Morning Stanley Cup of Joe – April 25, 2012
NEW JERSEY 3, FLORIDA 2 (OT); series tied 3-3
Travis Zajac scored the winning goal 5:39 into overtime as the Devils
staved off elimination and forced a Game 7 Thursday in Florida.
A countdown of the night’s best moments, from Florida’s comeback to New
Jersey’s overtime winner.
Visit NHL.com and tune to NHL Network for all of the latest playoff news,
highlights and analysis.
ZAJAC COMES UP BIG
New Jersey’s Travis Zajac netted the winning goal Tuesday, his second
career overtime score in the postseason. Zajac missed the majority of the
regular season after suffering an Achilles injury over the summer. He
recorded only six points (two goals, four assists) in 15 regular-season
games, but has already equaled that total in his first six playoff contests
(three goals, three assists).
DEVILS BREAK SKID
The Devils had been 0-5 in their last five games when facing elimination.
Their last win in that situation (prior to Tuesday) came May 13, 2006
against Carolina (5-1).
Florida’s Scott Clemmensen made 39 saves to keep the Panthers in the game
despite being outshot, 42-16, the largest margin of any team in this year’s
playoffs. Clemmensen, who began his career with the Devils, got the start
after Jose Theodore didn’t dress due to injury.
Florida’s Sean Bergenheim scored the tying goal Tuesday and has five points
(three goals, two assists) in six games this postseason. The Helsinki,
Finland native has 132 points in 388 career regular-season games (0.34
points per game), but has amassed 16 points in 22 career playoff outings
(0.73 points per game).
60 IS NOT ENOUGH
Fourteen of the first 45 playoff games (31.1%) have required overtime.
There also were 14 overtime games in the first round of last year’s
postseason, one shy of the record of 15 set in 2001.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Three of the eight opening-round series will be decided in a Game 7. There
were four Game 7s in the first round of last year’s playoffs; three of the
four home teams went on to win. The lone road victor? Tampa Bay, who
defeated Pittsburgh, 1-0, in the decisive game.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Devils have gone 28 consecutive playoff games – dating to a three-game
run April 18-22, 2007 – without winning back-to-back contests, the longest
active streak in the NHL in terms of postseason games. They’ll have to
break that drought Thursday to advance to the second round of the playoffs
for the first time since in five years.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Florida’s Scott Clemmensen stopped a point-blank chance to keep the game
tied in the third period . . . New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk slammed in a
perfect pass from Travis Zajac . . . Florida’s Kris Versteeg scored the
team’s first goal off a nice feed from Stephen Weiss.
THEY SAID IT
“It’s fun to be back competing and playing at this time of year. When you
have a setback, you never know what’s going to happen. As I went through
the process again, I felt better and better. It was just about being
patient.” – Travis Zajac, NJ
“[Game 7s] are fun to be part of. When you’re a kid you always go out and
say, ‘This is Game 7 for all the marbles.’ It brings back good memories
because of that. You don’t need to be nervous. You need to embrace the
situation and make the best out of it.” – Martin Brodeur, NJ
“It comes down to one game. Obviously you go to overtime and you’d like to
put things to bed, but that’s the nature of it. It will make for a very
exciting game on Thursday.” – Kevin Dineen, FLA
“Sending all my positive vibes to the @NHLDevils as they do or die tonight
against Florida! Be BIG, Marty! Cage them Panthers!” – Kevin Smith
Right wing Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators, left wing Joffrey
Lupul of the Toronto Maple Leafs and left wing Max Pacioretty of the
Montreal Canadiens have been named the three finalists for the 2011-12 Bill
Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the
qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey” . . .
Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues, David Poile of the Nashville
Predators and Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers have been named the three
finalists for the 2011-12 NHL General Manager of the Year Award.
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Washington @ Boston, Game 7, series tied 3-3, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS,
For the first time, every Stanley Cup Playoffs game is being televised
nationally in the United States, on NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC and NHL
Network. Not sure where to find the game? Use our channel finder: