The goaltending duo of Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider figures to be a formidable one this season. If Friday's Red-White scrimmage is any indication, it will be nearly impossible to score on.
Brodeur and Schneider dueled for two 25-minute periods at AmeriHealth Pavilion with Schneider's White squad eking out a 2-0 win. The contest was scoreless until the final minute, when Rostislav Olesz poked a backhander past Brodeur with 56.8 seconds remaining. Stefan Matteau added an empty netter.
"Just to get back at it, it's always interesting the first time out to see how you're going to feel," Brodeur said. "It was fine today."
"It's good to play a game-like situation, but obviously it's still not the real thing," said Schneider. "It's a good step, it's good to get in that competitive mode, but I think we know we can all be a lot better."
Keeping both netminders fresh will be important during a regular-season schedule that features 22 back-to-back games. They're likely to split the six-game preseason slate which opens Monday at Prudential Center against the Rangers.
Brodeur's expecting a push from Schneider, who was 17-9-4 in 30 games with Vancouver last season and 20-8-1 the year before. The NHL's all-time wins leader sounded up to the task.
"There's going to be a great challenge to keep my game to a certain level," he said.
Schneider, who was acquired at the NHL Draft for the ninth-overall pick, aims to be ready when called upon.
"My expectations are to play as well as I can whenever I get the opportunity to play," he said. "I'm coming to a new team, a team that expects to win and doesn't miss the playoffs very often. That's their expectation, to be in the playoffs every year. You want to come in and help them attain that goal. You don't want to be the guy who comes in and either isn't prepared or isn't ready and costs his team points."
The trade was announced on June 30 to cheers in front of the hometown crowd at Prudential Center. Schneider hopes to deliver.
"I think absolutely I have a lot to prove to both my teammates and the organization that they made a good move in picking me up," he said. "For me personally, you want to reward someone like that for giving you the opportunity. You don't want to be the guy that lets them down."
Said Brodeur, "Cory is a really good goalie. He's still young but he's ready to take up the role of being a number one goalie. He was given it in Vancouver last year and I think we're really glad that we have him on our team."
• Jaromir Jagr did not skate Friday because of lower body soreness. Lou Lamoriello said Jagr "won't go on the ice until he's 100 percent."
Jagr left Thursday's practice early and did not return. There's no timetable for Jagr's injury, "But we're not concerned. That's the best I can say," Lamoriello said.
The update was good news for head coach Peter DeBoer, who had Jagr on a line with Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac.
"Relieved for sure," DeBoer said. "At the same time, we're not going to rush him. Time's on our side right now. There's no real urgency to get him out until he's ready."
Lines from Friday's scrimmage:
Mattias Tedenby - Travis Zajac - Rostislav Olesz
Stefan Matteau - Stephen Gionta - Mike Sislo
Krys Barch - Jacob Josefson - Myles Bell
David Wohlberg - Graham Black - Ben Johnson
Dan Kelly - Eric Gelinas
Anton Volchenkov - Corbin McPherson
Jon Merrill - Mark Fayne
Ryane Clowe - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder
Reid Boucher - Andrei Loktionov - Joe Whitney
Ryan Kujawinski - Ryan Carter - Harri Pesonen
Ben Thomson - Chris McKelvie - Darcy Zajac
Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Seth Helgeson - Damon Severson
Brandon Burlon - Raman Hrabarenka