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Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Parise "fine," Ponikarovsky out vs. Rangers

By Katie Strang

Zach Parise is one of several players on the Devils' long list of the hobbled, but said he was "fine" to play Tuesday against the Rangers.

Parise said he was relieved that a recent MRI on his left hand revealed no broken bones.

"It was in the back of my mind," he admitted.

The 27-year-old captain, who missed almost the entirety of last season with a knee injury, said he'd have a hard time missing an inter-division game against the Rangers.

"I think everyone's hurt, one way or another," he said. "Everyone's sore. That's just how it is in March."

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Injured winger Alexei Ponikarovsky (knee) took part in the Devils' morning skate but will not play Tuesday against the Rangers.

A recent MRI showed no structural damage to Ponikarovsky, just a "minor sprain, nothing serious," but the 31-year-old forward said he will need extra time to practice before returning to the lineup.

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Defenseman Andy Greene, who was a late scratch after suffering back spasms before the Devils' 1-0 shutout loss to the Islanders Sunday, will be a game-time decision. Coach Pete DeBoer said Greene will take pre-game warmups before the team decides his availability.