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Devils' Kinkaid makes NHL debut in relief appearance

by Mike G. Morreale

Keith Kinkaid
Goalie - NJD
NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer has relieved starting goalie Johan Hedberg with backup Keith Kinkaid with 6:47 remaining in the second period and his team trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-0, at Prudential Center on Tuesday night.

Kinkaid, who entered the game to a loud ovation, is making his first career National Hockey League appearance.

Hedberg, who entered the game having lost his last six starts for the Devils, yielded three goals on 11 shots. It marks the first time in almost three years that a goalie not named Martin Brodeur or Hedberg is between the pipes in a regular season game.

St. Louis native Mike McKenna was the last keeper to earn some playing time with the two veterans. McKenna earned his only start on Nov. 20, 2010, in a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues before making a relief appearance in a 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 2.

Kinkaid was recalled in October of last season to serve as Hedberg's backup from Oct. 15 to Nov. 2 when Brodeur missed six games with a right shoulder injury, but did not see any action. This was the fourth recall for the 6-foot-3, 190-pound native of Farmingville, N.Y.

The 23-year-old was 17-11-5 for the Devils' American Hockey League affiliate in Albany this season, with a 2.69 goals-against average, .905 save percentage and two shutouts. He led the club with 33 appearances before being recalled by the Devils on Feb. 26.

Brodeur is on injured reserve with back soreness.


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