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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
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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