Cory Schneider can't beat his former team. And the New Jersey Devils are having trouble beating any team.
Mike Santorelli scored the only goal in the shootout, and the Vancouver Canucks edged the Devils 3-2 on Thursday night.
In a matchup of former teammates, Roberto Luongo got the best of Schneider — who used to be his backup in Vancouver. Luongo turned aside Travis Zajac, Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias in the tiebreaker to make Santorelli's goal stand up.
It was New Jersey's second loss to Vancouver this season, and Schneider, acquired in a draft-day trade over the summer, played in both of them. The Devils are just 1-5-4 overall, and the only things keeping them out of last place in the newly formed Metropolitan Division are the similar slow starts by the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.
"Not a very good one by me," Schneider said. "Just two real bad goals that cost a point. We should've never went to a shootout. No disrespect to Vancouver, I thought I kind of gave them two goals there. (Luongo) made some big saves in the third, they hung around and won the shootout.
"So, it's my fault we lost the point tonight."
The Devils took a 1-0 lead just 5:05 into the game when Andrei Loktionov found Elias for a shot from the left circle that resulted in his third goal. Elias had missed the previous two games because of illness.
'No disrespect to Vancouver, I thought I kind of gave them two goals there. (Luongo) made some big saves in the third, they hung around and won the shootout. So, it's my fault we lost the point tonight.' - Devils goalie Cory Schneider
Ryan Kesler tied it at 6:07 with his fifth goal as the Canucks won for the second time in three nights.
"It was an ugly one, for sure, especially in the first two periods," Luongo said. "But we found a way to get it done."
New Jersey went back in front with a power-play tally 3:34 later on Eric Gelinas' first NHL goal. Gelinas was called up from Albany of the AHL on Wednesday.
Vancouver tied it at 2 with 7:23 left in the second when Daniel Sedin netted his fourth of the season. Sedin fired a slap shot off a dump-in that found its way under Schneider's right pad.
Luongo made 28 saves before the shootout. Schneider stopped 19.
"It wasn't easy," Luongo said. "I was trying to freeze everything, so guys could get breathers. We dug deep. Everybody had to chip in."
Jaromir Jagr had his fifth assist, and Marek Zidlicky his eighth for New Jersey in the loss.
"I thought we were the better team, obviously for 65 minutes," Elias said. "Unfortunately, you know how we end up after overtime. I think we should put a little more into overtime, but we had plenty of chances to end the hockey game."
Redemption for Tortorella
Vancouver coach John Tortorella — back in the New York metropolitan area this week after being fired by the Rangers this summer — was victorious in his return to the Prudential Center, where he and New York lost the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals in Game 6 to New Jersey.
"I'm really happy to not only get the one point, but the second point," Tortorella said, while quickly pointing to the entertainment value of this grinder of a game. "I don't think I would have paid for a minute of that game, but it's nice that we came away with the two points."
The Devils, a year removed from missing the playoffs, are now 0-5 vs. the Western Conference.
"We played great, we deserved to win. Those guys worked their butts off and played mistake-free hockey," Schneider said. "I made two mistakes and they both end up in the back of the net. It's unacceptable on my part. So, I know I'm better than that, I have to be better than that, and I'll be better (next time). It starts with everyone pulling their weight, and tonight, I was probably the one guy who didn't carry his load.
"It cost the team a point."