The sample size is small but the situation is familiar.

The Wild, an excellent 5-on-5 team during the regular season in terms of converting strong scoring chances into goals, has struggled to do the same in the playoffs so far.

Minnesota scored just twice — one goal in both games — in the first two games of its playoff series against Vegas. That normally would be the recipe for a 2-0 series deficit, but the brilliant goaltending of Cam Talbot in Game 1 plus a solid overall game plan yielded a split and an opportunity coming into Thursday's Game 3 in St. Paul.

But that opportunity will almost certainly only be converted into desired results if the Wild can start converting more of its glorious chances into goals, something Chip Scoggins and I talked about on Thursday's Daily Delivery podcast.

The site Natural Stat Trick shows the Wild with 21 "high danger" scoring chances in 5-on-5 situations in the first two games of the series, while Vegas had 15. But the Wild has just one goal in those 21 chances — roughly a 5% conversion rate.

In the regular season, the Wild scored 70 times on 451 high-danger chances in 5-on-5 play, again via Natural Stat trick — a little more than 15% of the time, or three times as often as it has so far in the playoffs. Those 70 goals were the fourth-most on high-danger 5-on-5 chances.

Cashing in on those 5-on-5 opportunities has made all the difference in the series so far: Joel Eriksson Ek's close-range goal in overtime of Game 1 was the Wild's one high-danger 5-on-5 goal in the series; Alex Tuch's tally late in the second period, which broke a 1-1 tie in a 3-1 Game 2 win for Vegas, was the Golden Knights' lone high-danger 5-on-5 goal of the series.

Based on the chances it has created, the Wild's "expected goal" mark in 5-on-5 play is 4.2 goals through two games, but it has scored just twice — the aforementioned Ek goal and a point shot from Matt Dumba that was not deemed a high-danger opportunity.

Two games does not signal a trend, but it is a concern nonetheless — both relative to the regular season success the Wild had and given how familiar the scoring drop-off is to those familiar with Wild history.

In amassing a 28-51 postseason record, the Wild has managed just 2.2 goals per playoff game. Players lamenting missed chances at goals became an annual rite of passage after Minnesota was eliminated in the first or second round all six times between 2013 and 2018.

Particularly grizzly ghosts linger from the 2017 series with St. Louis, when the Wild scored just four goals in five games in 5-on-5 play despite the data saying it would have expected Minnesota to score nine goals based on all its good chances. Minnesota lost the series in five games.

The Wild was stymied in that series by Blues netminder Jake Allen — a far less accomplished goalie, just so we're clear, than Vegas future Hall of Famer Marc-Andre Fleury.

This year, with more high-end finishers like Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala on the roster, was supposed to be different. But so far at least, both of those players have been shut out as the Wild has again been left to bemoan missed opportunities.

It will need to change in a hurry if the Wild expects to advance. Hockey Reference data shows that a home team that loses Game 3 of a playoff series that's tied 1-1 has gone on to lose the series 72% of the time.

It's time to turn expected goals into real goals because there is no expected Stanley Cup champion — just an actual one.