The Devils lost, 4-2, to the Kings at Staples Center on Saturday with goals by John Moore and Nick Lappin. Here's what we learned:
1) The Devils finished the game with a respectable 23 shots on goal, but had only nine in the first 40 minutes and that's simply not good enough. The Kings dominated puck possession for the majority of the game until the Devils put their foot down in the third and went full throttle in their attack. They were able to pull within one, but couldn't get the equalizer.
2) Discipline has been off the charts good. They took one penalty today and have the third lowest average of penalty minutes per game. That's a far cry from how things were in the pre-season and at the start of the season. It's a great sign that they are able to maintain that discipline, even when they aren't in control of the game, and don't make things more difficult for themselves by having to kill off a lazy penalty.
3) If you don't play up to head coach John Hynes' standards, you're not going to play. He sent a message tonight by benching Adam Henrique and Kyle Palmieri for the final 6-7 minutes of the game and Hynes drove that message home when they stayed on the bench even when Lappin scored with 2:32 left in regulation to pull within one. He said after the game, "Ice time is earned. If other guys are playing better, they're going to play more."
The Devils (9-5-3) will regroup on Sunday before wrapping up this four-game roadtrip on Monday in San Jose.