NEWARK, N.J. — Cory Schneider can’t beat his former team. And the New Jersey Devils are having trouble beating any team.
Mike Santorelli scored the only goal in the shootout, and the Vancouver Canucks edged the Devils 3-2 on Thursday night.
In a matchup of former teammates, Roberto Luongo got the best of Schneider — who used to be his backup in Vancouver. Luongo turned aside Travis Zajac, Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias in the tiebreaker to make Santorelli’s goal stand up.
It was New Jersey’s second loss to Vancouver this season, and Schneider, acquired in a draft-day trade over the summer, played in both of them. The Devils are just 1-5-4 overall, and the only things keeping them out of last place in the newly formed Metropolitan Division are the similar slow starts by the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.
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“Not a very good one by me,” Schneider said. “Just two real bad goals that cost a point. We should’ve never went to a shootout. No disrespect to Vancouver, I thought I kind of gave them two goals there. (Luongo) made some big saves in the third, they hung around and won the shootout.”
The Devils took a 1-0 lead just 5:05 into the game when Andrei Loktionov found Elias for a shot from the left circle that resulted in his third goal. Elias had missed the previous two games because of illness.
Ryan Kesler tied it at 6:07 with his fifth goal as the Canucks won for the second time in three nights.
New Jersey went back in front with a power-play tally 3:34 later on Eric Gelinas’ first NHL goal.
Vancouver tied it at 2 with 7:23 left in the second when Daniel Sedin netted his fourth of the season. Sedin fired a slap shot off a dump-in that found its way under Schneider’s right pad.
Luongo made 28 saves before the shootout. Schneider stopped 19.
Vancouver coach John Tortorella — back in the New York metropolitan area this week after being fired by the Rangers over the summer — was victorious in his return to the Prudential Center.
“I don’t think I would have paid for a minute of that game, but it’s nice we came away with the two points,” Tortorella told the Vancouver Sun.
The Canucks have somehow managed an impressive 4-1-1 record in the first six games of their seven-game trip that mercifully concludes Friday night in St. Louis.
“It is one of those games on the road where you are grinding and you are trying to get a point and we got two tonight,” Canucks captain Henrik Sedin, who assisted on both Vancouver goals, told the Sun. “So it feels great.”
• Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott was suspended indefinitely by the NHL. And teammate Patrick Kaleta’s appeal to reduce his 10-game suspension was denied by league commissioner Gary Bettman.
Scott was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing for a blindside hit to the head that leveled Boston Bruins forward Lou Eriksson. The Bruins said Eriksson has been diagnosed with a concussion and will be out indefinitely.
• Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne will miss at least four weeks after he has another procedure on his surgically repaired hip to clear up an infection.
• Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward will miss three to four weeks because of a lower-body injury that forced him out of the game at Minnesota just minutes after the faceoff.