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Schneider ruled out of regular-season opener for Devils

Goalie recovering from hip surgery, won't play against Oilers

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

BERN, Switzerland -- Cory Schneider will not play for the New Jersey Devils when they begin the regular season against the Edmonton Oilers at Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Oct. 6 (1 p.m. ET; SN, MSG+, NHL.TV), coach John Hynes said Sunday.

The 32-year-old goaltender is with the Devils for the 2018 NHL Global Series, which starts with a preseason game against SC Bern of Switzerland's National League at PostFinance Arena on Monday (1:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, MSG+, NHL.TV). He had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left hip May 1.

Goalie Keith Kinkaid will start Monday and likely against the Oilers on Saturday.

"It's disappointing I won't be ready for the season opener but when I had the surgery in May, there was a five-to-six-month recovery period, so Oct. 1 is about five months," Schneider said. "It feels really good for being five months in, and if I miss a couple of games to start the year, it's better than missing a lot of games in the second half of the year because something is still wrong."

Schneider missed 16 regular-season games last season with a groin/hip injury sustained Jan. 23. He went 0-10-2 with a 4.04 goals-against average and .863 save percentage in his final 12 regular-season games and was the backup to Kinkaid for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Schneider relieved Kinkaid in Game 2 and started Game 3, when he made 34 saves in a 5-2 win. He had a 1.78 GAA and .950 save percentage in four games, but New Jersey lost the best-of-7 series in five games.

"Cory's progress has gone really well," Hynes said. "He continues to practice and continues to be out there and progress the right way, and I can definitively say he's not playing against the Oilers."

Schneider did extra on-ice work with Devils goaltending coach Roland Melanson after practice at PostFinance Arena on Sunday. He appeared agile and determined during practice and was in good spirits afterwards. 

"I'm trying to get all the work in I can, and make sure my conditioning and fitness level are high because while you can't control how the injury feels or how you're going to feel day to day, you can definitely control your conditioning and fitness, and that's something Roland Melanson is on top of us about," Schneider said. "If I'm going to come all the way over here, it's good to get the work in and that's the focus because if I were home right now, I'm not exactly sure what I'd be doing with everyone over here."

The Devils will play four straight games at Prudential Center following their opener against the Oilers in Sweden, beginning against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 11.

"I'm fortunate and happy to be on the trip with the guys, get the work in," Schneider said. "Honestly, it's still day to day, week to week, but I've felt better and better every day. I'm not sure what the timeline is right now but I think once we get home, hopefully we can update that, revisit, or maybe select a hard date to come back and hopefully get into game action."

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