NEWARK, NJ – Keith Kinkaid, who has spent the majority of the last two seasons with the Albany Devils, made his NHL debut last night during the New Jersey Devils outings against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Farmingville, NY native stepped onto NHL ice for the first time 13:13 into the second period in replace of Johan Hedberg. Kinkaid’s welcome-to-the-big-show moment came 1:08 into the third period when the league’s leading goal scorer, Steven Stamkos, raced towards the Devils net all alone.
“Once I got that call, my legs started shaking,” Kinkaid said. “After we got into the intermission, I kind of settled down. Then first play, I think Stamkos is on a breakaway on me and I make the save. That’s pretty exciting.”
Stamkos moved to Kinkaid’s left, forcing the goaltender to sprawl out and extend his pad to cover the bottom of the net. According to Kinkaid, he waited for Stamkos to make the first move and stayed with him.
That breakaway save was one of 12 for the 23 year old. He only surrendered one goal, which came through a screen on a shot by Nate Thompson at 8:36 of the third period.
Kinkaid said he didn’t think his first NHL game would come so soon for him since goaltenders take longer to develop and that “any taste of NHL hockey right now is just much more than expected.”
He shared the night with his parents and sister who were in attendance.
“I was shaking with a ton of emotions going on,” he said. “My family in the stands; I’m sure they are happy for me. Just to get that first taste of NHL hockey is just surreal.”