Dallas — This seemed too much like last season went for the Red Wings, not playing a consistently effective 60 minutes of hockey.
That was certainly the case Tuesday, as a poor start was too much to overcome in a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.
The Red Wings (2-1) saw their modest season-opening two-game win streak end rather abruptly.
“We didn’t have nearly enough offensive zone time,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “Our competitive level can’t be fine, it has to be outstanding. We didn’t have enough guys skating well enough, (so) we didn’t have enough pressure.
“When we pressured them we were able to create turnovers but we didn’t do enough of it.”
Coach Jeff Blashill said team didn't spend enough time in the offensive zone and didn't match the Stars' competitiveness in a 4-2 defeat. Ted Kulfan
The Red Wings were outshot 33-25 – including 27-15 through the first two periods.
Justin Abdelkader (power play) and Anthony Mantha scored for the Red Wings.
Mantha scored his second of the season at 15 minutes, 11 seconds of the third period, cutting the Dallas lead to 3-2. Mantha gathered a loose puck near the dot, turned, and whistled a shot past goalie Ben Bishop.
“Spin and hope for the best,” Mantha said. “I knew we had traffic. I just tried to shoot it, just wanted to turn around and fire the puck.”
But the Stars were able to snuff any further rally and Martin Hanzal’s empty-net goal with 2 seconds left clinched it.
Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg on team's performance in 4-2 defeat. Ted Kulfan
“They were getting into our end way more, with speed and pace,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “Mo got that second goal. We still thought we had a tying goal in us. But we didn’t really get much out of the 6-on-5 (advantage late).”
The Red Wings were dominated in the faceoff circle — an area the Red Wings are not adjusting well to the new NHL officiating standards — as Dallas had a 58-42 percent advantage.
“It’s hard when you don’t have the puck,” Zetterberg said. “You chase all the time. We have to be better in the faceoffs. It’s still new for everyone.”
John Klingberg, Tyler Seguin (power play), Mattias Janmark and Hanzal had Dallas goals against goaltender Petr Mrazek, who stopped 29 shots in his season debut.
With the Red Wings enjoying a 4-on-3 power play, Zetterberg found Abdelkader in front and Abdelkader tipped the pass past Bishop at 3:50.
But the Red Wings couldn’t feed off that momentum and saw the deficit grow back to two goals on Janmark’s goal.
The one-time Red Wings prospect — Janmark was included the 2015 trade deadline trade for left wing Erik Cole — skated his way through a leaky defense, then whirled and swept a shot through Mrazek at 8:05.
Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek reflects on his first game of the season. He stopped 29 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Stars. Ted Kulfan
“I didn’t like that one,” Mrazek said. “I knew what I had to do, just a little shuffle there and the puck wouldn’t go in. I have to have that one.”
The Red Wings were 1-for-5 on the power play, with an opportunity midway in the second period and early in the third to pull within a goal — but generated little threat.
“Not good enough,” said Blashill of the power play overall. “There were moments of fine but overall we didn’t handle their pressure well enough. We had opportunities but didn’t execute well enough on it.”
On the injury front, the Red Wings lost Danny DeKeyser in the third period with a lower-body injury and didn’t return.
Blashill didn’t have any further information on DeKeyser’s status after the game. If DeKeyser isn’t ready to play Thursday in Arizona, defenseman Niklas Kronwall (groin) could make his season debut.