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NEWS

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 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
M. Cammalleri 50 23 9 3 32
A. Henrique 55 12 20 -1 32
J. Jagr 57 11 18 -10 29
P. Elias 52 10 15 -14 25
S. Gomez 38 5 18 -9 23
M. Zidlicky 62 4 19 -8 23
T. Zajac 54 9 10 -5 19
S. Bernier 47 10 8 1 18
M. Ryder 43 6 12 -2 18
A. Larsson 44 2 16 2 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 22 23 6 .926 2.23
K. Kinkaid 3 4 3 .915 2.59