's expected to miss two more games with a hand injury that forced him to sit out Tuesday.
The Jets are last in the Central Division but trying to build some momentum. They beat Nashville 5-4 after Blake Wheeler scored 51 seconds into overtime Thursday, snapping their three-game slide after the forward questioned his teammates' commitment to each other.
“I was honest,” Wheeler told the team's official website. “It wasn't premeditated to kick anyone in the rear. I think we need to be honest with ourselves. We've been honest with ourselves in the last 24 hours and you could see that pushback (Thursday).
“We had a great feeling in the room and a great feeling on our bench.”
The good vibes may continue against the Wild since Wheeler has six points over the last four meetings. He's matched that production while Winnipeg has won three of the last four visits to St. Paul.
Bryan Little has 15 points in 18 career meetings with Minnesota. He enters this one with a team-high 15 goals after ending an eight-game drought Thursday before assisting on Wheeler's winner.