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Parise not frustrated by series deficit

Sunday, 05.20.2012 / 9:57 PM ET / News
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Parise not frustrated by series deficit



 
NEWARK, N.J. -- Zach Parise has been accommodating to the media after wins and losses since long before being named captain of the New Jersey Devils prior to this season. So, when Parise doesn't come out to address the press, as was the case following Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday, it becomes a story based solely on the shock value of it.

Parise, though, said after practice Sunday that he didn't talk following the Devils 3-0 loss to the Rangers because, "I probably would have said some things I would have regretted. I was just upset about how the game went."

He further defended being absent following Game 3 by saying, "I feel like I've done a pretty good job of making myself available for almost 100 games this year that if I took one night off, it would be OK."

His teammates and coach stand behind him.

"I've done it. Scott Stevens has done it. Mario Lemieux has done it," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said. "It's one thing that you can't judge somebody or overthink certain things that happen. He had his reasons. At this time of the year, emotionally and physically it's a grind, and sometimes you're not ready to show it to people. I'm all good with it. If you do what you do all the time you should have a little break once in a while. That's the bottom line."

Added Ilya Kovalchuk: "He's a grown man and that's his decision. He's a great captain and he's our leader. I'm very sure you guys all know him as a great human being, a great leader and sportsman. He decided to do that and we support him 100 percent."

Parise's absence, though, could be seen as a sign of his frustration at the way things are going in this series. He has one assist and is a minus-4 heading into Game 4 Monday at Prudential Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Devils trail 2-1 after Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 36 of their shots on goal Saturday.

However, when asked if he's getting frustrated, Parise talked about the team.

"We controlled a lot of the game and a lot of the play (in Game 3); we just didn't execute when we had the chances and that was it," Parise said. "That was really what the game came down to. I think that was the difference. It was the same thing in the first game, too. But, we're playing well, we're playing very well. We just gotta capitalize."

When asked again if he's getting frustrated, Parise responded with one word:

"Nope."

Devils center Travis Zajac said it's not frustration with the captain. It's competitiveness.

"He wants win every game. He wants to score every shift," Zajac told NHL.com. "He's a guy that comes to the rink, prepares, battles hard every game, and is more determined than anyone I've seen. I think it's his competitive nature more than anything. You don't see him get frustrated. He's a guy that is always encouraging his team throughout games, telling us to stay positive, stay focused. He's definitely the leader on this team on and off the ice."

To Devils coach Peter DeBoer, Parise is the least of his concerns heading into Game 4.

"Zach always gives you the same thing, 100 percent effort, 100 percent team play," DeBoer said. "He could easily have two or three goals in this series and we'd be praising him for how well he's playing like he did against Philadelphia. It's going to come with him. I've got no concerns with Zach or his play."

Parise also didn't seem too bent out of shape by it, either.

After sitting down in his locker stall and answering every last question posed to him Sunday, he started joking around with some of the local reporters that cover the Devils on a daily basis. And, just before he left the dressing room, he turned around and said to a few reporters within an earshot, "I'll talk to you after the game tomorrow night."

He usually does.

"As a player, I understand it more than you guys because you guys live on that stuff," Brodeur said, referring to the media. "We understand more about the feeling and frustration that could happen. I'm not saying it's that, I haven't talked to him about it so I don't know, but there is a reason why he didn't want to address it and I think he should have a pass."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59