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NEWS

11.23 Notes and Quotes

Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 2:18 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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11.23 Notes and Quotes
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Zach Parise knows the Devils have to play better with the lead.

They've jumped out to 3-0 cushions in each of their last two games only to watch them evaporate. Saturday in Tampa Bay, the Lightning closed to within a goal, 3-2, before the Devils added an insurance marker for a 4-2 win.

But Monday in Florida, the Panthers scored four unanswered goals for a 4-3 comeback win.

"We played a good first period of hockey," Parise said. "We did good things, did things pretty decent. But again, we had some breakdowns at the end and I guess the coaches watched the game again and said, I don't know if it's by nature or what, but we not necessarily sat back, but we weren't as aggressive as we were. I think that gave them more time to make some plays."

The five-game road trip produced a 3-2 mark and six of a possible 10 points. The Devils (10-8-1) beat Washington in a shootout, battled to a one-goal loss versus the defending champs in Boston, topped Buffalo by a pair and wound up snapping Tampa Bay's six-game home winning streak.

"We played some really good teams and had great chances to beat every single one of them," said Parise. "It's a matter of, and I don't like using the cliché 'play 60 minutes,' but I think that's what it was for us. We need to play the same style the whole game."

The Devils are back at the Rock tonight to take on Columbus – their first home game since Nov. 11.

"It has been a while since we've been here. We like playing at home and it'll be fun," said the captain. 

No doubt Parise and the Devils are thankful for Wednesday's news that Travis Zajac could start practicing again in two weeks. Zajac has yet to play this season while recovering from offseason Achilles tendon surgery.

It's personally encouraging for Parise, who has enjoyed tremendous past success with Zajac as his center.

"For sure it is," he said. "We've played well together in the past. There's no point in even trying to predict what the lines would be because we still have a long time before he comes back, but I guess it's no secret that we play pretty well together."

Ilya Kovalchuk, who has two goals in three games since returning from a lower body injury, said the timing couldn't be better.

"It'll be the perfect time because now, if you look at the standings, everybody's real close and every point means a lot," Kovalchuk explained.

Anton Volchenkov will play tonight. He left Monday's game in Florida after taking a hard hit from Shawn Matthias at the 2:38 mark of the first period.

A cut on his upper lip required "five or six" stitches, according to the bruising blueliner. No penalty was called, and Matthias did not receive any additional discipline from the League.

"It looks bad, but I'm not sure this guy tried to hit me in the head. It's an accident," Volchenkov said, adding, "It's pretty dangerous."

Dainius Zubrus will be recognized before tonight's game for his 1,000th NHL appearance last Wednesday in Buffalo.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 PIT 34 22 7 5 108 80 49
2 NYI 34 23 11 0 105 94 46
3 MTL 35 22 11 2 95 84 46
4 TBL 36 21 11 4 117 96 46
5 DET 35 18 8 9 100 87 45
6 TOR 35 20 12 3 118 102 43
7 NYR 32 18 10 4 97 83 40
8 WSH 34 17 11 6 99 90 40
9 BOS 35 18 14 3 91 91 39
10 FLA 32 15 9 8 73 82 38
11 PHI 34 14 14 6 97 101 34
12 OTT 34 14 14 6 90 94 34
13 CBJ 33 14 16 3 80 107 31
14 NJD 36 12 17 7 78 104 31
15 BUF 35 13 19 3 69 115 29
16 CAR 34 10 20 4 70 93 24

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 29 9 11 0 20
J. Jagr 35 5 15 -12 20
M. Zidlicky 36 4 13 -5 17
M. Cammalleri 24 11 4 -1 15
M. Ryder 34 4 10 -1 14
P. Elias 29 4 9 -16 13
D. Severson 32 4 8 -4 12
E. Gelinas 29 4 6 2 10
S. Bernier 25 2 7 4 9
A. Greene 36 0 9 -2 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Kinkaid 1 1 2 .939 1.75
C. Schneider 11 16 4 .917 2.51