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Big scorer remains humble
Zach Parise's six goals in the series ties a franchise record. But you will not hear him bragging.
By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
Published April 20, 2007
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - In explaining his success in the East quarterfinals, Devils center Zach Parise said he has been in "good spots" at the right time.
"And I got lucky bounces a couple of times," he added.
If that is the case, Parise should buy a lottery ticket as the second-year player's six goals against the Lightning ties a New Jersey record for a playoff series and leads the league.
Claude Lemieux scored six in seven games in the 1995 East semifinal against the Penguins. Parise did it in four games with at least two left.
"I'm very surprised," Parise, 22, said of the record. "With the success and the players they've had, definitely."
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Minneapolis native had 62 points with a team-high 31 goals in the regular season. In the playoffs, he has displayed speed and savvy that helps him find open areas around the net.
"And he's got that finish, too," Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle said. "A lot of guys have speed and moves but don't have that finish. Right now, he's hot. You have to be aware of where he's at."
"You can see his face," Devils coach Lou Lamoriello said. "He's smiling. He's enjoying what he's doing. He loves to score, and he's not afraid to pay the price to do it."
With one playoff goal last season, Parise is just 20 behind his father, J.P. Parise, who played for the North Stars and Islanders and in 1975 scored the overtime goal that clinched New York's first-round series win over the Rangers.
"That's big," Zach said of a series-winner. "When you get one of those, that's the big time."