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Parise Won't Play Tonight, Targets Saturday Against Montreal For Return

The New Jersey Devils will need to wait a few more days for Zach Parise to return to the lineup.

Parise and the team announced today that the left-winger would not play in tonight's game against the New York Islanders. He hopes to be ready to play in Saturday night's game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Prudential Center.

The layoff gives Parise a few more days to practice. He'll participate in a full practice on Thursday, then take part in an extended morning skate Friday. The Devils face the Philadelphia Flyers Friday night, but the left-winger felt he wouldn't be ready to play back-to-back games.

"I'll get a good skate in the morning on Friday and that gives us a couple more days," he told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "Then, we'll go Saturday. Number 2, it would tough right away to go Friday, Saturday back-to-back."

Parise originally hurt his knee during the offseason, but continued to play through the pain. In a game against the Los Angeles Kings on October 30, Parise hobbled to the bench after a check from Justin Williams. He left the game and did not return. The torn meniscus required surgery, shelving Parise for over three months.

He took part in practice last Thursday, his first with the team. Before that, Parise skated on his own for a few weeks to strengthen the knee. His lack of full team practices left him uncomfortable with playing tonight.

"I just didn't feel comfortable only going three times (in full practices) and then hopping into a game," he told Gulitti. "Not that four or five is going to make a difference, but I just thought one more would be a little safer."