Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Schneider in Devils goal; Johansson returns

Schneider in Devils goal; Johansson returns

With AP Photos.Cory Schneider is replacing Keith Kinkaid in goal for the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In fact, Tampa Bay has a better road record (25-13-3) than Jersey does at home (23-14-4).

Johansson adds 69 career games of playoff experience to the mix, as well as the versatility to play a top-six or bottom-six role either on the wing or at center.

"Even though we have some lineup changes, we have to play better, the guys that remain in the lineup - they have to play better", Hynes said following the morning skate at the Prudential Center.

Those are several of the reasons why the Devils acquired Johansson from the Washington Capitals last summer. They're both back now and eager to make a run for that elusive Stanley Cup.

It is not hard to determine which team is which after the Lightning held serve on home ice, winning the first two games. Tampa Bay has been extraordinary in the second period thus far in the series, scoring five goals during the second period (including four in Game 2). Over 120 minutes of playoff hockey, the Lightning have not trailed for a single second. This could prove to be an advantage for the Lightning as the series continues but with the two wins also came two injuries for Tampa Bay.

But the Devils have to play the hand they've been dealt, and it appears they feel that Schneider gives them the best chance to win moving forward. Callahan will be unavailable for Game 3 and Girardi is set to be a game-time decision.

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The Devils showed promise in the opening games, but there was still much room for improvement.

And there's one other big thing the Devils need, according to coach John Hynes.

"There are some guys who just haven't performed well enough to warrant staying in the lineup", explained Hynes. "We can't panic. We just have to go out, play our game and get back into the way we know we can play, because then we are really tough to play against". We can't have passengers.

New Jersey, so far, has been clearly outmatched. Now it's up to the Devils to change the narrative as the series shifts to Newark, but that may be easier said than done.

Game 3 will take place Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. EST.

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