NEWS

11.23 Notes and Quotes

Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 2:18 PM ET / 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 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 70 16 25 -3 41
M. Cammalleri 63 27 13 3 40
P. Elias 64 11 21 -16 32
S. Gomez 53 7 24 -8 31
S. Bernier 62 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 69 11 12 -4 23
A. Larsson 59 3 20 3 23
A. Greene 77 3 18 2 21
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 57 6 12 -3 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 28 9 .927 2.20
K. Kinkaid 5 5 3 .918 2.47