"I think with the start we've had, teams are going to come out and play hard," forward Alex Chiasson said post-game. "I think that's one thing this group has to learn how to handle. But for sure tonight wasn't our best effort."
Connor McDavid was held pointless in the third-straight game for only the second time in his career, and it was another evening where players on the peripherals couldn't crack the code when it comes to goalscoring.
"We need to give our top guys some relief," forward Riley Sheahan said. "I don't know what we do, maybe take the puck to the net a bit more and try to score some dirty ones and things like that, but we definitely need to help out.
"It's one thing to get into the o-zone, it's another getting on the scoresheet."
Wild goaltenders Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock combined for the 25-save shutout as the Oilers fall to 7-2-1 on the season and fail to score for the second game running after 65 minutes of scoreless hockey back on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets in a 1-0 shootout loss.
"It's the first bit that's got us," Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "We seemed like we were a little low on energy in the last couple of days, but there are things you can do to compensate for some of that. We didn't do them very well tonight, so it's time to regroup."
In the opposite crease, goaltender Mike Smith continued the trend for Oilers goaltending of providing every chance to win to their teammates despite two goals from Eric Staal and one from former Oiler defenceman Brad Hunt in a 5:14 stretch of the first period.
After a scoreless first 10 minutes, it took 1:15 for Staal to score twice and notch his first two goals of the season with near-identical backhands that were set up by Jordan Greenway.
The first power play of the night didn't go the way of the Oilers either, and it didn't take Hunt long to mark his fourth tally of the young campaign just five seconds from the face-off and crack Edmonton's perfect shorthanded record of 15-for-15 on the road to begin the campaign.
After the first period was highlighted by offence, the focus quickly turned to the crease. Dubnyk would be forced to vacate the Wild net two minutes into the frame after going down hard when Oilers d-man Brandon Manning was tripped up and slid through the legs of the former Edmonton netminder.
The Oilers return to Edmonton with one point out of a possible four during their brief two-game road trip, and look ahead to returning home to face the Washington Capitals on Thursday back at Rogers Place.
"The guys are looking forward to getting back and getting in a groove. We have a good challenge coming up here," Sheahan said.