Zach Parise

Devils avoid arbitration, sign Zach Parise to one-year deal; Long term deal awaits

It’s not the long term deal Zach Parise and the New Jersey Devils were hoping to get done, but it’s also not an arbitration settled contract either.

The Devils signed their young stud superstar to a one-year deal to help the two sides avoid going to arbitration and settle their differences. For Parise, getting in the team’s good graces will essentially earn him a spot in the future as the team’s captain and after undergoing knee surgery next year, he’s got a lot to prove this season to show that his rushed comeback last season didn’t negatively impact his recovery and his play on the ice.

Parise, before injuring his knee last season, was emerging as one of the best young scorers in the NHL. For four years straight, Parise scored 30+ goals including a career high of 45 goals in 2008-2009. In six seasons, Parise has 163 goals and 341 points so the Devils keeping him was virtually necessary.

Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice reports that Parise’s deal is worth $6 million. CapGeek now has the Devils at $2.5 million below the salary cap with his deal factored in. Parise will have to prove himself to make it a deal that should be as lucrative and lengthy as you’d think the Devils would give to a lifelong Devil forward. They’ll have to make sure to get that taken care of because Parise is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2012.

How this deal plays out should have a curious effect on how deals get done with other restricted free agents like Shea Weber, Drew Doughty, and Luke Schenn. Should those teams, especially Nashville with Weber who is headed to arbitration, take a nod from the Devils, we could go through this whole song and dance with them again next year.

For now, the Devils have their young stud taken care of and new coach Pete DeBoer can officially get planning on the upcoming season.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for today

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After the Eastern Conference Game 2s played out on Saturday, we’re getting the Western Conference set today. You can watch the action via NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Here’s a quick overview of where specifically you can watch the contests:

St. Louis at Dallas (3:00 p.m. ET)

If you want to watch the game on television, NBC is the channel to do that. If you want to stream the game with the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Nashville at San Jose (8:00 p.m. ET)

The game will be televised on NBCSN. You can also stream the contest by clicking here.

Here’s some relevant pregame reading material:

With Eaves injured, Nichushkin will play for Stars in Game 2

Hitchcock, Blues know they need to slow down the Stars … but can they?

Sharks swarm in the third period, take down Predators in Game 1

Speed, skill help Stars score late victory to take series lead over Blues

Video: Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta


The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.

Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.

The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.

Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.

But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.

“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals


The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning: