New Jersey Devils' Most Memorable Stanley Cup Playoff Moments
After two moves and a difficult beginning in their third home, the New Jersey Devils went on to win three Stanley Cup titles during their tenure in the Garden State so far.
Here’s a look at 10 memorable postseason moments from their 30-year history in New Jersey, from their first playoff trip almost a quarter-century ago to the present day.
April 14, 1988: Burke Saves Devils to Win First-Ever Playoff Series
The Devils made it into the playoffs on the last day of the 1987-88 campaign. They dropped their first playoff game at Nassau Coliseum before winning three of the next four games to take a 3-2 series lead over the Islanders.
The Devils had a 6-0 lead in the sixth and deciding contest, and they managed to hold on for a 6-5 victory in East Rutherford after a furious Islanders comeback. Sean Burke stopped Pat LaFontaine in the dying seconds to prevent overtime and send the Devils on to the next round against Washington.
April 30, 1988: Devils Win Patrick Division Playoff Title on MacLean Goal
The Capitals and Devils split the first six games of their second-round series with each team winning twice on the other's home ice to force a deciding game in Washington.
Just as he did to get his team into the playoffs in the regular-season finale at Chicago, John MacLean sent New Jersey on to its first-ever Stanley Cup semifinal series with the go-ahead tally in a 3-2 win at Washington in Game 7. That cemented the Devils' first (and only) Patrick Division postseason title.
May 4, 1988: Brown Boosts Devils in OT in Boston
Southboro, Massachusetts native and Boston College product Doug Brown slapped home a shot from the blue line in overtime to boost New Jersey to a 3-2 win at the Boston Garden to tie in their semifinal series with the Bruins at 1-1.
It was the first OT playoff win in team history. The Devils ultimately fell to the Bruins in seven games.
June 20, 1995: Jersey Devil Dowd Scores in Detroit
After almost 13 years of futility and struggle in the Garden State, the Devils won their first-ever Stanley Cup with a sweep of the highly-favored Detroit Red Wings.
New Jersey won the first two games in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena, the second on a late goal by New Jersey native Jim Dowd when he pushed a rebound past Mike Vernon in the final minutes.
The Devils then won a pair of 5-2 contests at the Meadowlands to seal their first title in a lockout-shortened NHL campaign. Claude Lemieux earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
June 10, 2000: Devils Do It Again on Arnott OT Goal
Five years and three playoff disappointments later, the Devils earned their second Stanley Cup crown on Jason Arnott’s double-overtime goal at the since-demolished Reunion Arena in Dallas as the Devils dethroned the defending champion Stars in six games.
Patrik Elias found Arnott alone in front at the left post and backhanded a feed across the slot that Arnott one-timed home at 8:20 of the second OT to end the series. Scott Stevens earned Conn Smythe accolades this time.
May 23, 2003: Friesen Gets Game 7 Winner at Ottawa
Jeff Friesen converted Grant Marshall’s pass and scored on Patrick Lalime with less than two minutes remaining in regulation of Game 7 to lift the Devils to a 3-2 victory in Ottawa and a final-round meeting with upstart Anaheim.
New Jersey rebounded from a Game 6 loss at home to the Senators, their only home loss of the playoffs that spring, to advance to the finals for the fourth time ever and the third time in four years.
June 9, 2003: Rupp's Goal Makes Third Time a Charm
The Devils won a record 12 home games at the Meadowlands in the spring of 2003, and they outlasted the Mighty Ducks in a seven-game final series to become Stanley Cup champions for the third time in franchise history.
Mike Rupp picked a perfect time to tally his first NHL goal, deflecting home a second-period shot in a scoreless Game 7 to put the Devils ahead for good.
It also marked the final game for Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko who retired a few weeks later after spending his entire NHL career in New Jersey.
April 24, 2006: Madden Tallies Hat Trick Against Rangers
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After suffering three defeats in three playoff meetings to their cross-river rivals, the Devils finally got one back from the New York Rangers with a four-step sweep in 2006.
New Jersey won the first two games at the Meadowlands, highlighted by John Madden's hat trick, including two shorthanded goals, in a 4-1 win in Game Two. The Devils then closed out the series with two more victories at Madison Square Garden.
April 28, 2007: Final Win at Meadowlands
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Jamie Langenbrunner scored on a breakaway in OT against Ray Emery in Game 2 to lift the Devils to a 3-2 win over Ottawa and tie their second-round series at one game apiece.
It proved to be the Devils’ last-ever win at the Meadowlands.
The Senators would win the next three contests, including Game 5 at Continental Airlines Arena, to close out the series, and also close out the Devils’ 25-year run in East Rutherford.
April 26, 2012: Henrique Secures First Playoff Series Victory Since 2007
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Rookie forward Adam Henrique's second goal of the game, a wrist shot through Jose Theodore's pads at 3:47 of the second overtime in Sunrise, Fla. lifted the Devils to a 4-3 triumph over the Panthers in Game 7 to end their first-round series.
Martin Brodeur made 43 saves to clinch the first playoff series victory for the Devils in five years and the first since they moved to the Prudential Center in Newark in 2007.