Cory Schneider Plays Brilliantly But Devils Fall To Penguins In Overtime


Tonight is one of those games that leaves you sitting, staring at the television (or ice if you were fortunate enough to attend) while being sick to your stomach. The New Jersey Devils were thoroughly dominated by the Pittsburgh Penguins for the entire 60+ minutes, who won 2-1 in overtime, but you know what? The Devils should have won the game. They were outshot 43-14 and didn’t play with any urgency or sense of belief the entire night, but they should have won. There’s only one reason for that and his name is Cory Schneider. Cory Schneider, a gift from the Canucks, played one of the best games of his entire life. Yet, for the umpteenth time this season, his team let him down.

Jan 28, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes a save during the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Prudential Center. The Devils defeated the Maple Leafs 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

From the start of the game, the Devils looked like they didn’t belong. Pittsburgh was up 6-0 in shots in the blink of an eye and you just knew it was going to be one of those nights. The Devils didn’t have their legs and the Penguins were jumping all over them. Cory Schneider was brilliant and he needed to be. He faced 14 shots in the first and got them all. In total, he made 41 saves and some of those were as high difficulty as you can ask for. The most memorable save of the night came on Sidney Crosby who received a cross-ice pass and was sure to score. Cory said no. Schneider made amazing save after amazing save, but it was not enough. He even made a ridiculous save in overtime seconds before Simon Despres was able to beat him on a soft shot from the point.

The Devils played an atrocious game, but they had the lead for ten minutes in the third period. Steve Bernier singlehandedly put the Devils on top when he took the puck from the blue line and power moved past Rob Bortuzzo all the way around the net. He made a quick wrap-around move and beat Marc-Andre Fleury, who had one of the easiest wins of his life just having to make 13 saves. I will admit I was wrong about Bernier. I always liked him but didn’t think it was practical to bring him back. He’s been one of the nicer surprises this season and figures to be a solid bottom six forward in the future.

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So the Devils had the lead, Cory Schneider was standing on his head and they were holding on. Then Peter Harrold happened. Harrold, playing in place of Eric Gelinas for some reason (please explain that one coaching staff), took a terrible penalty with three and a half minutes left in the game. When that happened, you just knew Pittsburgh was going to score; they did 18 seconds later. Cory Schneider leaves his heart and soul on the ice for the team and that’s how he gets re-paid. A garbage penalty at the end of the game undoes his brilliance. The Devils also had a full two minute five on three in the first period in which they failed to score on. It was just that kind of night.

When the game ended and the Devils were left with just one point, which in reality they didn’t deserve, I was beyond deflated. I felt so bad for Cory Schneider, easily the game’s first star. Every single player and coach on the Devils should apologize to their goaltender. He deserved so much more than he got.

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