How it happened: The Blackhawks dominated for long stretches against a Devils team that was missing three of its top forwards in Patrik Elias, Mike Cammalleri and Dainius Zubrus and gave goaltender Keith Kinkaid his first career start. But New Jersey played Chicago close early and held leads of 1-0 and 2-1. Scott Darling was especially sharp when called upon and the Blackhawks slowly turned the tide in the second, in which they outshot the Devils 17-7. It was Kinkaid's outstanding, 37-save performance that kept the Blackhawks from running away with this game. After Duncan Keith tied the score with 3:13 left in regulation, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored in the shootout to give Chicago the win.
What it means: The victory extends the Blackhawks' win streak to seven games. They are now 19-8-1 and sit first in the Central Division with 39 points, one ahead of the idle St. Louis Blues.
Player of the game: In a battle of two unheralded goaltenders, Kinkaid was outstanding and looked like a seasoned pro in his first NHL start while Darling kept things close when called upon. But it was defenseman Keith who truly carried the play for the Blackhawks. The All-Star led all skaters with 30:36 in ice time and seemed to be all over the puck much of the night. He was guilty of a couple second-period turnovers, but he was the engine that propelled a Blackhawks attack that dominated New Jersey for long stretches Tuesday. Kinkaid kept the game close most of the night, but Keith's persistence paid off when he tied the game on his sixth goal of the season late in regulation.
Stat of the game: 17. The Blackhawks registered a whopping 17 shots on net in the second period and had a number of other quality chances, including seven that were blocked and another seven that missed the net. That shot discrepancy was thanks in large part to a four-minute minor assessed to Jacob Josefson for high-sticking Daniel Carcillo. Chicago didn't score on the double minor but did gradually take over the game.
What's next: The Blackhawks continue their four-game road trip Thursday in Boston before completing their trip Saturday on Long Island.