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the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey
04-15-2019, 11:36 AM,
#1
the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey
Last season Tampa Bay Lightning T-Shirts Authentic ,Devils were two of the biggest surprises in the National Hockey League, each ending droughts by reaching the Stanley Cup playoffs.Neither team is going to sneak up on anyone this season, yet both are off to strong starts heading into their first meeting of 2018-19 on Thursday night at Prudential Center.The Devils (4-0-0) are the only NHL team not to have lost a game so far. The Avalanche (3-1-2) are playing well despite losing two straight.Article continues below ...“It’s a challenge playing these guys,” Devils center Brian Boyle said. “They’re a lot like us — young, fast, hungry. It should be a good game.”New Jersey is outscoring the opposition by a dominating 17-4 through four games. Goalie Keith Kinkaid already has two shutouts, including Tuesday’s 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars, and he owns a sparkling .961 save percentage to go along with a 1.00 goals-against average.“He’s just taken that net and owned every part of it,” Devils defenseman Will Butcher told the team’s website. “He’s taken a huge step in his game.”Kinkaid is not alone, though, in the Devils’ early-season success. Kyle Palmieri scored the opening goal in all four games this season Tampa Bay Lightning Hoodies Authentic , and has seven through four games. Jean-Sebastien Dea has three goals in four games.Eight players have three points or more, including four defensemen. The team has killed off 13 of 14 penalties and is perfect the last 13 times short-handed.“It’s fun to come to the rink right now,” Palmieri said. “The team’s in a good mood, and we’re happy with the way we’re playing. We’re beating some really good teams, so, hopefully, we just keep that going.”New Jersey is rolling even though reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall is without a goal through four games — though he does have four assists. Certainly, the Avalanche and their top player, Nathan MacKinnon, will be aware of Hall on the ice.Last year, MacKinnon was runner-up to Hall for the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. Both players scored 39 goals Tampa Bay Lightning Hats Authentic , and MacKinnon had 97 points to Hall’s 93.MacKinnon picked up this year where he left off. He has seven goals already and established a franchise record with goals in each of the first six games of the season after scoring in the second period of Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers.“I’d like to get a few more assists actually, but it’s been nice, the puck is going in for me,” MacKinnon told the Avalanche website.Mackinnon’s linemate, Mikko Rantanen, also has at least one point in each game so far. Rantanen’s eight assists and nine points both are team highs.“You need to have chemistry to be successful, and Mikko and I have lots of chemistry,” MacKinnon said. “He’s a big guy, slows the game down, and I like to speed it up. We complement each other really well.”The Avalanche might receive a boost Thursday as it appears Sven Andrighetto will play in his first game of the season. He suffered a leg injury during the preseason but practiced fully on Wednesday.“He is going to be available for us (Thursday),” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “I think he looks quick Custom Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys , he is in really good shape. He has done a lot of hard work since he’s been out and I’m excited to have a guy like him available again, adds some skill and some speed to our lineup.”Semyon Varlamov, who was sensational in making 41 saves against the Rangers, will get the night off Thursday and Philipp Grubauer makes his second start of the season in goal.Last season, the Devils won both games with the Avalanche, outscoring them by a combined 6-2. Butcher had three assists in the season series against the team that originally drafted him. NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The only role the New Jersey Devils are likely going to have in the playoffs this season is being a spoiler, something the Carolina Hurricanes discovered.Marcus Johansson scored twice, a battered Keith Kinkaid made 32 saves and the Devils prevented the Hurricanes from moving into a playoff spot with a 3-2 victory Sunday.“In the end, it’s the win that counts,” said center Nico Hischier www.officialmapleleafsproshop.com , who had assists on all three goals. “Everyone who is in the lineup has energy and wants to play well and wants to battle hard. Today everybody was ready to play and just play the game plan and in the end we earned the win.”Pavel Zacha also scored as the Devils snapped the Hurricanes’ three-game winning streak and handed them their fifth loss (13-5-1) in 19 games.Kinkaid certainly was the difference, stopping 23 of 25 shots over the final 40 minutes.“It’s never going to be easy but definitely a huge game for me,” said Kinkaid, who had lost six of his last seven decisions. “I felt really sharp and guys did a good job battling even when there was no second chances. If there was a second chance, I just had to battle to give us the extra save. We gave a good effort, everyone was hustling back and not giving them easy outlets.”Dougie Hamilton and Teuvo Teravainen scored for Carolina, and Petr Mrazek made 18 saves. The Hurricanes have missed the playoffs the last nine seasons.The Hurricanes would have moved into the second wild-card spot ahead of idle Pittsburgh with a win.“Right now there is a sour taste because this game; we should have won that game,” Hurricanescoach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We needed it and they don’t, so that frustrates me.”The Devils are 13 points out of a playoff spot with 27 games to go.This was a tough game for Kinkaid in more ways than stopping shots. He took a stick in the face from Jordan Martinook with 7:23 left in the second period, was bowled over by Justin Williams later in the period and was knocked over again in the third when Nino Niederreiter interfered with Devils defenseman Damon Severson.Not only was Niederreiter penalized, the call nullified what would have been a tying goal by Sebastian Aho with 12:54 left.“It kept me engaged Toronto Maple Leafs T-Shirts Authentic ,” Kinkaid said. “I don’t mind the physicality as long as it doesn’t interfere with me stopping the puck.”Aho said the Hurricanes can’t dwell on this one.“This is one game,” he said. “We just keep playing the same way we played lately we can get to the playoffs.”Zacha and Johansson gave the Devils a 2-0 first-period lead.Hamilton cut the gap to 2-1 in the second, but Johansson restored the two-goal margin at 15:56 of the third period after being set up by Jesper Bratt. Teravainen scored on a power-play with 1:27 to play after Carolina pulled Mrazek.“Once he beat his guy I kind of knew the puck was coming and I just tried to get in position,” said Johansson of Bratt. “It was a great play by him and I think that goal was all Bratter, that’s what he can do. He’s so fast and he’s sees the game so well. That was a heck of a play.”NOTES: NHL MVP Taylor Hall of New Jersey missed his 19th straight game with a lower-body issue. Devils D Sami Vatanen missed fifth straight because of a concussion. … Hurricanes held New Jersey without a shot for the opening 13:56 of second period.UP NEXTHurricanes: Finish five-game trip on Tuesday night at Ottawa.Devils: Start three-game trip on Tuesday night at St. Louis.
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