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St. Louis gives New Jersey the Blues in a SO

10 Takeaways: Devils fall to the Blues 3-2 in a shootout.

by Amanda Stein @AmandaCStein / newjerseydevils.com

ST. LOUIS -- The New Jersey Devils continue to look for answers after going winless in their last three games. In their first game of 2018, the Devils dropped a 3-2 shootout matchup with the Blues in the second game of a four-game road trip.

Here are 10 takeaways from the game:

1. Goalie Keith Kinkaid made his first start in nine games. After back-to-back five-goal performances in late November and early December, the netminder made 27 saves on 29 shots Tuesday. Despite a rocky start, where he had to look behind into his net on a couple of Blues opportunities, Kinkaid appeared locked in as the game went on. In the dying minutes of regulation, the Devils gave up a 3-on-1 that Kinkaid stopped, preventing the Blues from scoring a go-ahead goal.

2. The only other change to the lineup Tuesday was the addition of defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who drew into the lineup in place of Damon Severson. Lovejoy played his 100th game in a Devils uniform against the Blues. He was paired with Will Butcher, and spent some time on the penalty kill. Lovejoy had not played since Dec. 9.

3.The Devils' struggles at Scottrade Center in St. Louis continue. The Devils are 0-5-1 in their last six games in the Blues' home arena, and have not posted a victory in St. Louis since Dec. 30, 2008.

4. For a fourth straight season, the Devils have been swept in the season series against the Blues. The Devils are 0-7-1 going back to the 2013-14 NHL season.

5. The Devils struggled to get the shots off on Blues goaltender Carter Hutton in the first period. The Devils registered their first shot on net at 5:29 when Stefan Noesen's wrist shot was stopped by Hutton. The Devils finished the period with just four shots on goal to the Blues' 14.

6. It was highway robbery by Hutton on Blake Coleman in the second period. Coleman nearly tied the game when Hutton was caught outside his net shorthanded. Brian Gibbons chased after a loose puck into the right corner, as did Hutton. Gibbons beat the Blues' netminder to the puck and the pass made its way directly to Coleman who was alone in front. Hutton was quick to move his feet to get back in front of the net and make an outstanding save on Coleman.

Embed - Twitter: Tweet from @NHL: What. A. Recovery. �� pic.twitter.com/HfaIJMHos6 

7. Sami Vatanen had a tough start to the game in St. Louis. In his 22:26 of play, the defenseman had a giveaway that lead to the Blues' first goal of the night, followed by a hooking penalty to start the second.

Vatanen would recover from his difficult start with a point shot in the second that would get the Devils on the board.

8. Nico Hischier tied up the game at 12:36 of the second period with his eighth goal of the season. Hischier tipped in that aforementioned Vatanen point shot to tie the game at one. Vatanen and Jesper Bratt picked up the assists on the goal.

Embed - Twitter: Tweet from @NJDevils: The kid battles and sends a sweet deflection into the back of the net. #NJDvsSTL pic.twitter.com/r3HfzhkCkl
 
The goal and assist for Hischier and Bratt were each their 25th points of the season. The two rookies remain tied for second in points through 39 games, second only to Taylor Hall, who leads the Devils with 37 points.

9. Hall's 37th point of the season came from a near impossible angle. Hall scored on the power play for his 13th of the season, as he overtakes the team lead. The goal tied the game at two at 1:17 of the third. Hall picked up a loose puck behind the Blues' net, and fired a shot that banked off Hutton's back and into the net. Kyle Palmieri and Will Butcher earn the assists on the goal for their 13th and 24th points of the season respectively.

Embed - Twitter: Tweet from @NJDevils: Angle? Hall don't need no stinkin' angle! #NJDvsSTL pic.twitter.com/pSrZOPrqf9

10. The Devils continue their four-game road trip with a stop in Dallas on Thursday night, before playing their Metropolitan Division opponents the New York Islanders for the first time this season on Sunday ahead of their Bye Week. 

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