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Devils go back to Schneider, send Gelinas to AHL

by John Manasso

NASHVILLE -- The New Jersey Devils' lineup will have a somewhat unexpected look Friday as goalie Cory Schneider will start for a second straight game and Eric Gelinas, who ranks second among NHL rookie defensemen in points with 22, has been assigned to Albany of the American Hockey League.

In addition, forward Dainius Zubrus will be a game-time decision after blocking a shot with his left leg Thursday. Zubrus said he sustained a bruise.

The Devils recalled right wing Mike Sislo, who has played seven games this season with the Devils, failing to record a point or log more than 8:49 of ice time in a game. General manager Lou Lamoriello said Sislo's recall was a "safety precaution" in case Zubrus could not play. The Devils played with 11 forwards Thursday.

Schneider had a light load Thursday, facing 16 shots in a 3-2 overtime win at the Dallas Stars. Among those on the ice for the game-winning goal was Gelinas, who logged 2:50 of ice time as one of seven defensemen the Devils dressed.

Playing Schneider again means starts are coming fewer and fewer for Brodeur, 41, the NHL's all-time leader in games played by a goalile, wins and shutouts. Brodeur has started three of the Devils' past 12 games dating to Jan. 9.

Brodeur said he is trying to stay positive while Schneider is 5-1-2 in his past eight starts.

"I've been in that situation," Brodeur said. "I mean, [Schneider] is playing really, really well. Coach [Peter DeBoer] has confidence in him and that's the way it rolls. That's the way it works usually."

Asked if DeBoer still has confidence in him, Brodeur responded, "I would hope so."

Brodeur previously has said that he would be open to a trade, although he would not ask Lamoriello for one. He has played all 21 of his NHL seasons with the Devils.

"But that's just the way it is right now," Brodeur said. "He's playing with the guy he has the most confidence in. We've got to make the playoffs so it's important to get some wins."

The Devils entered Friday with 57 points, only one out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

DeBoer was not scheduled to speak to the media until 5 p.m. local time.

Gelinas, who started the season in the AHL, played his first game with the Devils on Oct. 24 and had only missed two since.

"We've got to get him playing, get a lot of ice time," Lamoriello said. "There's no decision on how long [the assignment] will be."

Prior to Thursday Gelinas had been a minus player in three straight games.

Lamoriello also said defenseman Peter Harrold was "getting closer" to returning. Harrold has missed 24 games with a broken foot. He traveled with the Devils on their three-game trip.

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