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NEWS

Parise keen on quest for 40 goals

Saturday, 04.10.2010 / 1:41 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Parise keen on quest for 40 goals
Parise closing in on 40 goals, 80 points.
Zach Parise is within reach of his second straight 40-goal season, but says that won’t factor into whether or not he rests this weekend. The Devils close out the regular season with home games Saturday against the Islanders and Sunday versus the Sabres.

New Jersey (46-27-7) entered the weekend tied with Pittsburgh atop the Atlantic Divison.

“I wouldn’t jeopardize if I thought I needed rest for the playoffs for one extra goal,” Parise said after Saturday’s optional morning skate. “I don’t think it’s worth it. I think both tonight’s and tomorrow’s games are going to be important, so I’m not worried about it.”

Parise has 37 with two games to go, and could become the second Devil to record back-to-back 40-goal seasons. John MacLean (42, 41, 45) did it in three straight from 1988-89 to 1990-91. Parise notched a career-high 45 last season, coming three shy of matching Brian Gionta’s franchise record.

With 78 points, Parise is also gunning to become the first Devil to collect 80 in back-to-back seasons.

Parise would join Ilya Kovalchuk as the second Devil to reach 40 this season. Kovalchuk scored his 40th on April 2 against Chicago.

“It’s a big number,” Parise said. “It’d be a nice number to hit again. We’ll see. You never know. You just keep shooting the puck and see what happens. But it’s always a nice any time you can get a nice, round number like that.”

Lately, Parise has enjoyed chemistry with Dainius Zubrus. The two wingers skated together for all three games of New Jersey’s recent 2-1-0 road trip. Travis Zajac centered them for consecutive shutout wins at Carolina and Atlanta before Patrik Elias took over as their center in Thursday’s 3-2 loss in Florida.

Parise had two goals, two assists during the trip, while Zubrus recorded a goal and four assists.

“I think we’ve been playing really well together,” Parise said. “I think he does a good job in the corners, making space. When he’s moving his feet and he’s moving the puck quickly, that’s when he’s playing his best, and I think he’s been doing that for the last few games. I really like playing with him.”

Zubrus has been a versatile component for Jacques Lemaire’s club. One night he can anchor the fourth line, as he did against Boston on March 30. Another night, he can score off of a Parise pass, then set up a Parise goal, as he did against the Hurricanes on April 3.

“When Zubie’s on top of his game, he can play anywhere,” Lemaire said. “You can use him to check, you can use him on the top line. He can do a lot of things, that’s the beauty of it.”

That includes clicking with Parise, who this year became the first Devil to register four straight 30-goal seasons.

“I’m a big believer in chemistry,” Parise said. “I think certain guys play well with each other. It’s not always two of the most skilled guys but certain guys play well together, for whatever reason. You know certain things about different players: where they’re going to go [on the ice], sometimes to the point where you don’t even need to look, you just know where you’re going to be.”

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 PIT 30 20 6 4 98 71 44
2 TBL 33 20 10 3 110 87 43
3 NYI 31 21 10 0 99 89 42
4 MTL 32 20 10 2 87 80 42
5 DET 32 17 7 8 92 80 42
6 TOR 31 19 9 3 109 87 41
7 BOS 32 16 13 3 81 83 35
8 NYR 29 15 10 4 89 79 34
9 FLA 29 13 8 8 66 75 34
10 WSH 30 14 10 6 86 81 34
11 OTT 31 13 12 6 82 86 32
12 CBJ 30 13 15 2 72 95 28
13 BUF 32 13 17 2 62 100 28
14 NJD 33 11 16 6 74 96 28
15 PHI 30 11 14 5 80 90 27
16 CAR 30 8 19 3 62 87 19

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 32 5 15 -9 20
A. Henrique 26 8 10 2 18
M. Zidlicky 33 4 13 -5 17
M. Cammalleri 23 11 4 0 15
M. Ryder 32 4 10 -1 14
D. Severson 32 4 8 -4 12
P. Elias 27 3 9 -13 12
E. Gelinas 26 4 6 3 10
T. Zajac 25 4 4 -4 8
S. Bernier 22 2 6 3 8
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Kinkaid 0 1 2 .942 1.71
C. Schneider 11 15 3 .916 2.55