NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, November 3rd
(All times Eastern)
New Jersey Devils (3-6-4) at Minnesota Wild (7-4-3), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Zach Parise gets his first look at his former team on
Sunday when the Minnesota Wild welcome the New Jersey Devils for a clash at
Xcel Energy Center.
Parise was a first-round draft pick (17th overall) by the Devils in 2003 and
he totaled 194 goals and 410 points in 502 regular-season games in New Jersey
before leaving to sign a 13-year, $98 million deal with the Wild in the summer
"I was pretty fortunate to play with some really good players there, some Hall
of Famers there," Parise told the Wild's official web site of his former club.
"You learn things about the way they compete, the way they play the game and
the way they handle themselves away from the rink. There you learn it's a team
The former Devils captain has recorded 24 goals and 24 assists in his first 62
games in Minnesota, but admits to having the pre-game jitters heading into
"I'll still definitely be nervous for it," the 29-year-old Parise said. "But I
think since we didn't play them last year and one year passed, it will be a
little different. Still it will be the first time playing them, it will be
pretty nerve wracking."
Parise's club enters Sunday having notched wins in four of their last five
games. Minnesota last played on Friday when it recorded a 4-3 win over
Jason Pominville scored the game-winner for the Wild with 5:28 to play on
Friday, putting home a puck that came to him after a deflection in front by
Parise, who has six goals and 10 points for the Wild this season.
Pominville scored twice and added an assist while Nino Niederreiter and Justin
Fontaine each had a goal for the Wild. Josh Harding gave up three goals on 31
"We talked a lot earlier in the year about finishing and they did a good job
tonight," said Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo. "We have guys here who are
capable of taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them and we saw
The Wild began a four-game homestand by losing a 5-1 decision Monday against
Chicago, but rebounded nicely in Friday's win over the Habs. Minnesota is
5-1-2 as the host this season and will welcome Calgary for the finale of this
homestand on Tuesday.
The Devils will try to bounce back Sunday after losing a close home decision
last night against Philadelphia. New Jersey had won two straight for the first
time this season before falling 1-0 to the visiting Flyers on Saturday.
New Jersey won consecutive games for the first time this season when it posted
recent victories against Boston and Tampa Bay, but the Devils couldn't get one
past Flyers goaltender Ray Emery on Saturday. Despite having five chances with
the man advantage, New Jersey managed to put just 14 shots on goal in the 1-0
Martin Brodeur made 20 saves in defeat for the Devils, who were shut out for
the third time this season.
"The Flyers played really well, but we have to find ways to break them a
little bit more," Brodeur said. "We had two power plays in the last 10 minutes
of the game. Did we get a shot? I'm not sure. That's not good enough."
The Devils hope the return of goaltender Cory Schneider can get them back on
track Sunday. Schneider missed the past three games with a lower-body injury
but is expected to see his first action since Oct. 24 in tonight's game.
Although his record this season is 1-3-2, Schneider is sporting a solid 2.14
goals against average and .915 save percentage over six games. The former
Vancouver Canucks netminder is 6-4-0 with a 2.13 GAA in 11 career outings
against the Wild.
New Jersey once again will be without forward Patrik Elias on Sunday after he
missed yesterday's game with upper-body soreness. Fellow forward Travis Zajac
also expects to sit out a second straight game after injuring his right ankle
in practice on Friday.
The Devils are 1-5-2 as the road club this season and are beginning a three-
game trip on Sunday. New Jersey also is set to visit Philadelphia and Toronto
during the swing.
Minnesota has claimed two straight against the Devils, but New Jersey has won
twice in its last two trips to St. Paul.
These teams are scheduled to meet one more time this season when the Devils
host Parise and the Wild on March 20.
11/03 10:36:15 ET