Defenseman Matt Donovan will become the first true Oklahoma product to play in the NHL when he suits up for the Islanders tonight in New Jersey.
Donovan, 21, was born in Edmond, OK. His father Larry, a Boston native who runs ice rinks in The Sooner State, got his son into hockey.
The Islanders drafted Donovan 96th overall in 2008. He won a gold medal with the United States at the 2010 World Juniors in Saskatchewan. So far this season he’s put up 42 points with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL.
“It really hasn’t hit me that tonight is the night that I’m going to be playing my first NHL game, but I’m excited and ready to play,” Donovan told NHL.com.
According to hockeyreference.com, only three other NHLers have been born in Oklahoma – Tyler Arnason, Dan Woodley, and Burr Williams, the latter of whom played in the 1930s.
However, Arnason grew up in Winnipeg and Woodley was only born in OK because his dad, Dave, played for the Oklahoma City Blazers at the time.
Not sure what Williams’ story was, but with a name like Burr, we bet it was colorful.
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When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
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