The Wild have scored two goals or less in six of their last seven contests, and are 0-12-4 in those situations this season.
Minnesota snapped a four-game skid by scoring five times in a shutout win at Pittsburgh on Thursday, but has returned to its losing ways with consecutive 3-2 defeats, including one Sunday at home to Buffalo.
“We need to be desperate and find a way to score,” defenseman Willie Mitchell said after the loss to the Sabres. “We had chances, but we weren’t converting.”
Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said his players need to continue working hard.
“First of all, it’s their job,” he said. “They get down after the game. When it happens, you live with it for a little while, and after they know it’s a new day, it’s a new game, so you got to scratch, you got to skate and you got to keep going.”
Wild leading scorer Brian Rolston had a goal and an assist Sunday, the fifth time in his last 10 games he’s registered two points.
The Islanders have won three of their last four games after a 3-2 shootout victory over Edmonton on Saturday. Alexei Yashin and Trent Hunter scored in the shootout to help New York snap a three-game home losing streak.
“We’ll take the two points any way we can,” Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. “We played a good 45 minutes. It seemed in the first period we couldn’t or wouldn’t skate with them.”
New York scored two power-play goals, and has at least one in eight of its last nine games. The Wild, meanwhile, have allowed an NHL-low 18 power-play goals this season.
Minnesota won the first three meetings between these teams but the Islanders have taken the last three contests to even the all-time series.
This marks the sixth road game in seven contests this month for the Wild, who are 4-9-3 away from home.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 12): Wild - 26 points, 5th place, 14 PB, Northwest Division. Islanders - 32 points, 3rd place, 12 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Wild - Rolston, 12 goals and 24 points; Pierre-Marc Bouchard, 15 assists; Derek Boogaard, 62 PIM. Islanders - Jason Blake and Miroslav Satan, 13 goals; Alexei Zhitnik, 19 assists and 56 PIM; Yashin, 29 points.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 12): Wild - Power play: 18.2 percent (29 for 159), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 88.9 percent (145 for 163), 1st. Islanders - Power play: 18.9 percent (34 for 179), 10th. Penalty killing: 82.5 percent (166 for 201), 15th.
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Islanders, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: March 19, 2004; Islanders, 3-1. At Uniondale, N.Y., Blake had his second career hat trick to lead the Islanders.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Wild - 4-9-3 on the road; Islanders - 6-5-1 at home.