NEWARK — Keith Kinkaid could not remember the last time he shut out an opponent at any level of hockey.
“It’s been a long time coming,” the native Long Islander said after he made 28 saves for his first NHL shutout in the Devils’ 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.
Kinkaid’s toughest save came in the third period when he made a pad stop on a shot from the slot with two Kings at the top of the crease.
Kinkaid, 26, is from Farmingville and attended Sachem East High School. His grandparents had season tickets for Islanders games in Section 313 at Nassau Coliseum, and he used to go to games with his dad, John. They went to the Isles-Penguins series there in 2013 and he said he couldn’t believe how loud the place was.
He took up hockey at 3 and idolized Islanders goalie Eric Fichaud, later developing a strong admiration for Martin Brodeur. Because of Brodeur, he used to make a point of seeing the Devils when they played at the Coliseum. Kinkaid was first called up from the minors in February 2013 when Brodeur went on injured reserve with a sore back.
He was a member of the Long Island Gulls Bantam state championship team in 2004 and later played for the New York Bobcats and for Des Moines in the USHL. In 2005, he played for Long Island in the Empire State Games. He played two seasons for Union College before turning pro.
In his second NHL start, Kinkaid lost a shootout to the Islanders, 3-2, at the Coliseum on Dec. 15, 2014. It was the Devils’ last game at the Coliseum.
Sunday’s win was the third straight for the Devils, who leapfrogged the idle Islanders for third place in the Metropolitan Division. David Schlemko scored the lone goal.
With Mark Herrmann