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At the Rink blog

Devils search for consistency in Dallas

Saturday, 10.29.2011 / 2:06 PM

By Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

DALLAS -- The New Jersey Devils have been something of a mixed bag during their current road trip, losing both at Pittsburgh and Phoenix but blanking Los Angeles 3-0 at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
   
Tonight, Peter DeBoer's club will look to finish the trip on a high note against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center against a Stars team the Devils split their two games against last season.

"We have an opportunity here on a tough swing and in three tough buildings to take two out of three and that's the goal," DeBoer said. "We would have taken that to start the trip and we have an opportunity to do that, so that's the good news."
   
New Jersey won during their last trip to Dallas, shutting out the Stars 1-0 back on Feb. 22. Past results aside, the Devils know they're in for a tough one tonight in the Lone Star State.
   
"Look at their record, they're a very good team," Devils defenseman Andy Greene said. "They play a good team game. They're quick to pucks and they play physical down low. It's a good test for us. They're not where they're at [for no reason], it's not a fluke. They're a good team and we have to be on our game tonight."   
   
A win tonight would give New Jersey a  2-1 record during the Western Conference portion of their current road swing, which would definitely be a nice plus heading into Wednesday's home game against the Maple Leafs at Prudential Center.
   
"It'd be nice for us to finish a tough road trip over .500. We've played three pretty good teams, so if we can kind of correct some stuff we did in Phoenix the other night, we should be a little better. You've almost seen two different teams in LA and in Phoenix," Devils captain Zach Parise said. "Hopefully we can find a little consistency and clean up some different areas."
   
Greene agrees that finding some consistency tonight in Dallas would be a huge step in the right direction for the Devils.
   
"We had one good game and one bad game [on this portion of the trip]," he said. "If we can come out tonight with a real good effort and do things right, it'll be a good road trip. For the most part, when you do the right things, you're going to win the games. That's what we have to do, continue to do that tonight and end this road trip good."
   
For at least one regular contributor, the results so far on this trip have been a bit perplexing to say the least.
   
"I'd say more puzzling than anything," Parise said. "In some games, we do everything right-we break out well, we forecheck the right way and then sometimes for whatever reason, if things aren't going right, we get a little frustrated and a little overaggressive and you get picked apart like we did in Phoenix. A lot of times we got beat, all three guys, by one pass and that can't happen in this league. That's something we've got to be a little better at tonight."

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory