NEWS

Schneider, Devils prep for Capitals

Thursday, 04.3.2014 / 3:38 PM ET / 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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59