WINNIPEG – Once upon a time, three goals would have been a boon for the Wild.

But against Winnipeg on Tuesday, the output felt timid and not just because the Wild had downed Vancouver with their 10-goal bonanza a day earlier.

They were statistically expected to score more than they did, and their 6-3 setback was a head-scratcher in terms of shots, quality looks and possession.

"We continued to push and generated the chances," coach John Hynes said, "but they didn't go in."

A party-pooper after that 10-7 instant classic Monday, the loss to the Jets also prevented the Wild from climbing into a three-way tie for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Instead, they're still on the outside looking in by two points, but that's a surmountable gap – especially if the Wild keep applying this much pressure to the opposition's net.

"When you look from an attacking, offensive perspective and [giving] yourself the best chance to win games," Hynes said, "I think we did a lot of good things in the last two nights."

When Hynes took over behind the bench in November, the Wild weren't capitalizing consistently, but they were leaking goals.

He stressed exiting the defensive zone and transitioning with speed, and the Wild began to patch those holes.

Fast forward to February: Hynes believes the team has "been able to connect the dots," and now their offensive game is in the spotlight – never more than the franchise-record 10 goals they tallied against the Canucks that included a whopping seven in the third, which is more than the Wild had ever recorded in any period. Signs of a surge were percolating before then.

"We're playing fast," Hynes said. "We're playing direct. We're playing a north game. I think our puck decisions up ice have been really good, and I think we're tenacious in the offensive zone."

This mashup of speed, skill and spunk describes how Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy have turned into one of the most dominating lines in the league now.

Although they weren't as effective vs. Winnipeg as they were against Vancouver when they piled up 16 points, Kaprizov and Eriksson Ek teamed up for a power-play goal in the third period and Kaprizov also factored into Marco Rossi's second goal of the game.

Since the Feb. 9 win over Pittsburgh, Kaprizov, Eriksson Ek and Boldy are among the top scorers in the NHL with 14, 13 and 11 points, respectively. During that six-game span, no one was on the ice for more of their team's goals than Kaprizov and Eriksson Ek; the 20 goals the Wild scored when they played tied for the most with Edmonton's Connor McDavid.

"Our offensive-zone intensity and hunger have made a big difference," Hynes said. "You can say that that's offense. But sometimes the best defense is playing in the offensive zone, and that's something that I think we're grasping and we can continue to get better at."

That doesn't mean football scores like Monday's outcome will become the norm, but neither should striking out as much as the Wild did Tuesday.

Somewhere in the middle probably gets the job done.

"If we just keep building our game and playing that type of style," Hynes said, "then we're going to give ourselves the best chance here down the stretch."