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Gritty Devils Hold on for 1-0 Win Against Kings

blandisi goal

Joseph Blandisi celebrates his first period goal with teammates. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Newark, NJ – Joseph Blandisi scored 5:19 into the opening period and it held up as the game winner.  Keith Kindkaid earned his first NHL shutout with a 28 save performance to lead the New Jersey Devils past the Los Angeles Kings, 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at the Prudential Center.

Special teams have been the story all season long for the Devils (29-21-7) and it was once again the difference against the L.A. Kings, one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

Vincent Lecavalier was called for hooking against Reid Boucher as New Jersey earned the first power-play opportunity of the game – it took them only four seconds to convert on the man advantage.

Travis Zajac won the ensuing face-off back to David Schlemko near the point. He blasted a shot toward the cage that deflected off Blandisi in front before ricocheting into the net.

“We found a way to win. We knew it was going to be a battle,” Zajac said after the game. “Right now, we’re giving ourselves a chance to win. Every one’s on board. I think special teams is a big part of our success right now,” he added.

From there on out, it was old-fashioned Devils hockey; get the puck deep into the opposition’s zone and play sound defense in front of their goaltender. It is not the most exciting formula to watch, but something they have been effectively doing all season to grind out points.

New Jersey killed off the only Los Angeles power-play at the end of the first period and kept their opponents from many quality scoring chances in the second to set up an exciting third period.

Andy Greene and Adam Larsson, along with the rest of the Devil’s defense, frustrated the King’s all night with timely blocked shots and continued to do so in a frantic third period in which the Kings outshot the Devils 12-5.

That is when the Devils goaltender really stood his ground. His best stop of the game came when Drew Doughty blasted a one timer from the left slot. Kinkaid read the play well and slid over in time to make the save.

With the win, the Devils now have a three-game winning streak going. They have 65 points and are now third in the Metropolitan Division; although they have a couple of games in hand against the teams that are right below them in the standings.

They have a huge week coming up as they face three divisional foes in the New York Islanders (29-19-6), Washington Capitals (40-10-4), and the Philadelphia Flyers (24-20-10), the latter whom they face on on Tuesday at the Prudential Center, at 7 p.m.


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