When he earned the shutout in the Rangers’ 4-0 win over the Boston Bruins Saturday, Keith Kinkaid didn’t mind admitting how sweet it felt.
"It's definitely very rewarding,’’ Kinkaid said of his eighth career shutout, and first since Nov. 15, 2018.
Kinkaid, the Farmingville native, had been on the Rangers’ taxi squad all season until Igor Shesterkin suffered a groin injury in New Jersey last Saturday. Kinkaid was called up to the active roster the next night to back up Alexandar Georgiev in Pittsburgh and was called on to play after Georgiev was pulled when he gave up three goals in 61 seconds late in the first period.
Kinkaid started the game in Pittsburgh Tuesday, allowing three goals in a 4-2 loss, and played in relief of Georgiev again in Thursday’s 4-0 loss in Boston.
When Shesterkin still wasn’t ready to play by Saturday, coach David Quinn went with Kinkaid, and the 31-year-old made the 18 saves he was required to in a dominating Rangers win.
"It's tough when there's not a lot of shots, but it's also a good sign going forward and I think we had a tremendous, tremendous game out there and we were really sharp on the ‘D’ end, and blocking shots,’’ he said, "especially with ‘Foxy’ [Adam Fox] blocking a shot at the end, when they were running around. I think we had a great commitment to defense today.’’
"He made the saves he had to, and he made some timely ones for sure,’’ Quinn said. "I mean you never win a game 4-0, and not have your goalie contribute. And he certainly contributed.’’
Notes & quotes: With Artemi Panarin returning from his nine-day leave, Quinn made two lineup changes. Forwards Brett Howden and Julien Gauthier were scratched, with Panarin and Phil DiGiuseppe coming back into the lineup. On defense, Quinn stayed with the same six who played Thursday, meaning Jack Johnson was the only scratch… The Rangers will not practice Sunday.