‘Devils in the Details’
By Sean Hartnett
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Cory Schneider’s competitive start to his Devils career couldn’t have gone more swimmingly.
The former Vancouver Canuck immediately endeared himself to Devils fans during Monday night’s 2-1 preseason win over the rival New York Rangers. Schneider made a number of flashy saves that drew booming chants of “Cor-y, Cor-y” from the Prudential Center crowd.
His most notable thievery came against Brad Richards on an early second-period Rangers power play. Richards alertly followed the loose puck and unleashed a quick shot. Schneider was up to the task, making a sprawling paddle save to deny Richards.
It was a common theme throughout the contest. Schneider kept frustrating Richards again and again. The Rangers centerman unleashed a hard slap shot from the left circle at 7:28 in second period.
“I saw that play developing, where I thought he was going to drop it to Richards there,” Schneider said. “It was kind of deceptively a hard and quick shot. I was able to get good vision, and found it pretty quickly. Sometimes, your glove is just in the right spot — and it happens to go in there.”
The crowd of 11,906 were left captivated by Schneider’s artistry in net. Devils fans could be forgiven for mistaking 27-year-old Schneider for a young Martin Brodeur. Schneider’s performance on Monday night might be a sampling of the present and the future as he could conceivably steal away the majority of Brodeur’s workload.
When it was all said and done, Schneider had posted two scoreless periods of play — stopping all 22 shots before 24-year-old Keith Kinkaid relieved him at the start of the third period. Kinkaid saved 11 of 12 shots, allowing a goal to Rangers center Dominic Moore at 4:59 minutes into the final period.
Devils head coach Pete DeBoer wasn’t getting carried away with effusive for his new netminder.
While Kinkaid was solid, the night belonged to Schneider. The native of suburban Massachusetts, who were grew up attending Bruins games at TD Garden was taken aback by the atmosphere at Prudential Center.
“It is preseason, but that was probably one of the most spirited preseason games I’ve ever seen,” Schneider said.
As the victorious Devils left the ice, the home fans showered Schneider with a loud ovation and continuous “Cor-y, Cor-y” chants.
“That was incredible,” Schneider said. “I’ve heard a lot about the fans here and how passionate and how supportive they are. It was just the first preseason game. Hopefully, we’ll get a lot more of that support.”