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Confidence an issue with struggling Wild

Minnesota Wild v New York Rangers

in action against the at Madison Square Garden on December 22, 2013 in New York City.

Jim McIsaac

For the Minnesota Wild, Sunday’s game against the New York Rangers started off well enough, turned bad and got worse.

The Wild, who jumped into the lead on an early first-period goal by Jason Pominville, fell to the Rangers by a final score of 4-1, making it four losses in their last six games.

The night was capped off with a forgettable goal. Rangers’ forward Chris Kreider fanned on his wrist shot but Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom whiffed on the puck, which slid through his legs into the net.

That gave New York a three-goal lead in the third period. This one was over.

The Wild, however, have been in a funk for a while now. Scoring has become a major issue. The Wild have 87 goals-for, and, according to Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press, Minnesota has scored only 23 times in their last 15 games.

In the Western Conference, only the Nashville Predators have fewer goals-for, with 83.

“We’re not scoring goals. We’re not giving ourselves a chance,” said Wild forward Zach Parise, as per Graff.

After opening the scoring, the offence seemed to dry up from Minnesota’s perspective. They managed only 14 shots through the final 40 minutes of play.

“You can tell that confidence is shaken right now with individuals and as a group,” said Wild head coach Mike Yeo, according to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

When they scored the first goal, we tightened up a little bit. When they scored the second goal, we tightened up completely.”

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