Neither the Wild nor the Golden Knights has been left in the dust two games into the playoffs, and that's just fine with the Wild.
"This type of hockey suits us well," defenseman Ryan Suter said. "We're comfortable playing in those tight games, getting pucks deep and playing that low, grind-it-out style."
But after scoring just twice in Vegas to split the start of the series, the Wild returns home for Game 3 Thursday at Xcel Energy Center looking to uncork enough goals to conquer the gridlock.
"It's the playoffs," veteran Nick Bonino said. "I'm not surprised it's low-scoring. That being said, we're going to need to score more than one a night to beat this team in a seven-game series."
Standing in the way of the Wild's offense is Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
A three-time Stanley Cup champion and future Hall of Famer, Fleury has been the best player on the ice in the series, stopping 63 of 65 shots for an exceptional 0.98 goals-against average and .969 save percentage. A carom off a teammate's skate and point shot that he was screened on are the only two pucks to get behind Fleury, who has been especially locked-in on the more challenging attempts by the Wild.
During his team's 3-1 win in Game 2, Fleury faced 12 high-danger shots and snuffed out all 12.
"I can give you some cliches about making it harder for him to see and getting the rebounds up, but we're having some pretty good Grade A's here," said Bonino, who's familiar with Fleury's effectiveness since both won back-to-back Cups with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017. "We're making him move side to side. We've had a lot of 1-on-1 chances with him, and he's made some big saves.
"So, as the series goes on, hopefully those go in for us."
No one's gone head-to-head vs. Fleury more than Kevin Fiala, with the winger boasting a series-high 10 shots, including eight from the hash marks in. But Fiala, like many on the Wild, is still searching for his first goal of the playoffs.
"Frustrated, for sure, that nothing went in," Fiala said after Game 2. "But it's one game, and I'm comfortable that my shots are going to go in eventually. Just keep pushing, keep pushing, and I feel comfortable for the whole team that we are going to score goals. So I don't think we have to change anything."
Since the quality and number of chances aren't the issue, the disconnect comes down to execution, and that's where the Wild's leading goal scorer, Kirill Kaprizov, can help.
Although the Golden Knights have kept the high-flying rookie in check, perhaps a change of scenery kick-starts Kaprizov. Not only does he now have two games of playoff experience to draw on, but the Wild will have last change at Xcel Energy Center, an opportunity to have more input in the matchups and potentially put Kaprizov and his line with Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Hartman in more favorable positions.
"They're paying special attention to him, whoever's up against him," coach Dean Evason said. "But clearly people around him are getting opportunities, and we're happy with the chances we're getting. Cleary, we have to bury some of them. The way that he's playing the game and how he's playing the game in all three zones is real good. He just has to stay the course like we do and believe that we'll all break through."
Whether it's Kaprizov, Fiala, another line or the defense, the Wild needs someone to ignite the offense.
No matter how stingy the team is in its own zone, the Wild won't be able to outlast Vegas if it doesn't capitalize at the other end.
"Our opportunities are there," Evason said. "We just have to stay the course and keep believing that if we continually get those opportunities and we continually get to the net, maybe we'll get some bounces, get some breaks and some goals will go in."