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New Jersey falls to Las Vegas Sunday afternoon

The Devils were defeated by the Golden Knights in a 3-2 loss

by Amanda Stein @amandacstein / newjerseydevils.com

LAS VEGAS, NV - There was no luck to be found for the New Jersey Devils in Vegas on Sunday afternoon.

The Devils jumped out to a hot start against Vegas with a 2-0 lead midway through the first period. The Golden Knights slowly chipped away at the Devils lead and responded with three unanswered goals to defeat New Jersey 3-2. 

Here are 10 takeaways from the game:

1. Keith Kinkaid was backed up by goaltender Cam Johnson on Sunday. Johnson was recalled earlier in the day to serve as the Devils backup after it was determined that Mackenzie Blackwood would be unavailable due to a lower body injury. Johnson arrived in Vegas at 2:30am and suited up just hours later for his first regular season recall. 

Tweet from @amandacstein: #NJDevils Cam Johnson (@itsyaboiiceej) ready to go as Kinkaid���s backup in Vegas. A first regular season call-up for the 24-year-old. pic.twitter.com/L0KdbSj07h

2. Kinkaid had the scheduled start against the Golden Knights, despite Blackwood's injury. The goaltender entered the game with a 2-0-0 record against Vegas in his career and a .930 save percentage. 

On Sunday afternoon, Kinkaid made 21 saves on 24 shots in the loss.

3. For a second consecutive game, Nico Hischier had the Devils on the board first. Hischier and Kyle Palmieri were streaking down through the offensive zone, with Hischier's first instinct to pass to Palmieri. Hischier tried to flip a pass to Palmieri, but it bounced off Vegas' Nate Schmidt's stick right back to the 20-year-old first line center. Hischier took the one-timer and punched it past Vegas netminder Malcolm Subban for the 1-0 lead at 5:06 of the first period. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: So @nicohischier tried to pass the puck over to Sevo but it bounced back to his stick and ended up in the net. ��\_(���)_/�� pic.twitter.com/fkEm3wz1bq

Jesper Bratt and Ben Lovejoy assisted on the goal.

4. Hischier now has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past six games and 29 points on the season.

5. As for Bratt, he's put himself on a nice streak with three points in his last four games (one goal, two assists). 

6. Ben Lovejoy was not satisfied with just an assist against Vegas and opted to add a goal to his resume this season as well. In a remarkable individual effort, Lovejoy used his strength to cross past the blue paint with some nifty stick handling, while fighting off a defender. Lovejoy dragged Subban from post to post with his moves leaving the net open on the left post where Lovejoy fired it home. The Devils took a 2-0 lead on the Lovejoy goal at 9:37 of the first period. 

Tweet from @MSGNetworks: Ben Lovejoy doesn't need an angle!That's 2-0 @NJDevils!! pic.twitter.com/eB27I26jOC

The goal was Lovejoy's first of the season and first since February 17, 2018 at Tampa Bay. Pavel Zacha and Drew Stafford assisted the goal.

7. Lovejoy's two-point afternoon is just the 11th multi-point game of his 511-game career and just his sixth that involves a goal and an assist. (Credit: Craig Seiden, NJD Radio Statistician)

8. The Devils penalty kill continues to dominate other NHL teams and it needed to be strong against the Golden Knights, with Vegas given two power plays on Sunday afternoon. The Devils boast the league's second-best penalty-kill at 85 percent and went two-for-two down a man.

9. The Devils went nearly the full game without an opportunity with the man-advantage against Vegas. The Devils were awarded their first power play with 3:22 left in the game and their second with just 1:02 remaining in the game. New Jersey's power play went 0-for-2 against the Golden Knights.  

10. The Devils continue their road trip with one final stop before returning home to New Jersey. The Devils will visit the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night for a 7PM puck drop. The Devils are currently 1-2-0 having played three of their four games on this trip.

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