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Parise, Devils revved up after beating Rangers

Wednesday, 03.7.2012 / 1:54 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Parise, Devils revved up after beating Rangers

Hockey is a game of emotions, and the Devils are looking to keep their energy levels high following Tuesday's crucial win over the Rangers.

The 4-1 triumph gave the Devils three victories in five meetings with their cross-river rivals.

Sparked by Ilya Kovalchuk's goal 49 seconds into the game, New Jersey rebounded well from Sunday's 1-0 disappointment on Long Island and hope to stay on a roll.

"It was great, it's always great to beat them," Zach Parise said after practice on Wednesday. "I thought for the most part we did a lot of good things, played well and capitalized when we had some good chances in the third."

Coach Peter DeBoer echoed that games against the Rangers have brought the best out of his group.

"You don't have that with everybody," DeBoer said. "Getting your team emotionally engaged in the game on a nightly basis is key to winning in this League."

Martin Brodeur made 25 saves and will start Thursday when the Islanders come calling. The Devils (37-24-5) pay another visit to Nassau Coliseum on Saturday.

New Jersey is sixth in the East with 79 points, while the Isles trail Winnipeg by seven for the final playoff spot in the conference. With 16 games left in the regular season, however, no opponent is taken lightly.

"At this time of year, we've seen how losing two, three games can bump you down pretty far in the standings," the captain said. "I think it's more so, we need to know the type of energy and type of game we need to play regardless of who we're playing against. By no means are [the Islanders] out of it. They're not that far behind the eighth, ninth spot. I guess we have to expect a similar type of game [Thursday] that we did when we played there [Sunday]."

Despite dropping five of six entering the Rangers game, the Devils believed they were competing hard enough to win. On Tuesday, they earned better breaks. The winning strike was a Petr Sykora shot from inside the blue line that deflected in off David Clarkson's leg as he drove to the net.

"A lot of times, it's a fine line where you can play a great game and do a lot of things right and you just can't score," Parise said. "All of a sudden you play a game last night where you do things right and the puck goes in and everyone's happy and you played a great game. There's not a very wide margin for error right now. Something just small like that where all of a sudden a puck goes off [Henrik] Lundqvist's shoulder and trickles in, and you beat a really good team. It's small things like that that are going to be the differences from here on out."

Expect the Devils to work harder on the forecheck than they did Sunday.

"Pete [DeBoer] brought up a stat to us after the Islander game that we were only able to get on the forecheck 20-something times, where against Washington (Friday's 5-0 win) we were able to get on the forecheck 50 times. That starts with coming out of your own zone and making clean plays. We're a forechecking team, a pressure team. We weren't able to do any of that when we played against them in Long Island."

Alexei Ponikarovsky (lower body) will return after missing three games. He practiced on the third line with Jacob Josefson and Clarkson.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
11 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 56 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 54 19 18 14 37
K. Palmieri 56 20 16 3 36
T. Zajac 48 8 19 7 27
D. Schlemko 48 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 56 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 52 1 12 -1 13
J. Blandisi 17 4 7 -1 11
J. Josefson 45 3 8 -14 11
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 25 16 6 .931 1.98
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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