A red mark ran from Zach Parise's mouth toward his right ear after Friday's game, the result of a collision with the stick of Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich.
The Devils' captain had already recorded his second career hat trick when he was forced to the locker room for a league-mandated concussion evaluation in the second period. He was soon cleared and returned for a shift in the third as the Devils ended a four-game skid with a 5-0 victory over the Capitals at Verizon Center.
"You tell me," Parise said when queried about the injury. "It doesn't look normal. It hurts to open my mouth."
For once, Parise talked about the present and not whether the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent would be with the team past this season. Questions surrounding Parise's future, the possible retirement of goalie Martin Brodeur and the team's financial viability have loomed larger this season than whether the Devils will return to the playoffs -- where New Jersey had landed 14 seasons in a ...