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NJD Notebook 4.20: Parise leading the way

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils
Parise celebrates his power-play goal in Game 2. He leads the Devils with five points in three games this postseason. – Scoring goals in bunches is nothing new for Zach Parise.

Parise has tallies in all three games of New Jersey’s first-round series with Carolina, marking the sixth time this year that he has enjoyed a goal-scoring streak of three-or-more contests.

He notched his third of the postseason, 12th of his playoff career, in Sunday's 3-2 overtime win at Raleigh. Parise's shot in overtime set up Travis Zajac’s clincher 4:58 into the extra session to give the Devils a 2-1 series lead heading into Tuesday's Game 4.

Parise, who led the Devils with 45 goals and 94 points during the regular season, rode a six-game goal streak from Oct. 18 to Nov. 1, when he had seven goals and four assists for 11 points. After going without a point in the two games that followed, Parise tacked on a three-game goal streak (3g-1a) from Nov. 8-12.

He scored in three straight (3g-1a) from Dec. 4-10, including back-to-back game-winners at Montreal (OT) and versus Pittsburgh. January brought two more streaks for Parise, who struck in three straight from Jan. 10-13 (3g-1a), then again from Jan. 17-21 (3g-2a) for six tallies over seven games.

Parise's current surge is reminiscent of his performance in the 2006-07 playoffs, when he scored six times in the first four games of the Eastern quarters versus Tampa Bay, including a pair of two-goal efforts.

The Devils have won 23 straight this year when Parise has recorded multiple points (26-2-0), something the fourth-year left wing has already achieved twice in the Carolina series. 

Patrik Elias had a goal in Game 1 and an assist in Game 2, but on Sunday saw his playoff scoring streak snapped at nine games (5g-5a-10pts).

Elias is the all-time leading scorer in Devils' postseason history with 40g-72a-112pts.

• The Devils were 32-4-1 during the regular season when Elias and Parise each recorded at least one point.

• On Sunday, Devils head coach Brent Sutter recorded his 100th overall win (97 reg. season & 3 playoffs) as the team’s coach.  He accomplished the feat in the fewest number of games:

Brent Sutter 172 games 100-61-11
Jacques Lemaire 176 games 100-56-20
Larry Robinson 176 games 100-59-17
Pat Burns 179 games 100-58-21
Doug Carpenter 285 games 100-161-24

• Before his OT winner on Sunday, Travis Zajac’s only other postseason goal came in Game 1 of the 2007 Eastern semis against Ottawa.

Martin Brodeur started his 161st consecutive postseason game for the Devils, the longest stretch among goaltenders in NHL history.

• Paul Martin has an assist in all three games of the Carolina series, giving him helpers in six of his last eight games (6a), including the regular season.

• With Friday's Game 2 and Sunday's Game 3 both going to overtime, the Devils played in back-to-back OT contests for only the third time in their postseason history.

The last time Jersey's Team saw consecutive playoff games go to overtime was the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, when the Devils dropped Games 3 and 4 in extra time before beating Anaheim in seven.

New Jersey beat Toronto in both OT games during the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals: Randy McKay scored the winner in Game 2, Brian Rafalski followed with the winner in Game 3. The series went the distance, with the Devils taking out the Leafs in seven.

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