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Schneider to join Devils on road trip, will play at some point

Goalie recalled from conditioning assignment; Kinkaid to start first game, against Lightning

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Cory Schneider will return to the New Jersey Devils and make at least one start in goal during their seven-game road trip, coach John Hynes said Monday.

Schneider, who was recalled from his conditioning assignment with Binghamton of the American Hockey League and practiced Monday, will back up Keith Kinkaid for the first game of the trip, against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG+, SUN, NHL.TV).

"It's more excitement and eagerness than nervousness," Schneider said. "To compete again, at this level, it's fun. The way it ended last year in the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs, you have that feeling in your mind, and that's the level you want to get to again."

Schneider, 32, had surgery May 1 to repair torn cartilage in his left hip. He was expected to need five months to recover; Nov. 1 will mark six months. He has not played since losing to the Lightning in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round.

He was 1-1-1 with a 2.67 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in three AHL games during his conditioning stint.

Schneider missed 16 games last season with a groin/hip injury sustained during a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Jan. 23. He finished 17-16-6 in 40 games, with his highest GAA (2.93) and lowest save percentage (.907) in five seasons with the Devils.

Kinkaid is 5-2-1 with a 2.12 GAA and .925 save percentage, and has started all eight games for the Devils this season.

"It was the first time in a while [Schneider] has had his own net in an NHL practice and it was 55 minutes of good work," Hynes said. "I think it's important we take it day by day with the goalies. Kinkaid will play Tuesday, but we do have a back-to-back situation coming up (Nov. 5-6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators). Cory for sure will get in, but I can't guarantee which game that will be."

Hynes also said defenseman Ben Lovejoy and forward Jesper Bratt will be on the trip. Lovejoy has missed three games with a lower-body injury and is questionable against the Lightning. Bratt has missed eight games because of a broken jaw and is expected to be out two more weeks.

Forward Drew Stafford, who has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury, could join the Devils at some point during the trip.

Forward Marcus Johansson will return to the lineup after missing a 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday because of an illness.

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