ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Wild controls the puck most of the time, and players are getting quality looks on net.
But the power play still hasn't been able to deliver and in a goaltending stalemate Monday against the Ducks, that was the difference in a 1-0 loss at Honda Center.
"Honestly, it's a matter of execution," coach Dean Evason said after the game during a virtual interview. "As much as we've worked on it literally every day, there's a little bit of a chemistry thing going on probably is our thought.
"No question it needs to score. I'm not making excuses for it. It needs to help us in a hockey game like this, there's no question. But we're staying the course with it, that's for sure."
Like it did from Game 1 to Game 2 in Los Angeles, the Wild (2-1) switched up its look with the man advantage against Anaheim.
One unit included four forwards (Kirill Kaprizov, Zach Parise, Kevin Fiala and Nick Bonino) and the other featured three defensemen (Matt Dumba, Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin). By loading up on defensemen, the Wild was hoping to release Dumba's shot down low, but the team couldn't get any pucks by Ducks goalie John Gibson – who posted 34 saves for the shutout.
Overall, the Wild power play is now 0-for-16 this season.
"We've hit pipes," Parise said. "We've missed some good looks. We could have a couple, but unfortunately we have a zero there and that's all that really matters at this point."
Not only is the power play in a rut, but Fiala is also still pointless.
Fiala has a team-high 18 shots, and he's averaged the third-most minutes on the power play (5 minutes, 52 seconds) so he's definitely been involved. But like the power play, he seems to be just missing the execution.
"Frustrating, of course," Fiala said. "But it's just three games. There's a lot more games to go."
The loss was also the first of the season for goalie Cam Talbot, but he played well enough to stay undefeated.
Talbot made 26 saves, including 22 in a row before Anaheim finally scored – a one-timer by Nicolas Deslauriers at 4:09 of the third period.
And despite the outcome, the game continued a seamless-looking transition for Talbot with his new team.
"With no exhibition games and the two scrimmages at home, I played behind two different teams," Talbot said. "So, it was tough to really get to know playing behind the same group until Game 1 against L.A. there. But this is as comfortable of a situation as I've come into so far and I kind of knew that that's the way it was going to be coming into this group.
"They've been so good defensively and so well structured for so long. … I'm as comfortable as I hoped to be this early on."
After a scheduled day off Tuesday, the Wild will get another crack at the Ducks Wednesday when it completes its season-opening, four-game road trip.