Martin Brodeur's streak of starting 18 consecutive season openers for the same franchise will end Thursday night when the New Jersey Devils face the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Cory Schneider will take Brodeur's place in goal for the game in Pittsburgh, bringing an end to Brodeur's NHL record streak that begin with the 1994-95 season. The last goalie other than Brodeur to start the Devils' opener was Chris Terreri on Oct. 6, 1993.
"Any time you get to start the opener for your team, it's a big honor and a privilege," Schneider told The (Bergen) Record. "I'm really looking forward to it. It's fun to be playing hockey in October instead of waiting until January, like it was last year (because of the lockout). I think we're all eager to start playing."
Devils coach Peter DeBoer originally planned to start Brodeur in the team's opener, but the veteran netminder's father died in Montreal last week and he spent some time away from the club. Brodeur missed New Jersey's final preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers to attend the funeral.
"Ended up being a fairly easy decision just based on the last week and a half Marty's had and what he's dealt with," DeBoer said. "It was more the timing that he could get an extra day to prepare after what he's been through."
Brodeur is expected to get the start in the Devils' home opener on Friday night.
"Regardless, I know I was not going to play both, so I'm all for it," Brodeur told The Record. "I haven't seen much action in the preseason, so it's kind of nice to be able to get a game day and get on the ice and be on the bench and look at the speed of different things. I think that's going to help me out for my game."
Schneider, 27, came to the Devils in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks during the NHL Draft in June. In four preseason games, he posted a 4-0-0 record with a 0.30 goals-against average and a .988 saves percentage with one shutout.