Keith Kinkaid Leads Devils To Victory Over Florida Panthers


For the second consecutive night, the New Jersey Devils got an outstanding effort out of their goaltender. Last night it was the Cory Schneider show and tonight it was all about Keith Kinkaid. Kinkaid was terrific as he stopped 26 of 27 shots in the 3-1 win and came 89 seconds away from his first career shutout. He was solid in net all night and the Devils truly have a duo of goalies that they can rely on for the next decade. The Devils finished off the month of January with a record of 6-3-2 – A WINNING MONTH LET’S CELEBRATE! – although they didn’t play great hockey the whole month. That’s a testament to just how great both Schneider and Kinkaid have been. The Devils also have points in four straight games and have gotten nine of their last twelve possible points. Again, it hasn’t been pretty but it’s a results oriented business and going 4-1-1 in the last six is great.

Now, tonight was the tale of two games. In the first period, the Devils were on top of their game; after that, they were pretty awful. After last night’s stinker, the Devils needed to come out strong tonight and they did just that. They were playing good hockey and got rewarded for it halfway through the period when Jaromir Jagr turned back the clock. He took a pass from Dainius Zubrus and Mike Cammalleri and unleashed a wicked wrist shot that Roberto Luongo had no chance on. It was Jagr’s first goal since his hat trick four weeks ago (but remember he missed the California road trip due to the mumps).

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Then the Devils would cash in on a power play when Cammalleri deposited one into a yawning net. Why was it so wide open? Because Steve Bernier made the pass of his life. Bernier made a no-look, between-the-legs feed to the open Cammalleri who did not miss. Bernier, playing on the top line tonight, would also add an empty net goal to cap off his night. He now has the same exact point total (16 – 8G, 8A) as Travis Zajac. The Devils had ten shots in the first, this after they had 14 all of last night. It truly was a great period and they went to intermission up 2-0.

However, the Devils must have felt that they were done for the night because they simply stopped playing. I have no idea what happened, but they managed four shots the rest of the game. Yes, they finished with 14 shots again. The difference tonight is that they were playing the Florida Panthers and not the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is where Keith Kinkaid enters the picture. Kinkaid had a nice first stopping five shots, but he made his stamp on the game in the second and third when he stopped 21 shots.

It really felt like Kinkaid was going to get the shutout, but then Peter Harrold happened again. Last night Harrold took a penalty that led to the ending of Cory Schneider’s shutout and tonight Harrold knocked over Kinkaid not allowing him to make a save on a Brandon Pirri point shot. How Peter Harrold keeps his roster spot is beyond me. Kinkaid didn’t get the shutout, but he still got his second career victory. He now has a record of 2-3-3, but he has played so much better than that indicates. He holds a .919 SV% and a 2.34 GAA which are fabulous numbers, especially for a backup goalie.

Anyways, the Devils won the game which is the most important part and Keith Kinkaid earned first star honors. It was an ugly final 40 minutes, but a W is a W. I will not complain about a 6-3-2 month and hopefully the Devils can play better and keep getting wins as they enter February. 13 points out of a playoffs spot… you never know.

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