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Devils fall to Blues, 8-3

Devils drop game one of three-game road trip

by Amanda Stein @amandacstein / newjerseydevils.com

From the start, things just didn't go the New Jersey Devils way.

A penalty thirty seconds into the game against St. Louis was just the tip of the iceberg as the Devils and Keith Kinkaid faced an onslaught of shots from the home team. In St. Louis, the Blues put up an eight-spot on New Jersey, as the Devils dropped the first game of their three-game road trip 8-2 to the Blues.

Here are 10 takeaways from the game: 

1. The Devils coaching staff had to call an audible before the team took to the ice for warmups. Blake Coleman was a last-minute scratch due to an upper-body injury, despite the fact that he took line rushes with the team during morning skate. Without Coleman's services, Nick Lappin drew into the lineup - originally scheduled to be a healthy scratch.

Given those changes, things looked a bit different as the Devils lined up against the St. Louis Blues with the lineup looking as follows: 

Johansson-Zajac-Palmieri
Bratt-Hischier-Anderson
Agostino-Zacha-Lappin
Seney-Rooney-Gabriel

2. Forward Kenny Agostino made his New Jersey Devils debut, a day after being claimed off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. Agostino skated on a line with Pavel Zacha and Lappin. Agostino picked up an assist in his 12:16 of ice-time.

3. With four games this week for the Devils, the goaltending duties will be split up among Keith Kinkaid and Cory Schneider, with two games each. Kinkaid was up first, backstopping the Devils against the Blues.

It was not an easy night for anyone on the roster, and Kinkaid was not immune. Facing an onslaught of shots - over 30 shots through two periods alone - Kinkaid took the loss giving up eight goals on 39 shots to the Blues. 

4. The trickle-down effect of not having Coleman in the lineup changed other aspects of the Devils jumped on the ice during the penalty-kill. While Coleman eats up a lot of penalty killing minutes, without his services Nico Hischier jumped into his spot.

5. The penalty kill went 2-for-2 against the Blues.

6. Pavel Zacha continues to improve his career-best numbers with his 11th goal of the season. Zacha cut the Blues lead to 2-1 at 10:30 of the first period, cashing in a pass from Agostino. Zacha went high-glove side on Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington to thread the needle. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: 🙌🚨🙌 pic.twitter.com/y9Onashh0N

Agostino's assist was his first with his hometown team and on one of his first shifts no less. Overall, Agostino has 10 assists this season, nine coming while with Montreal.

7. Kyle Palmieri scored his 24th goal of the season with a power play marker midway through the third period. The Devils second goal cut the Blues dominant lead to 6-2 when Palmieri capitalized from the top of the right circle off a feed from Nico Hischier. 

8. Mirco Mueller rounded out New Jersey's scoring when his shot from the point had eyes and found it's way cleanly into the net behind Binnington. The goal was Mueller's first of the season and went unassisted.

9. Not only were goals at a premium for New Jersey, but shots were as well. The Devils failed to reach double digits in shots in two of the three periods against the Blues. New Jersey had six in the first period, just five in the second and 12 in the third.

10. The Devils continue their road trip with a stop in Chicago on Thursday night to face the Blackhawks, before heading to Minnesota to take on the Wild on Friday night. New Jersey will return to Prudential Center to close out the week, hosting the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday evening. Note that Sunday's game is a 6 p.m. start. 
 

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