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Thursday, June 7, 2012
Notebook: Parise says ankle 'fine'

By Mike Mazzeo

NEWARK, N.J. -- Zach Parise says his left ankle is “fine.”

The Devils captain went into the boards funny and got his left skate caught during the third period of New Jersey’s 3-1 victory over Los Angeles in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday. He skated gingerly toward the bench, but didn’t miss any time.

“No,” Parise replied Thursday when asked if he was worried that his ankle might affect his game.

But even if you were, would you tell us?

“No,” Parise replied, smiling.

Parise has no points in the Stanley Cup finals so far. Linemate Ilya Kovalchuk has one -- and it came on an empty-net goal.

“We’re playing fine. It’s just pucks aren’t going in,” Parise said. “We’re getting good chances every game. Just unfortunately right now for whatever reason it’s not going in for us. I don’t think that we need to change anything about what we’re doing. We’re working hard. We’ve just gotta score and then we don’t have this conversation.”

Devils coach Peter DeBoer thought it was important for Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias to break though.

“We need guys to start scoring, and just like a win, you hope one goal translates into some confidence,” DeBoer said. “It can’t do anything but help everyone’s mindset.”

Must be the ‘stache.

Adam Henrique elected to shave prior to Game 4, keeping only his mustache.

“I’ve done it before in juniors,” Henrique said. “It’s worked before, so why not try it again.”

It ended up working again.

The 22-year-old rookie center scored his third game-winning goal of the playoffs with 4:29 left.

“It’s in his character and his ability to rise to the occasion, he’s not overwhelmed in situations when the game is on the line,” DeBoer said of Henrique. “He has that special quality. He wants to be on the ice. He wants to make a difference at those points in the game.

“We obviously wouldn’t be here without him.”

The Devils are 0-for-15 on the power play in the series, but DeBoer thought their man-advantage was much better in Game 4.

“I thought we had some really good looks,” DeBoer said, giving credit to Kings netminder Jonathan Quick. “You can’t get discouraged, you just gotta stay with it.”

Los Angeles has found success on the penalty-kill by aggressively pressuring the points .

“They pressure all over,” DeBoer said. “They’re very good with their pressure and the guys they use killing penalties are offensive players and dangerous guys, so I think that helps.”

DeBoer liked what he saw from Petr Sykora and Henrik Tallinder, who were both inserted into the lineup for the first time in the series.

“They gave us a real shot of energy,” DeBoer said.

Devils right winger Dainius Zubrus got his first-ever Stanley Cup finals victory in Game 4. He had been 0-7.

Zubrus said it was brought up in a conversation on the plane-ride home with Sykora, but he downplayed any significance given the 3-1 hole his team currently finds itself in.