What is the future of Islanders forward Zach Parise?
It was an emotional, silent scene in a quiet dressing room, and Zach Parise may have been pondering the end of his sensational career after the Islanders lost to the Hurricanes, 2-1, in overtime in the deciding Game 6 of their first-round series on Friday night at UBS Arena.
Parise, 38, sat quietly at his locker for a long time, mostly staring blankly ahead.
Finally, Kyle Palmieri, done with his interviews, walked across the room, put his arm around Parise and touched his forehead to his teammate’s.
Parise is completing his second one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Islanders, who signed him after the Wild bought out the final four seasons of his 13-year, $98 million deal.
Parise is the Islanders’ nominee for the Masterton Memorial Trophy for dedication, perseverance and sportsmanship. He had 21 goals and 13 assists this season while playing all 82 games for the second straight season. He did not have a point in the six playoff games.
Overall, he has 429 goals and 450 assists in 1,224 games for the Devils, Wild and Islanders.
Power play changes
The Islanders finished the series 1-for-18 on the power play after going 0-for-3 with five shots in Game 6.
Coach Lane Lambert finally switched Sebastian Aho to the top unit and moved struggling Noah Dobson to the second unit, and there was improved puck movement with their top unit.
The Islanders are 20-8 in Game 6s, including a 17-5 home record. Two of those losses came in 2020, when all playoff games were contested either in Toronto or Edmonton. The Islanders are 8-4 in Game 6 elimination games at home, with one of those defeats in 2020 . . . Josh Bailey, the longest-tenured Islander, who has played 1,057 games for the franchise, was a healthy scratch for all six games.