Red-hot Parise scores twice in Devils’ rout

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) — Zach Parise is taking dead aim on
becoming the first 50-goal scorer in New Jersey Devils history.

Parise scored his 37th and 38th goals of the season Saturday as
the Devils coasted to a 7-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.

New Jersey (40-19-3) opened a seven-point lead over idle
Philadelphia (33-17-10) in the Atlantic Division. The Devils
also posted their season-high sixth straight win at home.

“At this time of year, you want to make sure you’re playing well
at home,” Parise said. “If and when you do get the home-ice
advantage (in the playoffs), you want to be able to take
advantage of it.”

The third-year left wing, who entered Saturday’s contest tied
with Philadelphia’s Jeff Carter for second in the NHL in goals,
posted his second straight three-point game and recorded his
third two-goal game in 12 February contests.

“We played them 10 weeks ago and their goalie (Tomas Vokoun),”
Parise said, referring to the Panthers’ 4-0 win on February 17.
“Tonight, we were able to find the back of the net and at the
same time we limited their chances.”

On Saturday, backup Craig Anderson faced a constant barrage as
the Devils outshot the Panthers, 46-17, dominating from start to

Parise opened the scoring just 78 seconds into the contest and
added an unassisted goal to give New Jersey a 2-0 lead with 3:07
left in the first period. He heard chants of “MVP” at the
Prudential Center.

“It’s great,” he said. “It makes you feel like you’re doing the
right things about there.”

Parise, who has eight goals in his last nine games, moved within
10 of the Devils’ franchise record of 48 set by Brian Gionta in
2005-06. His current goal total matched the ninth-highest in
team history.

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“He does some things that are pretty amazing,” New Jersey
goaltender Martin Brodeur said.

Brodeur recorded just 15 saves in a quiet game for his 546th
career victory, pulling within five of Patrick Roy’s NHL record.

“We’re winning, so (the lack of work) doesn’t matter,” he said.
“I don’t ask for too much work. The easier it is on me, the
better it is.”

Brodeur allowed his first goal in two games since returning from
a nearly four-month absence when Ville Peltonen scored with 1:30
left in the second to make it 5-1. It ended Brodeur’s scoreless
streak of 139 minutes, 43 seconds, dating to the third period
against Toronto on October 29.

“I think the problem now is we’re getting away from our system,”
Florida defenseman Jassen Cullimore said. “That wasn’t our type
of game out there. We weren’t playing the way we normally play
and it was costing us.”

Brodeur recorded 24 saves in Thursday’s 4-0 win over Colorado,
his first action since November 1 when he tore a biceps tendon
against Atlanta. It was the 99th career shutout for the future
Hall of Famer, who missed 50 games.

The Devils poured it on in the second as Brendan Shanahan,
Travis Zajac, Brian Rolston, David Clarkson all scored in the

“We certainly have done some good things the last two games,”
New Jersey coach Brent Sutter said. “But I don’t want to get
too far ahead, either. We created a lot of offense tonight, but
it started because we were good in our own zone.”

Florida slipped to 1-2 on its five-game road trip that continues
in Washington on Sunday and Atlanta on Tuesday.