Cory Schneider will be back in net for the Devils Wednesday night when they take on the Montreal Canadiens in the second game of a home-and-home series. The Canadiens won 3-2 Monday night in Montreal with Martin Brodeur in net for the Devils.

It will be Schneider’s first career start against the Canadiens, so he was watching Monday night to pick up whatever he could about an unfamiliar foe.

“I’m not as familiar with Montreal,” he said. “So, (he paid attention to) especially the power play and some of the things they like to do and some of their players I’m not as familiar with. It had been a while since I’d seen them play and it’s good to sort of take a look at them before you get in there.”

Schneider has a personal three-game winning streak, during which he’s allowed only three goals on 68 shots, after a 0-3-2 slide that was mostly due to a lack of offensive support. He’s coming off a 15-save shutout over Buffalo on Saturday after he allowed two goals on just 18 shots in Friday’s 5-2 win in Carolina.

“It’s nice to feel like you played well and get a win,” Schneider said. “It’s sort of a hollow feeling if you play well and you still lose. It’s not very satisfying, so to help the team get some points has been good. I thought we played well last night in Montreal. It was just they got some pretty good chances and capitalized and, unfortunately, we just couldn’t quite get that last goal.

“We know they’re going to come out and probably be a little better than they were in Montreal, but I’ve liked the way we’ve played the past few games and I think if we play the way we did last night, then, hopefully, we’ll have a good chance.”

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With Monday’s loss, the Devils dropped back to one game below NHL .500 at 11-12-5. That left them a point back of the Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division and a playoff spot.

After starting out 0-4-3, the Devils climbed to a season-best one game over NHL .500 at 9-8-5 with their 2-1 overtime win in Los Angeles on Nov. 21. They haven’t been able since then, however, to get a firm hold on the positive side of .500.

Following the win in Los Angeles, they lost three games in a row to fall back to two games under and then won two in a row to get back to .500. Now, they’re back to one game under again.

For the most part, they’ve been pretty consistent in the way they’ve played. It’s just that the goal scoring hasn’t been consistent enough for them to sustain a prolonged stretch of success.

“I don’t think we’re taking our foot off the gas,” DeBoer said. “I thought last night was one of our best games maybe of the year. I don’t have an answer for it. I just know I like our game. Last night, we created a lot of quality chances. You have to tip your hat to (Has goaltender) Carey Price. I thought he made a handful of outstanding saves and he’s done that all year for them, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. We just have to find a way.”

DeBoer admitted the team’s scoring struggles are among his biggest concerns. The Devils rank 26th in the NHL by scoring an average of just 2.18 goals per game. That’s actually down from last season when they scored 2.29 per game.

“I think if you had to look at what areas I would red flag right now, it would be our offense and that includes creating on the power play,” DeBoer said. “I like our defensive game, I like our attention to detail, I like how tight we’re playing and how hard we are to play against defensively. I think naturally sitting where we’re sitting in goals for in the league, that’s something that keeps rearing its head.”

Schneider, who has seen the Devils score one or no goals in seven of his 12 starts, knows going into a game that it’s just a reality that the team probably won’t be scoring five times like it did for him Friday night in Carolina.

“I think the reality is that this league today is a 3-2 league, it’s a 2-1 league,” he said. “You don’t see many games being won 4-3, 5-4 on a regular basis. So, I think we’ve accepted that. But I also think we put a premium on defensive responsibility and some nights one, two, three goals is going to be enough just the way we play. I think the way Marty and I feel we’re capable of playing, we can keep opponents to under two goals and it will be enough to get points.”

“I know that we’ve just got to stick with it,” DeBoer said. “If we can keep creating those type of opportunities every night and giving up that few shots, you know good things are going to happen over the long run.”