Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils skates to the net during the first period against the New York Rangers in a preseason game at the Prudential Center on September 16, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
(September 15, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

‘It’s like Groundhog Day’: Schneider frustrated about backing up Brodeur

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Cory Schneider is back in a familiar position.

The Devils goalie will sit for the third straight game on Wednesday, backing up Martin Brodeur for a home date against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.

It’s a justified decision — Brodeur has played well of late, stopping 47 of his last 51 shots faced — but one that’s gotten under Schneider’s skin, reminding him of the situation in Vancouver between himself and Roberto Luongo.

“It’s like Groundhog Day for me,” Schneider said, as per the Star-Ledger. “I can’t seem to escape it.”

Schneider spent his first four NHL seasons working as Luongo’s backup, ascending to a pseudo-No. 1 job in during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign. But even then, he hardly had a lock on the starting gig — Schneider made 30 appearances to Luongo’s 20 last year.

This summer, he was dealt to New Jersey in what many saw as a passing of the torch. There was no question he was the succession plan to Brodeur in goal, though several people within the organization — head coach Peter DeBoer and GM Lou Lamoriello most notably — made it clear Brodeur would be the starter and Schneider would be the “1A” this season.

Through 26 games, it’s basically gone that way.

Brodeur has a slight edge in games played — 14, to Schneider’s 10 — but Schneider does have the superior numbers, including a .925 save percentage and 1.87 GAA.

Schneider’s frustration is also somewhat justified given that, while Brodeur has played well lately, he’s still lost two games in a row.

But whatever the case, Schneider’s remarks certainly are interesting. He has just this year and the next remaining on his three-year, $12 million deal, and is facing a predicament — Schneider will be 28 at the end of this season, but has yet to appear in more than 33 games in a single season.

When does the “starting goalie of the future” actually get to handle a starter’s workload?

Video: Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.

Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.

The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.

Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.

But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.

“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.