The Devils lost to the Ducks Thursday night, 3-2, at Honda Center, despite goals by Devante Smith-Pelly and Kyle Quincey, to snap a five-game winning streak. Here's what we learned:
1) After getting a two-goal lead midway through the second, the Devils took their foot off the gas for about three minutes towards the end of the period while the Ducks, down two goals, put the pedal to the metal and scored twice in 16 seconds to tie the game. It was a brief lapse in effort that served as a reminder that 60 minutes is required. They had a chance to salvage a point and try for two in overtime as the game remained tied late into the third, but that kind of thinking was another brief lapse that cost them two points. The Devils were playing to get to the extra session, while the Ducks were playing to win...and they did when Ryan Kesler cleaned up the garbage in Cory Schneider's crease.
2) The lack of production with the man advantage has now become a glaring problem, especially when they had the opportunity after the Ducks took the lead to tie it back up on the power play and failed to convert. The Devils are now 0-23 and haven't scored a PPG in two weeks. As head coach John Hynes said, "We have to figure out a way to put more pucks on net and get one past the goalie. It shouldn't be a matter of hoping. It's just not a consistent enough effort for us with any sort of sustained offensive pressure where we can get second and third opportunities. That needs to change."
3) There were a couple of bright spots in this game. The offense continues to be supported by the blueline. Quincey had a goal and an assist thanks to two bombs from the point and John Moore also had an assist. The Devils outshot the Ducks, 29-23, including six by Reid Boucher, who put his head down and went to work making the most of his 12:18 in ice time with nearly three of them coming on the power play. Also, the Devils level of discipline has been on point the past few games and tonight they only took two penalties and the PK was able to limit the Ducks to just two shots on goal in those four minutes.
The Devils will practice in Los Angeles on Friday before looking to start a new winning streak when they face the Kings on Saturday afternoon. Puck drops at 4 p.m ET.