(SportsNetwork.com) - Former teammates Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider figured to square off at some point in an NHL game, but the uniform each goaltender will be wearing on Tuesday night is still a bit of a surprise.
Schneider will make his return to Vancouver, where his New Jersey Devils try again for their first victory of the season in a meeting with Luongo and the Canucks.
The 27-year-old Schneider was selected 26th overall in the first round of the 2004 draft by the Canucks and figured to be the Canucks' goaltender of the future. That process seemed to be expedited when Schneider took over for Luongo during the 2012 playoffs and he entered the lockout-shortened campaign as Vancouver's No. 1 while they tried to deal the high-priced Luongo.
Schneider went 17-9-4 with five shutouts, a 2.11 goals against average and .927 save percentage in 30 starts last season, while Luongo was 9-6-3 with a 2.56 GAA and .907 save percentage in 20 games, including 18 starts.
But with Vancouver unable to move Luongo, who is in the fourth season of a 12- year, $64 million deal, the Canucks instead opted to send Schneider to the Devils in exchange for a first-round selection in a draft-day deal.
Schneider made his Devils debut in their season opener last Thursday, a 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh. He made 18 saves on 21 shots faced and has since backed up future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur in shootout losses to the New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers.
The Devils missed a prime chance to pick up their first win last night in Edmonton as they took a 3-0 lead into the third period. However, the Oilers scored four straight on Brodeur and New Jersey needed a short-handed goal from Patrik Elias with 54 seconds left in regulation and Brodeur pulled for an extra attacker to earn a point.
Damien Brunner and Ryane Clowe both had their shootout attempts stopped, while Brodeur was beaten twice in the 5-4 loss.
"We had them exactly where we wanted them," said a disappointed Brodeur, who made 23 saves. "When they got a breath of fresh air they jumped all over us."
Brunner scored his third goal of the season in regulation, Michael Ryder added his second and Jaromir Jagr scored his first with New Jersey, which has dropped its first three games of the season for the first time since 2010-11 (0-2-1).
New Jersey has not lost its first four games to begin a campaign since 2001-02 and plays the second contest of its five-game tour through Canada. The Devils are still slated to visit Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa.
They'll likely face Luongo tonight after he got some rest in Sunday's 5-4 overtime win against the Flames. Eddie Lack made his first career NHL start and posted 32 saves as Vancouver overcome a 3-1 deficit in the third period.
"Obviously he gives us a chance," Canucks head coach John Tortorella said of Lack. "It was good to see the team play for him in the third period because he gave us the opportunity."
Mike Santorelli, Jannik Hansen and Dale Weise all scored in the third period to put the Canucks in front, though the Flames tied the game and forced overtime with 19 seconds left in regulation. Santorelli, though, put home his second goal of the game 3:17 into overtime.
David Booth also scored for the Canucks, who have won two straight following a season-opening loss to San Jose.
The Canucks have won three straight and eight of their last 10 versus the Devils. New Jersey has lost four of its past five in Vancouver.