Canucks-Devils Preview

The Associated Press

There will be far less fanfare surrounding Cory Schneider's second start against his former Vancouver Canucks teammates than the first just over two weeks ago, leaving him to focus solely on helping the New Jersey Devils bust out of their slump.

New Jersey will be without captain Bryce Salvador, though, when it hosts Vancouver on Thursday night.

The Canucks traded Schneider to the Devils (1-5-3) on draft night for the No. 9 overall pick, and he made 29 saves against his former team Oct. 8 before Mike Santorelli deflected a Jason Garrison shot past him in overtime in New Jersey's 3-2 road defeat.

Roberto Luongo made 21 saves for Vancouver (6-4-1).

"With Louie at the other end, you have to match him save for save because he's not going to give you much,'' Schneider said after that contest.

Luongo relished his first time going up against his former teammate.

"It was fun. Obviously we spent many years together so it was nice to battle it out head to head," Luongo said.

They may do so again in this matchup as Schneider, who is 1-3-1 despite a 2.21 goals-against average, looks to get New Jersey on track after making 20 saves in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Columbus.

The Devils failed to score after Michael Ryder's power-play goal in the second period gave them the lead.

''We're all searching for answers," coach Peter DeBoer said. "The bottom line is ... you have to have 20 guys prepared to be in the fight and win battles. You can't go in with 15 or 16.''

New Jersey lost again after ending a seven-game skid to begin the season with a 4-0 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday.

''We definitely wanted to build off that win," Salvador said. "We started that way with the power-play goal, but we didn't do it."

Salvador, though, will miss his first game of the season Thursday due to a death in his family as the Devils host a Vancouver team making its sixth stop on a season-high seven-game road trip.

The Canucks are 3-1-1 on their swing after earning a sloppy 5-4 overtime victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday. They trailed 2-0 and 3-2 before Brad Richardson's goal 2:16 into the extra session.

"I give them credit,'' coach John Tortorella said. ''It was ugly. We made a ton of mistakes, they made a ton of mistakes, but we found a way to win. I think if you're going to get there in the end, you have to win.''

Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin each finished with a goal and an assist, while Chris Higgins and Henrik Sedin also scored. Henrik has three goals and four assists during a six-game point streak.

Vancouver concludes its trip against St. Louis on Friday.

''As you go further and further, you wear down a bit. It's natural,'' Tortorella said. ''It's a situation that teams have to fight through.''

Luongo made 28 saves Tuesday and has won his last five starts with a 0.79 GAA against New Jersey, but it's unclear if he'll be in net for this contest.

The Canucks likely won't have Jannik Hansen, who suffered an upper-body injury against the Islanders.

New Jersey could have Patrik Elias back after he missed the last two contests with an illness.

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