Skip to Main Content
game recap

Devils score six against Capitals to win home opener

Kinkaid makes 21 saves in shutout, Palmieri scores two goals

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Keith Kinkaid made 21 saves, and Kyle Palmieri scored two goals for the New Jersey Devils in a 6-0 win against the Washington Capitals in their home opener at Prudential Center on Thursday.

Kinkaid earned his fifth NHL shutout and first since making 38 saves in a 3-0 win at the Los Angeles Kings on March 17.

The Capitals entered the game having scored 18 goals, the most in their history through the first three games of a season.


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Devils highlights]


"That's probably going to be one of the better games we play all season long, and it's up to us to maintain that," Devils left wing Taylor Hall said.

Marcus Johansson, Blake Coleman, Jean-Sebastien Dea and Brian Boyle scored for the Devils (2-0-0), who went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

"It's something we talked about as a group, where we want to play offensively, but for us to continue to get better as a team and become a team that could be difficult to play against night in and night out, there were things we wanted to do better defensively," Devils coach John Hynes said. "The team has shown defensive structure."

Video: WSH@NJD: Palmieri sneaks puck by Copley

Pheonix Copley made 30 saves for the Capitals (2-1-1), who lost in regulation against the Devils for the first time in 12 games (9-1-2).

"They were sharp, give credit to them," Washington coach Todd Reirden said. "They were on top of their game and were able to convert on their chances. We had a couple of times we could get back in it but weren't able to finish."

Palmieri scored his first when a Nico Hischier shot deflected off his right skate to make it 1-0 at 7:02. He gave New Jersey a 2-0 lead when he scored on the power play with a snap shot from the top of the right face-off circle at 18:33.

"You always have to be confident in the way you shoot the puck," Palmieri said. "You have to be confident you can put it in the spot you want, and I think, for me, it's fortunate they're going in. We'll see how long we can keep that going."

Video: WSH@NJD: Palmieri pots second goal on power play

Palmieri, who scored twice in a 5-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers in the 2018 NHL Global Series Challenge in Sweden on Saturday, is the first player in Devils history to score at least two goals in each of their first two games of a season.

"When Kyle is playing well, he's moving his feet, he's tenacious, hard on the puck, and he has a shoot-first mentality," Hynes said. "When he's not playing his best, sometimes those elements aren't in his game, but it's nice to see him getting rewarded."

Johansson, acquired by the Devils in a trade from the Capitals on July 2, 2017, scored his first goal against his former team 2:54 into the second to make it 3-0.

Video: WSH@NJD: Johansson wires in strong wrister

"I think our line deserved a couple goals tonight, so it was good to see that one go in," said Johansson, who played with center Pavel Zacha and right wing Stefan Noesen.

Coleman scored off a shot from along the goal line that beat Copley inside the right post to give the Devils a 4-0 lead 5:49 into the third. Dea scored off a shot from the right circle at 11:35 to push the lead to 5-0, and Boyle made it 6-0 with a wraparound at 14:45.


They said it

"In years past, I remember playing games against the team that won and using it as a measuring stick. We'll have to learn how to deal with that. It felt like they had six or seven guys out there. They were skating on ice, and we were skating through mud. Give them some credit because they played really well, and we were not very good." -- Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen


"We're getting rewarded for the way we're playing. We're creating chances. We're not taking too many risks; it's about possessing the puck and making high-percentage plays. Fortunately, the pucks are ending up in the back of the net, and I think that starts from our own zone and being able to break out, and go through the neutral zone with speed. It does a lot for our confidence, and getting rewarded for it is a good thing." -- Devils forward Kyle Palmieri


"They have so much firepower. They had a lot of slot shots and Grade A chances, but [goalie Keith Kinkaid] came up big. We still have some things to work on, but overall anytime you can shut out a team like that, especially on the power play, you're going to win a game." -- Devils left wing Taylor Hall


Need to know

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin had two shots on goal and a game-high seven hits. ... Zacha won 13 of 15 face-offs (86.7 percent), including 12 of 13 against Evgeny Kuznetsov. … Defenseman Sami Vatanen led the Devils in ice time (24:45) and had a game-high five blocked shots.


What's next

Capitals: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Devils: Host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday (1 p.m. ET; SN, MSG+, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)

Video: Kinkaid, Palmieri lead Devils to shutout win

View More