Schneider, Devils welcome Canucks

( - New Jersey goaltender Cory Schneider will try to defeat his former club for the first time on Friday night when the Devils play host to the Vancouver Canucks.

A first-round selection by the Canucks in 2004, Schneider spent five seasons with the franchise, first backing up and then battling Roberto Luongo for playing time before getting traded to the Devils on June 30, 2013 for a first- round pick.

Schneider has gotten plenty of playing time since joining the Devils and comes into tonight's contest tied for the NHL lead with 49 starts.

The 28-year-old is looking to beat the Canucks for the first time, going 0-1-2 in three previous meetings with a 2.27 goals against average and .921 save percentage.

Schneider made 34 saves in a 2-0 loss in Vancouver on Nov. 25, the Devils' sixth in a row to the Canucks. Alex Burrows and Shawn Matthias scored for the Canucks and Ryan Miller posted a 20-save shutout.

The Canucks have won 11 of their past 13 overall meetings with the Devils as well as three in a row and six of the past seven in New Jersey.

The Devils are aiming for a second straight win tonight after snapping a four- game slide with Tuesday's 2-1 shootout setback to the Buffalo Sabres. Scott Gomez and Jacob Josefson both scored in the tiebreaker and Schneider finished the game with 24 saves.

"A game we probably felt we should have and I think had to have just for a number of reasons," Schneider said. "Buffalo is a tough out."

Schneider had a shutout working through two periods while protecting a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Patrik Elias goal, but the Sabres tied the contest just 27 seconds into the third frame.

The Canucks, meanwhile, play the second contest of a five-game road trip tonight after opening the swing last night with a 5-4 shootout decision over the New York Rangers.

After Henrik Sedin tied the game with two minutes left in regulation, Burrows and Radim Vrbata both scored in the shootout to give Vancouver its fourth victory in five games.

Miller did his part in the shootout, getting a bit of redemption after yielding four goals on 34 shots faced.

"The guys bailed me out," said Miller, who allowed a pair of goals 21 seconds apart early in the third period to put the Canucks behind 4-3. "They got a lead and I let it go. It didn't phase them. They came right back."

Sedin scored twice in regulation and Matthias and Bo Horvat -- selected with the ninth overall pick acquired from the Devils in the Schneider trade -- each added a goal for Vancouver.

The Canucks sit second in the Pacific Division with 69 points, one ahead of both Calgary and San Jose.

Eddie Lack is expected to start tonight for the Canucks and has never before faced the Devils.