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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



 
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

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 55 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 53 18 18 14 36
K. Palmieri 55 20 15 3 35
T. Zajac 47 8 18 7 26
D. Schlemko 47 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 55 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 51 1 12 -1 13
A. Greene 55 4 6 2 10
J. Josefson 44 3 7 -14 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 24 16 6 .930 2.01
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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