Devils blank Canucks, stay perfect on road
VANCOUVER, B.C. — After watching his team score 40 goals in the first 10 games, New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider was hoping for a night when he could be the difference.
Schneider got his wish and got the job done Wednesday night, stopping 37 shots for his first shutout of the season as the Devils defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-0.
“We’ve been scoring a lot of goals,” said Schneider, who recorded his 24th career shutout. “I felt good about my game, but I felt like it was time to spin a game like this. Get my teammates some help and play really well and not force them to score four of five goals.
“It was a good feeling for me.”
Jimmy Hayes scored in the second period, and Drew Stafford scored into an empty net with 16 seconds left for New Jersey.
Taylor Hall had two assists for the Devils (9-2-0), who are off to their best start in 24 years. New Jersey is also 5-0-0 on the road — the only NHL team with a perfect road record.
Hall has six points (two goals, four assists) in his last three games.
Schneider, who played parts of five seasons in Vancouver before being traded to New Jersey in 2013, improved his record to 5-1-2 against his old team.
“I always loved playing in this city and this building,” he said. “I’ve always felt really comfortable and at home here. It was fun to play.”
It was an emotional night for New Jersey’s Brian Boyle, who returned to the lineup after missing the first 10 games with chronic myeloid leukemia.
“It had just been a while,” said Boyle, 32. “I tried not to think too much about it. Between the warmup and the first period, I was thinking about all that we had been through.
“It’s nice to get back as quick as I could.”
Boyle, who signed a two-year, $5.1 million contract with the Devils on July 1, was diagnosed after a blood test during his training camp physical on Sept. 19. He has been treated with medication and was given clearance to practice Oct. 21.
Schneider came up with some big saves when the Devils were holding on to a 1-0 lead. Late in the second period, he stopped a blast from Alex Burmistrov, then slid across the crease to get a toe on Sam Gagner’s shot off the rebound.
With 42 seconds left, Schneider stopped Daniel Sedin with a right shoulder save.
“Cory was the difference tonight,” coach John Hynes said. “He was fantastic. We didn’t do certain things that we wanted to do, and I think the result would not have happened if Cory didn’t play as well as he did.”
It was the third time in four games the Canucks scored just one goal or less. They lost 2-1 in overtime to Dallas on Monday, were beaten 6-2 by Washington on Oct. 26 and beat Minnesota 1-0 on Oct. 24.
Center Bo Horvat said Vancouver (6-4-2) isn’t getting enough bodies in front of the net.
“We have to get a little more traffic in front,” he said. “We have too many guys standing off to the side and not screening the goalie.
“These goaltenders, they are in the NHL for a reason. If they see the puck, they are going to stop it. The more traffic we get out front, the better.”
For a second straight game, Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom played well, making 24 stops.
“We have to score goals,” Markstrom said. “We are creating chances, playing good power play. It’s not far away, but we have to bear down.”
Markstrom was frustrated over allowing Hayes’ goal at 10:09 of the second period. Markstrom gave up a big rebound when stopping a shot from Hall. Hayes took the puck off the far boards, spun around, and let loose a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that fluttered by the Canuck goalie.
An angry Markstrom slammed his stick on the ice afterward.
“It was a little bit of knuckler,” he said. “I got a little eager to get out and get it. It kind of curved in.
“You want that back, especially in a game like this.”
NOTES: Rookie RW Brock Boeser returned to the Canucks’ lineup after missing Monday’s loss to Dallas with a foot injury. ... D Chris Tanev was called for his first penalty in 13 games at 5:49 of the first period. ... D Alex Edler, out with a knee injury, took part in the game-day skate but is still 7-10 days away from returning. ... Vancouver scratched D Patrick Wiercioch, RW Anton Rodin and C Jayson Megna. ... LW Brian Boyle finished the night with 15:19 of ice time and one shot on net, playing on the Devils’ fourth line. ... LW Taylor Hall has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his last eight games against Vancouver. ... New Jersey’s previous best start to a season was 8-3-0 in 1993-94. ... Healthy scratches for the Devils were D Dalton Prout, RW Stefan Noesen and D Ben Lovejoy.