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NJD@MTL: About Saturday night...

Strong performance from Keith Kinkaid earns Habs point in 4-3 overtime loss to Devils

by Pierre-Antoine Mercier, translated by Steven Nechay CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL -- Here are some facts and storylines from Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Devils.

Busy night for Kinkaid

There was no shortage of motivation for goaltender Keith Kinkaid on Hockey Night In Canada. The American netminder was facing his former team in the Devils while also getting his first start on Bell Centre ice as a Hab.

The Farmingville, NY native stopped 19 of 20 shots he faced in the opening frame, and 39 of 43 on the evening to help the Canadiens secure a point in the standings.

But the 30-year-old was expectedly disappointed with the OT decision.

"I had a lot of motivation to beat them. I felt really good out there today; really sharp. It stinks not getting the two points, but that seems to be what's happening [to me this season]. I guess my best two games got us one point, and the one I didn't feel the sharpest in got us two," described Kinkaid. "But everything evens out over a season. It's still early, and the most important thing is getting points."

Video: Keith Kinkaid on his game against the Devils

In addition to facing a lot of rubber, Kinkaid also had to deal with plenty of net-front traffic on Saturday.

Something the former Devil became used to in New Jersey.

"They used to do that in practice to me, so I'm used to it. Woody (Miles Wood) is like Luis Mendoza out there; you can't really stop him," joked Kinkaid. "But it gets me into the game, so I don't mind it. As long as I don't get hurt."

Bad timing

Late goals proved costly for the Canadiens against the Devils.

Nikita Gusev and Nico Hischier each scored with 19 and 2 seconds left in the first and second periods, respectively.

It was the 10th and 11th time the Habs allowed a goal in the final minute of a period this season -- too many for head coach Claude Julien.

"It's unacceptable if you want to win hockey games. That's what cost us tonight," acknowledged Julien. "When we're playing on the second half of a back-to-back, we need to be alert mentally. We need to make up for our fatigue with good decisions, and tonight we didn't. Bad decisions cost us two late goals tonight"

A first for Fleury

A bright spot in the loss was Cale Fleury, who scored his first NHL goal on a gorgeous play the 20-year-old isn't likely to forget any time soon.

As for his first goal puck, it seems to have already found a home.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Bravo, @CJF_98! 👏#GoHabsGo

"I'll probably give it to my parents. They keep a collection of trophies and pucks from my brother and I," concluded the first-year Hab. "It'll make a nice addition."

The Canadiens will be back in action on Tuesday, when they travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets for the second time in seven days.

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