For the first time since leaving the New Jersey Devils two summers ago, Zach Parise will square off against his former team when the Devils arrive at the Xcel Energy Center on Sunday night to take on the Minnesota Wild.
“I think it’s going to be really weird just still knowing everybody there and having a lot of friends there still on the team,” Parise told Tom Gulitti of The Record this weekend.
As weird as it will be for Parise to see the team he briefly captained and spent his first seven NHL seasons with, the only thing that will be stranger will be returning to the Prudential Center.
“That part will be even more weird,” Parise said of the March 20. matchup. “ It will be fun. It will be a lot of fun. But it will be pretty weird going into the visitor’s locker room.”
Travis Zajac shared the same sentiment with the winger he centered for a better part of his Devils’ career, calling the matchup ‘weird’, but more for Parise than the Devils.
“It will probably be weirder for him than us,” Zajac said.
But it might also be motivating for New Jersey.
“Now, we get the chance to try and shut him down.”
The Minnesota Wild were scheduled to appear in Newark early last Fall, but that game was scratched off of the schedule due to the NHL lockout.
Before heading to Minnesota, the Devils will face off against the Philadelphia Flyers when they host the Metropolitan rival at the Prudential Center on Saturday night. The Devils are entering the game with their first win streak of the season, winning their last two and last three of five.
Martin Brodeur will start in his third consecutive game. Cory Schneider, who missed the last two games with a lower body injury is still questionable for tonight. Keith Kinkaid would make his third appearance as Brodeur’s backup this season if Schneider is unable dress.