Cory Schneider earned his third shut out of the season on Thursday night as the New Jersey Devils skated past the Dallas Stars 1-0, snapping a three-game winless streak and keeping them in the tight race for playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
Michael Ryder scored his 15th of the season to take sole possession as the Devils scoring leader with his second period goal. It would also end up being Ryder's second game-winning goal of the season. Over his last 11 games, Ryder has six goals and three assists, including a three-game goal streak in that stretch.
Travis Zajac and Ryane Clowe earned assists on Ryder's goal, giving Clowe points in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Holding onto a one-goal lead wasn't anything new for Schneider, who has had minimal offense to work with in his 20 starts with the Devils this season. Of the games Schneider has started, New Jersey has scored one-goal-or-less in 10 of them.
"He was great," Pete DeBoer said of Schneider following the game. " Again, we don't give him a lot of run support and he's starting to get used to that and he's figured it out. He just has to pitch a shutout."
Without much choice, Schneider did what was expected of him by making 26 saves, turning aside all of the pucks he faced.
"It's nice to contribute and win,"Schneider said. " For me, whether it's 5-4 or 1-0, the win is what's important. It's not like it was raining shots on goal. I had to be good at the moments I had to be good, but I thought as a group we earned this 1-0 victory as a team."
The two-points puts a little distance between themselves and the 7th place Columbus Blue Jackets while gaining ground on the Capitals, Hurricanes and Rangers whom they trail for third place in the congested Metropolitan Division.
The Devils will host the Florida Panthers tomorrow night for the last of a three-game home stand before hitting the road for four games, starting in Toronto.
New Jersey has a practice scheduled for noon today at AmeriHealth Pavilion.