Parise, Callahan have a lot in common

Zach Parise and Ryan Callahan have a lot in common.

They’re both American-born. They’re both captains. They’ve both played for Team U.S.A.

But are they friends?

“On paper,” Parise joked, “but I wouldn’t say we’re friends or anything.”

Parise and Callahan have served all season as the heartbeats for their respective teams, the Devils and the Rangers, who will take on one another for the right to advance to the 2012 Stanley Cup finals starting Monday night.

“He plays the game hard and finishes checks,” Parise said. “He's very reliable and I'm pretty sure they play him in all situations. I got the chance to play with him in Olympics. I know how good a player he was going against him, but once you play with him, I think you appreciate more what he does. He's a good player.”

Both players have made a significant impact on the postseason. Parise has accumulated eight points, while Callahan has racked up six.

“Playing the Rangers makes for a great story,” Parise said. “They've been on top all year and on top of the conference, so it'll be a good challenge for us. It just happens to be our rival, too.”