It's been three years since the New Jersey Devils played a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and that one didn't end too well.
Leading Carolina by a 3-2 count with just under two minutes remaining in regulation at the Rock in 2009, the Devils surrendered two shocking goals just 80 seconds apart and saw their hopes of a run at a fourth Stanley Cup disintegrate entirely.
The Devils will have another deciding game to play Thursday night in Sunrise, Fla., as they attempt to complete a comeback from a 3-2 deficit and oust the upstart Florida Panthers, who were an overtime goal away on Tuesday from eliminating New Jersey from the 2012 postseason picture.
That was before Travis Zajac connected for the home side in sudden death and extended the Devils' season for at least another couple of days.
Here's how the Devils have fared in the 13 previous Game 7s they've played so far, with the opponent, round, and final score listed:
- 2009: Lost to Carolina in first round, 4-3
- 2003: Defeated Anaheim in finals, 3-0; won @ Ottawa in semifinals, 3-2
- 2001: Lost at Colorado in finals, 3-1; defeated Toronto in second round, 5-1
- 2000: Won at Philadelphia in semifinals, 2-1
- 1999: Lost to Pittsburgh in first round, 4-2
- 1994: Lost at NY Rangers in semifinals, 2-1 (OT); defeated Buffalo in first round, 2-1
- 1992: Lost at NY Rangers in first round, 8-4
- 1991: Lost at Pittsburgh in first round, 4-0
- 1987: Lost at Boston in semifinals, 6-2; won @ Washington in second round, 3-2
The Devils are 6-7 overall in deciding playoff games and will be looking to hit the .500 mark tonight against the Panthers. If they do, it'll mean a second-round date with either the Washington Capitals or the Philadelphia Flyers. A possible match-up withe cross-river rival New York Rangers was shelved when Washington eliminated Boston last night..
But first things first, in Florida, with Game 7.
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