“Is there any word to describe Keith [Kinkaid] tonight other than brilliant?”
Well, Coach Hynes just about summed it up. We call Keith Kinkaid “Blockaid” for a reason. He was absolutely lights-out tonight.
What. A. Game.
If Kinkaid isn’t the starting goaltender for Saturday’s home game against the Capitals, I am driving to the Prudential Center and shoving him in net myself. He stopped 43 of 44 shots on goal, including both T.J. Oshie’s and Evgeny Kuznetsov’s shootout attempts. He was appropriately named the game’s first star (and probably should have been all three) and earned the Hard Hat. He improves to 4-3-2 on the season and will hopefully get his second straight start on Saturday.
He didn’t receive much help from the Devils’ offense but their defense stepped it up a notch. P.A. Parenteau opened the scoring 1:05 into the second period for his 10th of the season; he is now the Devils’ leading goal-scorer (Adam Henrique and Michael Cammalleri trail him with nine goals apiece). Daniel Winnik scored 3:40 into the third period to tie the game at 1. The game remained scoreless through regulation and overtime. The Devils were 6-7 in OT and the Capitals were 5-4 prior to tonight’s game. Both teams had four SOG in overtime and Henrique was denied on a semi-breakaway towards the end of OT. Shootout recap: Kinkaid denied Oshie, Cammalleri scored, Kinkaid stopped Kuznetsov, Jacob Josefson scored to seal the win after being activated off of IR before the game.
There were a few missed calls, namely Kuznetsov jamming his stick into Parenteau’s face while he was on the bench but there’s nothing we can do about it now. (Is it just me or has the officiating been significantly worse this season?)
All that matters is that the Devils managed to obtain two meaningful points against a challenging Metropolitan division opponent in the Capitals. Their defense managed to shut down Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals’ offensive powerhouses. Hopefully this win can (potentially) be the start of something magical for the Devils if they have any hope of securing a wild card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And while they won tonight’s game and there were bright spots, many things have to change if they plan on turning this season around.
They won 52.2% of face-offs and killed all four Capitals’ power plays but they went 0-4 on their own power play and allowed yet another shorthanded goal. They had a TOTAL of 27 shots on goal and while it’s the quality of the shots that truly matters, more shots on goal means more opportunities to score goals. The Devils are also now 0-4 on 5-on-3 power plays throughout the season. Tonight’s 5-on-3 only lasted 14 seconds but a lot can happen in that amount of time if you use it to your advantage.
Miles Wood did not, in fact, check Ovechkin because Alex did sign a card for Miles before the game and they met afterwards. (Side note: I could really use a robe like Ovi’s).
I’m starting to think the Devils Dads are good luck charms. They’ll have to start attending every game. The team is now 3-0 on Dads’ Trips and they’ll look to remain undefeated in front of their fathers on Saturday, when the Devils take on the Capitals at home at 1PM.