3-2 win in game six of their series with the New York Rangers.
As it usually is with the Devils-it didn't come easy as the Devils raced to a 2-0 lead and then seemed to settle into a lull as they allowed the Rangers to tie the game with two second period goals.
Adam Henrique slammed in a puck that saw bodies flying around and looking for it less than two minutes into overtime to send the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals as the Eastern Conference Champions with a 3-2 win in game six of their series with the New York Rangers.
The first period Devils goals were scored by Ryan Carter and Ilya Kovalchuk.
Game one against the Los Angeles Kings will take place at the Rock at eight o'clock on Wednesday night with game two next Friday.
1) This should finally shut the media and the Rangers fans up about 1994.
Yes,that was a great series,BUT the Devils have WON three titles since then and made another finals appearance in that time,this series win,as great as it is,did not "exorcise the ghost" of 1994.
There has been an entire generation that has been born since that series and those fans have grown up with the Devils as the superior franchise.
The Devils can never be the Rangers,but they can be the better franchise and frankly over the last 18 years-they have been.
2) Martin Brodeur was tremendous in the third period.Without the play of Brodeur-the Devils do not win this game.
For all the talk about Henrik Lundqvist and rightfully so as Lundqvist had the best season of any goalie this campaign,Brodeur at minimum played Lundqvist to a standoff and at times outplayed him.
Considering the age of Brodeur,Marty continues to build his case as the greatest goalie ever...
3) The passing on the Ilya Kovalchuk power play looked like a piece of film that Hollywood would use in a movie.
Wow,what a beautiful stretch of puck movement and skill,Somewhere tonight,some is putting that to music on YouTube.
I just hope it isn't rap or hip hop....
4) Listening to Ed Olyczk and Pierre McGuire whine about the "hockey karma" getting back at Steve Bernier for receiving a high sticking penalty that did not actually make contact.
I don't blame the Rangers for being upset about the penalty,but I think the replays shows Bernier moving his head in order to avoid the stick,not draw a penalty.
Of course,you would move your head to miss the stick!!
5) There were similarities to several of the Devils wins-One great period,one where they were pummeled around the rink and another that was reasonably close.
When you consider the inconsistency of the Devils play you can look at it two ways.
Either the team has been fortunate to escape with wins without playing a complete game or the best just might be yet to come....
6) Three big kills for the penalty killers and the biggest came on the kill of Ryan Carter's interference call midway through the third.
I had to go to work and stayed around until that kill was made.
I had a bad feeling about that one coming back to haunt the Devils,but a great job by the PK kept the Rangers off the board...
7) Adam Henrique's goal was his 11th point of the playoffs and set a Devils rookie record for playoff points.
Whose record did Henrique break?
Scott Gomez,who was a very popular Devil before leaving the team to sign with....the Rangers....
8) It took four whacks at the puck before the game winner finally went home.
Two attempts by Ilya Kovalchuk and one by Alexei Ponikarovsky banged against Henrik Lundqvist before the Henrique score,which once again shows the golden rule-put as many shots on net until the whistle blows-sooner or later even the best goalies get beaten...
9) The Devils have now vanquished their two top rivals with eliminations of the Flyers and Rangers.
As fun as knocking both of those teams out have been and the season would still be a success to me,this team still has one team to play in the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings steamrolled the top three seeds in the Western bracket after underachieving in the regular season and finishing eighth in their conference.
Los Angeles will be a very tough matchup,but this is again a winnable series...
10) I suspect that most will pick the Kings to win and I can see their points with as well as the Kings have been playing,but look back at most of the pre-season picks,the Kings were the chic' pick to win the West.
The Devils? Many thought that they were a franchise in flux after missing the playoffs last season and on the way down the ladder.
11) The hockey media has traditionally downplayed the Devils and there was always a reason the Devils could be excused from getting their deserved credit.
Boring hockey,the trap,the Meadowlands,the third team in the market etc have all added up as various reasons that the Devils organization has been criticized for despite their undeniable success.
All of those reasons are history now as the Devils play in a terrific arena,have a solid fan base and have played a much more offensive brand of hockey than ever before and certainly more offensively oriented than the Rangers and Panthers and maybe even the Flyers.
Win or lose against the Kings,the criticisms are in the past to any objective observers...
The Goal:AP Photo
Celebration:Bruce Bennett-Getty Images.....