|Schneider healthy as Devils host Red Wings|
NEWARK, N.J. -- For most of the season, Cory Schneider was rolling along. Then he became mired in a funk and dealt with the flu.
Before the flu sidelined him for three games, Schneider went 0-3-2 with 4.13 goals-against average in his last five starts.
The good news for the New Jersey Devils is Schneider is not dealing with the flu anymore and now they hope their starting goaltender reverts to his previous form in Monday's home game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Prudential Center.
Schneider (17-9-6, 2.74 GAA) is expected to return from his illness after the Devils went 2-1 with Keith Kinkaid starting. Kinkaid recorded wins over the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals but allowed three goals in the first period of Saturday's 3-1 loss at Philadelphia.
Kinkaid also left the game with a lower-body injury and Sunday was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. Kinkaid's absence means Ken Appleby will be Schneider's backup after making his NHL debut Saturday.
Since making 31 saves in a 3-1 win over Detroit, Schneider has allowed 21 goals on 159 starts.
And since Schneider's last win, the Devils are 2-4-2 in their last eight games with six losses by two goals or less.
Jesper Bratt scored the lone goal Saturday but it appeared the Devils were late in getting into the flow of an afternoon start.
"If you're missing your legs, if you're missing your intensity off the bat and you're missing your details off the bat, it's a bad recipe," Devils center Brian Boyle told reporters. "We didn't do enough to stop the bleeding."
The Devils will play without left winger Brian Gibbons. Gibbons is tied with Bratt and Miles Wood for the second-most goals on the team with 12 but he was placed on injured reserve with a broken thumb from blocking a shot in the second period Saturday.
Taylor Hall will play after sitting out practice due to a maintenance day. Hall leads the Devils with 17 goals and 48 points. During a seven-game points streak, Hall has five goals and seven assists after setting up Bratt's goal.
"It was just one of those games where we gave up quality opportunities to start the game, and didn't really give ourselves a chance, at least to start the game," Hall said. "I think we've got to keep things a little more simple and just try to get to our game as the period goes on."
The Devils will also hope Boyle can get rolling again. Boyle scored six goals in a span of seven games from Dec. 8-23 but has one goal in his last 10 contests.
Detroit enters its second visit to New Jersey with the third-fewest points in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings won four straight games following their first visit but are 1-4-0 in their last five.
"I don't think about whether things are slipping away," coach Jeff Blashill told reporters. "I think about what you have to do to make sure we're in the playoff hunt and what we have to do is win games and certainly there's an urgency to win now."
Detroit gave up two power-play goals to Elias Lindholm in Saturday's 3-1 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes and managed 24 shots on goal after getting a season-low 15 on Tuesday in a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.
"It's hard to get shots through, but we make it even harder when we have good chances and we're passing up shots," Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg told reporters after the Red Wings were outshot for the seventh time in nine games. "We have to take our opportunities and get pucks on net."
The Red Wings will hope to see better results from their shots on goal but will do so somewhat shorthanded.
Darren Helm will be out with a leg injury and isn't expected to return until the end of the month. Justin Abdelkader will be out with a lower-body injury and isn't expected back until Thursday while Trevor Daley is unlikely to miss two games with the same injury.
"We need a run," Blashill said. "We need to win three out four, win three out of four, win three out of four. To do that, our (penalty kill) has to step up and be better, we got to have the shooting mentality, we got to create more chaos, get teams on their heels."
Monday is the final meeting between the teams. Gibbons netted the game winner in overtime Nov. 25 at Detroit while rookie Nico Hischier scored two goals in the first period last month in New Jersey.