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Schneider starts preseason opener vs. Rangers

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

The Devils pulled off one of the biggest trades of the offseason when they landed Cory Schneider back in June. They'll get their first look at their prize tonight when Schneider starts the preseason opener against the Rangers at Prudential Center.

"Yeah, start it – get it going," Schneider said after the morning skate. "Sometimes in the preseason they wait two or three or four games to get some guys in there but I think we've got a pretty solid lineup and it looks like New York does, too, so we're not wasting any time. I think we're all excited to get in their and get your feet wet and just get that first game in as a Devil. Even though it's preseason, it still feels like a real game."

This will be Schneider's first taste of the Devils-Rangers rivalry, but he knows what to expect – even in exhibition.

"I'm from the East Coast and any of those serious Boston, New York, Philly, Washington – those kind of rivalries are quite intense," he said. "I know Devils and Rangers have a long history in the playoffs and some pretty big series that I remember watching even back in '94. I'm pretty well aware of what it means to both sides. I'm really excited to be into it."

Schneider and Martin Brodeur are expected to split the six-game preseason schedule, offering a preview of the flexibility head coach Peter DeBoer will have at his disposal during the regular season.

"It gives us a great luxury as a coaching staff," DeBoer said. "I think the teams that are able to roll two elite goalies out there have an advantage this year, particularly with our schedule and the number of [22] back-to-back games we have."

Prospect Reid Boucher will experience the Hudson River rivalry for the first time in his first NHL preseason contest. The Devils' fourth-round pick in 2011, he set a Sarnia (OHL) single-season team record last year with 62 goals.

"I'm very excited about it and hopefully it'll be a good experience," Boucher said. "I'm sure I'll have fun with it."

DeBoer chatted with the young sniper during the morning skate.

"I told him, 'Don't worry as much about your positioning; just worry about what you do best and that's getting pucks to the net,'" said the coach. "I'm not as worried about goals. This guy has some things and some tools that are very rare. He has those instincts on the ice that he looks dangerous every time he steps on the ice. It's a great asset to have and I'm excited to see him in preseason play, here."

• DeBoer said he hasn't decided how long he'll keep Schneider in goal tonight. Keith Kinkaid will backup.

Projected lines:

Harri Pesonen - Adam Henrique - Steve Bernier
Rostislav Olesz
- Andrei Loktionov - Mattias Tedenby
Reid Boucher
- Jacob Josefson - Mike Sislo
Krys Barch - Darcy Zajac - Cam Janssen

Anton Volchenkov - Mark Fayne
Eric Gelinas - Peter Harrold
Alexander Urbom - Adam Larsson

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