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Kinkaid continues to impress in Devils 2-1 win over the Lightning


The New Jersey Devils have swept the season-series against the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 2-1 victory on Saturday night. The Devils were back at Prudential Center for the first time in 16 days and with two more points they maintain hold on the second wild card spot in the East with 86 points. 
Here are 10 takeaways from the game: 
1. Coach John Hynes tinkered with his lineup after the overtime victory in Pittsburgh on Friday night. Here is how the lineup stacked up against the Lightning: 
Hall-Hischier-Bratt
Maroon-Zacha-Palmieri
Coleman-Zajac-Noesen
Grabner-Boyle-Gibbons
Greene-Vatanen
Moore-Severson
Butcher-Mueller
Kinkaid
2. Mueller returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past 13 games, last playing on February 22nd versus Minnesota. Against Tampa Bay, Mueller was paired with Will Butcher and connected for an assist on the opening goal. Mueller played at total of 17:06 and a +1 rating.  
3. Keith Kinkaid started on back-to-back nights. After facing over 40 shots against Pittsburgh, Kinkaid was back backstopping the Devils against the Lightning less than 24 hours later. Against Tampa Bay, Kinkaid stood tall and made 35 of 36 saves against the league's highest scoring team. 

4. For a second straight game Nico Hischier made his opponents pay. Hischier opened up the scoring for both teams at 17:51 of the first period when he cleaned up a rebound in front of Tampa's netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy. In his last six games Hischier has four goals and two assists to bring his point total to 49. 

5. Mueller and Will Butcher earned the assists on Hischier's goal. Butcher now has 34 assists on the year. Butcher is tied with Eric Weinrich (1990-91) and Viacheslav Festisov (1989-90) for most assists by a New Jersey Devils defenseman in their rookie season.
6. Kyle Palmieri extended the Devils lead at 10:59 of the second period when he went top shelf on Vasilevskiy from between the circles. Palmieri's deked out two Tampa players and fired a wrist shot into the net for a 2-0 lead and his 21st goal of the year. Palmieri now has four goals in his past eight games

Pavel Zacha and Taylor Hall earned the assists on the play. 
7. Hall's assist was the 82nd point of the season. That sets a new career-high in points and extends his point streak to four games. 
8. The Devils closed out their 15 of 16 back-to-back scenario's this season. New Jersey is 8-5-2 in first games and 7-8-0 in second games. 
9. The New Jersey Devils have swept the season series with the Tampa Bay Lightning and have done it with three different goaltenders. Cory Schneider won the first matchup between the two teams, Eddie Lackposted the victory in February and Kinkaid is the proud owner of Saturday night's win. 
10. New Jersey continue their home stand on Tuesday night when they host the Carolina Hurricanes, followed by the visiting Penguins on Thursday and the Islanders on Saturday night.
* Postgame Covenant House Sleepout*
Following tonight's home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Devils alumni, employees and fans will gather for an unprecedented effort to help the homeless youth of New Jersey by sleeping outside on Prudential Center's Championship Plaza to help raise funds and awareness for Covenant House New Jersey.
The top fundraiser will receive a private lunch with Devils Forward Miles Wood. In addition, through his generosity, Wood, has purchased and donated pairs of New Balance sneakers- enough that every youth that currently resides at Covenant House New Jersey will receive two pairs.