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Devils' Parise close to return after knee surgery @NHLdotcom

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parise practiced again Tuesday without pain in his right knee, five months after surgery.

Parise had a torn meniscus repaired Nov. 2. On Tuesday, he had a rigorous 90-minute workout and skated freely with the Devils' third line.

Coach Jacques Lemaire said he liked the way Parise looked in practice. Parise was cleared to skate this month and began regular practices last week.

He had three goals and three assists in 12 games before the injury on Oct. 30 against the Los Angeles Kings.

Ilya Kovalchuk is expected back after missing Monday's practice with a bruised right foot and ankle, which he injured in Saturday's 2-0 loss to Buffalo.

The Devils host the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

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