The Hawks were pleased to meet Keith Kinkaid, making his first NHL start in net for New Jersey. In spite of his fantastic performance over 65 minutes, he didn’t need to guess the names of the two Chicago snipers to beat him in the shootout. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane finished the deal and Scott Darling won again.
All Rolling Stones references aside, Kinkaid played a magnificent game. He stopped 37 of 39 to keep the Devils in the game, but the skills competition proved to be too much.
New Jersey got on the board first when Jordan Tootoo beat Darling at 15:11 for his second goal of the season. They held the lead for 15 minutes, but Bryan Bickell converted a 3-on-1 to tie the game in the middle of the second period. Patrick Sharp, playing for the first time in more than a month, was credited with the only assist on the tying tally.
Less than 30 seconds after the Bickell goal, the Blackhawks got a four-minute advantage after Daniel Carcillo got whacked in the face by a high stick from Jacob Josefson. Credit the Devils for taking away passing lanes and blocking shots; the Hawks held the puck in the offensive zone for almost the entire four minutes but couldn’t cash in on the opportunity.
The Devils took the lead back early in the third, as Stephen Gionta tipped a puck out of the air past Darling less than three minutes in. Thankfully, Duncan Keith jumped into the rush late in the period and Kinkaid kicked a rebound directly to Keith’s stick for Chicago’s second goal.
Chicago got another power play late in the overtime when Jaromir Jagr, the ageless wonder, hooked Kane as he danced through traffic. The Hawks weren’t able to capitalize again, and the game went to the shootout.
Darling held up his end of the bargain in the skills competition, stopping Martin Havlat and Jagr as Toews and Kane earned the second point.
Toews got hit in the face with a puck during the game and won only eight of 21 faceoffs while also serving the only Blackhawks penalty of the evening. He was credited with an assist on Keith’s goal, however, and picked up one takeaway in 20:56 in the game.
Sharp returned with a nice performance, skating with Bickell and Andrew Shaw. He tied Hossa for the team lead with five shots on net and was credited with two takeaways in 17:22, including 2:15 on the power play. On that line, Shaw won seven of 10 faceoffs in the game and Bickell woke up to play 12:47 with a team-leading four hits.
Keith skated 30:36 in the game and led the team with three takeaways. Rookie Klas Dahlbeck skated only 9:54 and tied Brent Seabrook for the team lead with two blocked shots, but was unable to knock the puck away from the net that ended up the second Devils goal.
Carcillo skated 6:25 with one hit.
Darling wasn’t as crisp as he looked in Nashville, but made some timely saves in the third period to keep the score close. He stopped 22 of 24 to win for the fourth time in five starts this year. He improved to 2-0 in the shootout as well, and has allowed only nine goals in his five appearances.