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Devils goalie Schneider emerging as a workhorse

by Mike G. Morreale / NHL.com

NEWARK, N.J. -- Cory Schneider knew the questions would come quickly when it appeared that he would be supplanting the most decorated goaltender in the history of the position for the New Jersey Devils this season.

Schneider acknowledged all along, however, that he would not be replacing Martin Brodeur. He instead had his mind set on continuing the tradition of excellence at that position for the organization.

The 28-year-old was signed to a seven-year contract extension worth a reported $42 million in July to do just that.

DEVILS VS. OILERS PREVIEW

Schneider makes 20th straight start

By Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent
New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider will make his 20th consecutive start Friday, against the Edmonton Oilers, setting a new franchise record for starts from the beginning of the season. READ MORE ›

Still, no one really expected him to surpass Brodeur for consecutive starts to begin a season either, but that's what will happen when Schneider plays against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Friday.

Schneider tied Brodeur for consecutive starts to open a season with 19 on Tuesday in a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brodeur set the longest stretch to open a season by playing the first 20 games of 2001-02.

This season is the first time in his seven seasons in the League that Schneider entered a training camp knowing he would be the No. 1 goalie.

Since the start of the 2010-11 season Schneider has a 2.13 goals-against average that ranks first among goalies to play at least 40 games, and he's second with a .925 save percentage.

Last season, his first with the Devils, he was third in the League with a 1.97 GAA.

The 2014-15 season hasn't been as kind to Schneider. He is 8-8-2 with a 2.72 GAA and .910 save percentage and has been pulled from a game four times. His 19 starts and time on ice (1,078:58) lead the League. His 543 shots faced and 494 saves each rank second.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer said Friday he didn't envision Schneider starting 20 straight to begin the season but the current situation changed his plans. The Devils, who have lost two straight, entered play Friday with 18 points, three behind the Washington Capitals for third place in the Metropolitan Division and four points behind the Ottawa Senators for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Schneider had 30 saves in a 1-0 shutout against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 14 but since then has allowed six goals in losses against the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets.

"Cory feels great; the energy isn't an issue and it's not an issue for me, him or the team," DeBoer said prior to the game against the Jets.

DeBoer said in training camp that he anticipated Schneider handling 60-plus games. The last time that happened for Schneider was 2009-10 when he played 60 with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League, and then six more in the AHL playoffs.

At his current pace Schneider would smash that mark. The Devils are hopeful the payoff will be a trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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