Kyle Palmieri became the first player in NHL history to score his team’s first goal in each of the first four games of the season Tuesday night, when his first-period tally gave the New Jersey Devils the only goal they’d need in a 3-0 win over the visiting Dallas Stars.
Goalie Keith Kinkaid recorded his second shutout of the season — as many as he had in the previous two seasons combined — by making 24 saves for the Devils (4-0-0), who are the lone unbeaten team in the NHL. The start is the best for New Jersey since the 1995-96 team also opened 4-0-0.
Blake Coleman and Jean-Sebastien Dea also scored in the second period for the Devils.
Goalie Anton Khudobin made 31 saves for the Stars, who lost for the second time in as many nights. Dallas began its brief road trip by falling to the Ottawa Senators, 4-1, on Monday.
Palmieri’s power-play goal 3:42 after faceoff — his shot from the right of the faceoff circle sailed under the stick hand of Khudobin — inched him closer to another record. The 27-year-old right winger has seven goals in four games — he scored twice apiece in each of the Devils’ first three wins — and needs three goals over the next seven games to become the fastest New Jersey player to reach 10 goals in a season. Pat Verbeek scored 10 goals in the first 12 games of the 1987-88 campaign.
Coleman capped a flurry deep in the Stars’ zone by scoring just 2:03 into the second period. Damon Severson corralled a loose puck and passed to Coleman, who shot past Tyler Seguin and fired a shot in between Stars defensemen Miro Heiskanen and Connor Carrick and past a sprawling Khudobin.
The Devils added an unusual insurance goal against a stickless Khudobin with 3:41 left. Khudobin, whose stick broke seconds earlier while making a save on a shot by Miles Wood, was screaming for a teammate to give him a stick. But he was left defenseless when Brett Ritchie’s clearing pass was intercepted by Dea, whose shot flew over Khudobin’s left hand.
Kinkaid preserved the shutout with seven saves in the third period. The Stars had two prime short-handed chances in the final 1:09, but Kinkaid turned away Mattias Janmark on a 2-on-1 and stopped Gemel Smith from point-blank range.
–Field Level Media
To be continued
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