The shutout streak stands as 113:29 for Keith Kinkaid in the wake of Saturday’s 4-0 victory in Boston in which No. 71 recorded his eighth career NHL blanking and first since his 3-0 triumph for the Devils in Philadelphia on Nov. 15, 2018.
“It’s definitely very rewarding,” said the 31-year-old netminder who signed a two-year free agent deal with the Rangers after spending most of last season in the AHL as a member of the Montreal organization following five seasons with New Jersey. “My season ended in March last year and I had a lot of training over the summer.
“I’ve been working with Benoit Allaire here, there’s a lot of work to be done, but I knew last year was a fluke and a little of an unfortunate situation, so there’s a good vibe here. Everyone in this organization trusts me and I just want to prove to them that I can still play. I’m very pumped for this.”
Kinkaid was promoted from the taxi squad on March 5 in the wake of Igor Shesterkin’s groin strain the previous night. Alexandar Georgiev’s struggles have opened the door for Kinkaid, who has been unflappable in two starts and two relief outings in which he has compiled a 1.53 goals against average and .935 save percentage in 195:55.
“He made the saves he had to, and he made timely ones for sure,” David Quinn said of the 18-save performance in which Kinkaid was tested quite rarely. “You never win a game 4-0 and not have you goalie contribute. He contributed.
“He’s an NHL goalie. We know that. You know you’re going to need depth this year—you need depth every year—and though it was obviously a little bit tough stretch for him over the last year-and-a-half, we thought we had signed a guy who could play in the National Hockey League and help us, and he has.”
The Blueshirts and Bruins each went 0-for-5 in 9:16 on the power play, the Rangers getting eight shots with the man-advantage, the B’s getting five. While the first unit chewed up time, Artemi Panarin on for 7:04 and Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad each on for over 6:30 and Ryan Strome just 10 seconds under that, Filip Chytil was displaced from the second unit.
Chytil got just 21 seconds with the man-advantage as Quinn went with a second unit of Pavel Buchnevich, Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere up front with Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller at the back.
Brett Howden was a healthy scratch for the first time in his three-year career. The 22-year-old, who had played 113 consecutive games since returning from an MCL injury on Mar. 3, 2019, has two points and no goals in 25 games this season.
Julien Gauthier, whose play had been on the uptick before Thursday’s game in Boston swallowed him up, just as pretty much every one of his teammates, was also scratched up front.
Jack Johnson was scratched on defense while Anthony Bitetto was assigned to the taxi squad.
The Blueshirts are home for a pair against the Flyers on Monday and Wednesday before going to D.C. for a back-to-back against the Caps on Friday and Saturday.