Dallas deservingly defeated a defensively-inept Devils team 4-2 tonight. This was a game that just got worse for the Devils as it went on. There may be a ball dropping near you, but the Devils just dropped the ball in terms of their defensive coverage and their transition offense. That's what Dallas capitalized on and got their deserved result. I could just say that the Devils got outshot 44-27 and leave it at that; but no. There's more to mention.
And the goals. Yikes. A shorthanded goal against from a 2-on-1, finished by Loui Eriksson, was the highlight of a power play unit despite David Clarkson getting one late with a man advantage. And that wasn't the only time that happened! Yes, there was more than one; for example, Brad Richards had a 2-on-1 in the third while shorthanded and had Eriksson open, thankfully Richards kept it himself and missed. Giving up those kinds of chances on the power play is inexcusable. Both Landon Wilson's and Mark Parrish's goals came in the slot with no one impeding them. And Eriksson iced the game by putting home an empty netter after a Brad Richards' attempt went wide.
While the Devils can hang their hats on an OK first period and killing off a 5-on-3 that ended the second and began the third periods; there's nothing to celebrate. As stated earlier, the Devils were outshot 44-27, most strikingly in the second period when it was 19-2. The Stars were relentless that period, helped with power plays that they, get this, took advantage on, and helped by a Devils defensive unit that had trouble making passes out of the zone (and Devils forwards not realizing to come a little closer). And while the Devils put 11 on Marty Turco, the only legit scoring chance beyond the first period was when Patrik Elias caught a long pass and was just about one-on-one with Turco. Elias saw the five hole, but Turco was sliding and Elias' backhander wasn't strong enough to be the equalizer. Unfortunate, but that the Stars kept pressuring the Devils on the forecheck and with possession pretty much killed most of the Devils' efforts on offense. And what few shifts where the Devils attacked were easily disposed.
If anything, the Devils should be glad that the Stars didn't make it 4 or more goals against Scott Clemmensen with their wonderfully poor defensive effort. Mike Mottau got a goal in the first period, yet managed to typify the Devils' team defense by getting caught looking and slow-footed in the following two periods. Awful. Now they get to face Montreal next on Friday. Oh boy.