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Schneider, Devils prep for Capitals

Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 3:38 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Schneider, Devils prep for Capitals
Schneider, Devils prep for Capitals



 
Think Friday’s game against the Capitals at Prudential Center is a big one?

“That might be an understatement,” coach Peter DeBoer said Thursday.

With points in five straight (2-0-3) and six of their last seven (3-1-3), the Devils are alive in the postseason hunt. A regulation win Friday would be a significant boost and move them one point ahead of Washington in the standings.

DeBoer's club dropped a shootout in Buffalo on Tuesday, but the coach is confident about a rebound. As of Thursday, they were three points behind Columbus for the final wild card spot with the Blue Jackets set to visit Philadelphia on Thursday night.

"The one thing about our group, these guys have played pressure games before," DeBoer said "There’s multiple Stanley Cup winners in that room, there’s a bunch of guys who were in the Final two years ago. I’m not worried about the pressure overwhelming anybody in that room."

Cory Schneider will make his second straight start. He’s 1-1-0 against Washington this season with a 1.01 goals-against average and .964 save percentage.

"You’ve got to start with the teams in front of you,” Schneider said. "You can’t really think about the teams that are two or three (spots) ahead of you. You’ve got to worry about the one right in front of you. So here’s a chance to get ourselves past them and put the next team in our sights. We’ve been grinding out some points lately, not as many as maybe we might like, but points are points and we’re still in it.”

Schneider made 25 saves against the Sabres before stopping six of nine in the shootout. One point earned, one left on the table, but there’s no looking back with six games to go.

"You walk in the next day, you look at the standings and you’re only three points out,” he said. "I know some of the teams ahead of us have tougher schedules and they have to earn those points. Hey, if they beat those good teams and earn their points then, you know what, this wasn’t our year. But they could falter, they could stumble and as long as we keep banging some points, we’ll make it harder on them.”

• A full cage protected Jon Merrill's swollen right cheek at Thursday's practice. He was hit by a deflected Travis Hamonic slapshot at Long Island on Saturday.

"It's not fun," Merrill said. "It's tough to sleep, you can't eat anything. It's just not fun."

Merrill missed six games after getting hurt in his NHL debut on Nov. 3, but will be available Friday if needed.

Thursday's practice lines:

Tuomo Ruutu - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr

Adam Henrique - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner

Dainius Zubrus - Jacob Josefson - Michael Ryder

Ryan Carter - Tim Sestito - Steve Bernier / Mike Sislo

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Anton Volchenkov - Marek Zidlicky

Jon Merrill - Peter Harrold

Eric Gelinas - Adam Larsson

Cory Schneider

Martin Brodeur

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51

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