Devils’ Schneider leaves game with lower-body injury after sprawling save

New Jersey Devils netminder Cory Schneider was forced to exit Friday’s game against the Dallas Stars with a lower-body injury. Devils coach John Hynes said Schneider will be checked out when the team returns to New Jersey.

No matter who the Devils’ leading scorer is or who’s skating the most minutes on the blueline, the one player New Jersey can’t ever afford to lose if they wish to stay competitive is goaltender Cory Schneider. Unfortunately, the Devils may have to deal with that after Schneider was forced to leave Friday’s game against the Dallas Stars.

In the third period, with New Jersey on a penalty kill, Schneider drove hard across his crease to stop a Jason Spezza shot. As Schneider was stretching his right leg to make the save, he jammed his right foot against the post, which appeared to cause his leg to stop suddenly and awkwardly. Schnedier looked to be in pain immediately after making the stop:

Schneider has no doubt been the Devils’ most valuable player this season, posting a .923 save percentage and 2.17 goals-against average. He’s started all but 11 games for the Devils this season, going 26-23-6 with four shutouts.

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The Devils are only five points out of the post-season, but New Jersey GM Ray Shero chose to sell at the trade deadline. The Devils moved out Eric Gelinas, Lee Stempniak and youngster Stefan Matteau, getting back three picks and Devante Smith-Pelly in return. And while New Jersey’s chances at the post-season were slim — 7.6 percent heading into Friday, according to — the hope without Schneider is all but non-existent.

Post-game, Devils coach John Hynes wouldn’t offer an update on Schneider, but told’s Tom Gulitti that Schneider would be checked out when the team gets back to New Jersey. Hynes added it was too soon to know if the Devils would need to call up a goaltender.

New Jersey plays host to the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday afternoon. Schneider has only missed four games in his three season with the Devils.