THE SKINNY: In round one of the battle of Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider – and we assume there will be more – it predictably went to overtime as the two 'keepers took turns making excellent saves and giving their teams chances to win it. In the end, Luongo took the victory with 21 saves while Schneider, who slammed his stick in disgust as he skated off the ice, was helpless to make the last save, a point shot from Jason Garrison at 2:18 of OT that sailed in with Mike Santorelli screening in front. Canuck head coach John Tortorella once again played a hunch and juggled his lines, this time in early in the second period, when he promoted Santorelli to the Sedin line, dropped Jannik Hansen to the Ryan Kesler line and David Booth to the third unit. Santorelli finished plus-3.
Jaromir Jagr opened the scoring Tuesday and Patrik Elias made it 2-0 Devils at 7:23 of the second when he received a fortuitous bounce off the skate of referee Greg Kimmerly and then another off Canuck Dale Weise. Daniel Sedin replied 46 seconds later as his long wrister was deflected past Schneider by Devils' defenceman Anton Volchenkov. Alex Edler then pulled the Canucks even as he went forehand top shelf on Schneider after some nice Sedin-ery by Daniel and Henrik. The third period was scoreless.
DID YOU NOTICE? Henrik Sedin tested Schneider on the first shift of the game with a long-range slapper. Guess he wanted to see if the red-headed netminder was still misty-eyed from the nice ovation he received from fans at Rogers Arena after the scoreboard flashed the sign: 'Welcome back, Cory. Thanks for five great years.'
BY THE NUMBERS – Jaromir Jagr's goal was the 683rd of his career and his 1,690th point. He added another point in the second period.. The Canucks had just two shots on Schneider in the latter half of the first period while the Devils had only three in the final 15 minutes of the second... Vancouver was credited with just two blocked shots through 40 minutes, both by Jason Garrison. They finished with five on the night.
WORST PREDICTION – At the morning skate, Canuck winger Jannik Hansen noted that he and Schneider were teammates in the minors before both graduated to the NHL and joked that he had the advantage of knowing all of Schneider' weaknesses. “I have been able to score on him in practice a lot,” Hansen said. “If I get in on him, I'm confident I'm going to put one away.” Hansen had a second period breakaway with the score knotted 2-2 – and he didn't put it away.
IN THE HOUSE – New Calgary Flames superboss Brian Burke was in attendance Tuesday. His tie, of course, was draped around his neck like a scarf. The Devils are in Calgary to face the Flames on Friday. Twelve other teams had pro scouts attending the game.
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