The New Jersey Devils never played at Izod Center. They did however play at the building when it was known as the Brendan Byrne Arena and later the Continental Airlines Arena. Along with the Devils, it was once home to the New Jersey Nets, New York Cosmos, Seton Hall Pirates, New Jersey Red Dogs and Gladiators, New Jersey Storm, Fordham Rams and the New Jersey Rockin Rollers. Plus, there were countless concerts, shows and other events. While the building is set to close shop, from 1982-2007, there were many memorable moments in the Meadowlands for the Devils.
10.) Devils come to New Jersey. Moving East, the Colorado Rockies arrived in New Jersey and were called the Devils. Dr. John J. McMullen, Brendan Byrne and John Whitehead buy the franchise and place it in the Meadowlands and the rest as they say, is history. May 27, 1982.
9.) Devils Elias registers 500th career point. It was a big day point-wise for Patrik Elias. Hosting the rival Philadelphia Flyers, Elias recorded three points, amassing points 500, 501 and 502. His 500th came on his first goal in the first frame, putting the puck past Robert Esche, putting New Jersey up 2-0 and up for good, with yet another game winner. Elias picked up a secondary assist on a Jamie Langenbrunner goal in the second stanza. Capping off the scoring for good measure, Elias netted his second of the contest in the third, making it a 5-1 final victory. April 16, 2006.
8.) Devils Martin Brodeur scores a goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hosting the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Brodeur became just the second netminder to score in the postseason. The cherry on top meant a 5-2 New Jersey victory. April 17, 1997.
7.) Devils clinch first Playoff series. Although not immediate, one could mark this series as the changing of the guard of sorts, around the metro area hockey circuit. In Game 6 of the Patrick Division Semifinals, the Devils edged the New York Islanders, 6-5. Patrik Sundstrom notched the game winner. April 14, 1988.
6.) Devils suffocate Leafs. This one was pretty surreal. In Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, New Jersey blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-0. New Jersey posted half as many goals (three) as Toronto did shots (six). It was the fewest shots against yielded in Stanley Cup Playoff history. Brodeur recorded the easiest shutout of his life, including only having to make one stop in the third frame. Petr Sykora scored the only goal the Devils would need, besting Curtis Joseph, 18 seconds into the first frame. This contest also featured a scrap between Elias and Darcy Tucker. May 8, 2000.
5.) Devils clinch first trip to Stanley Cup Final. A seesaw series, which saw the road team take each of the first four games, New Jersey finally broke the trend on a Claude Lemieux winning tally in Game 5 at Philadelphia, before finally taking out the Flyers at New Jersey, in Game 6. During the second stanza, Randy McKay’s seventh goal of the postseason, bested Ron Hextall and doubled the Devils’ lead at 3-1. The goal stood as the eventual Eastern Conference Final winner, as New Jersey won the game and the series, 4-2. June 13, 1995.
4.) Devils retire Ken Daneyko’s number three. Presently a color analyst for MSG +, Daneyko was the last Devil to have his number retired in this particular building. Daneyko was a member of all three Stanley Cup winning teams with the Devils. In his career, Daneyko played in a franchise best, 1,283 games, including 175 more in the postseason. March 24, 2006.
3.) Devils retire Scott Stevens number four. Currently coaching the Devils defencemen, Stevens became the first player in New Jersey history to have his number retired. Stevens was Captain for all three Stanley Cup title teams, playing 956 games with the Devils. February 3, 2006.
2.) Devils clinch their third Stanley Cup title, second at home. Mike Rupp notches the eventual game-winning marker, as the Devils blanked the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, 3-0, winning the series in seven games. Rupp was the first player in NHL history to have his first career postseason goal, be a Cup winner. Brodeur led all netminders with seven shutouts in the Playoffs. It also marked the final game in the career of Daneyko. June 9, 2003.
1.) Devils clinch their first Stanley Cup title. Neal Broten netted the eventual winner, as the Devils won 5-2 and swept the Detroit Red Wings, 4-0. Lemieux earned the Conn Smythe Trophy. June 24, 1995.
Michael Gwizdala covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writers. Michael is also an Associate Producer at WNYT NewsChannel 13. Additionally, Michael was once a Media Relations intern for the AHL Albany River Rats. Michael is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.