Sharks look to snap 5-game skid as Devils visit

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Just one win could be the difference in restoring Cory Schneider’s confidence for the New Jersey Devils.

It isn’t worth a red cent when looking at the Devils’ chances at making the playoffs, but it’s a boost for the 33-year-old goaltender nonetheless.

The Devils continue their five-game road trip with a Thursday game against the San Jose Sharks.

Schneider made 27 saves in the Devils’ 4-1 road win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday after spending most of the NHL season with the club’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y.

Schneider, a one-time All-Star, was recalled last week, and with Louis Domingue traded to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, he could start to see increased playing time.

“It’s a sense of relief a little bit,” Schneider said of his first win of the season Tuesday after his 0-6-1 start. “It’s just one game, so obviously I’d like to have had a lot more here.”

Schneider still figures to back up goalie Mackenzie Blackwood. Even so, it’s possible he could get another shot during the trip that continues with three games in California before a visit to Las Vegas.

“I’m excited,” Schneider said. “We’ve got a long trip here, and the first (game) is important. … My objective is to play well and help this team, help Mackenzie and do whatever I can. I felt good about my game in Binghamton, had a rough start in the fall, but things are feeling better.”

New Jersey’s Dakota Mermis, who had an assist in the victory in Detroit, noted that Schneider is a big reason for the Binghamton Devils’ AHL playoff push.

“Schneids is such a great guy,” Mermis said. “He was a big part in what was going on in Binghamton, (and he) invested in himself to do better.”

The Sharks also got a player back on Tuesday, this one from injury. Team captain Logan Couture, who had 36 points before sustaining a broken ankle Jan. 7, returned for the Sharks’ 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

It was San Jose’s fifth consecutive defeat.

Couture was held pointless in 18:05 of ice time with two shots on goal and one blocked shot.

He left the ice briefly in the second period after blocking the shot, but returned to start the third.

“I wish I played a little bit better, but I’m OK,” Couture said.

Sharks interim coach Bob Boughner said Couture should be fine after he gets a little more ice time.

“It was nice to see his name on the board,” Boughner said, noting that Couture didn’t get a chance to practice before the game. “Obviously, he’s still getting his feet underneath him. His game speed is off. He’s still saying that he had two or three chances to score goals tonight, so it was good to see him back.”

One member of the Devils will arrive in San Jose with his wallet a little lighter.

On Wednesday, the NHL fined forward John Hayden $2,016.13 for cross-checking Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi on Tuesday.

The fine is the maximum allowable under the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Hayden was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct on the play, which led to a small brawl.

–Field Level Media

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