New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise is targeting Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens for his return to the lineup after being on the shelf for five months.
“That's what we're looking at and hoping for, assuming that everything goes well and I keep progressing,” the 26-year-old told reporters at practice in New Jersey Wednesday morning. “It was just a little too early for tonight. A few more practices I need and I think I'll be ready,”
Parise has been out since Nov. 2, 2010 after having surgery for a torn meniscus.
“My knee doesn't hurt. I feel that is all healed,” he said. “I want to try to get as sharp as I can before hopping into a game.”
Parise was cleared to skate last month but only started practicing with the team within the past week.
He had three goals and three assists for six points in twelve games before suffering his injury Oct. 30 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Heading into Wednesday’s games, the Devils are 12 points behind the eighth place Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference with seven games to play.
If the Devils fail to make the playoffs it would be the first time the team will miss the post-season since the 1995-96 season.