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Elias, a career Devil, set to play in 1,000th game

Friday, 01.06.2012 / 12:07 PM / Player Profiles

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Elias, a career Devil, set to play in 1,000th game
Not many players reach 1,000 NHL games, and even fewer do it with just a single team, but two-time Stanley Cup champion Patrik Elias is set to hit that mark for the Devils on Friday.
Devils center Patrik Elias has won the Stanley Cup twice and is the franchise leader in every important offensive category. Friday night at Prudential Center, he'll add to his list of milestones when he becomes the third player in Devils history to play at least 1,000 games with the team.

Ken Daneyko (1,283) and Martin Brodeur (1,156) are the others.

Elias will also become the 46th player in NHL history to play 1,000 games with the same team.

"It's a lot of games played with one organization and I'm proud of it," Elias said Thursday. "Our team doctor here, he said (Wednesday), 'It's amazing, I watched you since you were 19 and time flies. You're already playing in your thousandth game.' I said, 'It probably would've been a lot sooner if I didn’t miss time with injuries.' But that's the way it goes. That's part of hockey, and I'm happy to even get that milestone."

"It's a lot of games played with one organization and I'm proud of it. Our team doctor here, he said (Wednesday), 'It's amazing, I watched you since you were 19 and time flies. You're already playing in your thousandth game.' I said, 'It probably would've been a lot sooner if I didn’t miss time with injuries.' But that's the way it goes. That's part of hockey, and I'm happy to even get that milestone." -- Patrik Elias

Through his career Elias has hit plenty of milestones and been a part of some of the franchise's greatest moments. Here is a list of some of his most memorable moments and achievements:

Greatest assist

Elias' backhanded pass out of the far corner set up Jason Arnott for the Cup-clinching overtime goal in Game 6 of the 2000 Stanley Cup Final.

He whipped the pass to the front of the net, splitting Dallas defensemen Derian Hatcher and Sylvain Cote, and found Arnott at the lower portion of the left circle. Ed Belfour couldn't get over in time and Arnott put it past him to clinch the Devils second of three Stanley Cup championships.

Elias finished that playoff season with a team-high 20 points on 7 goals and 13 assists. His 13 assists led the NHL.

Biggest goal

The Devils were locked in a 1-1 tie with the Flyers late in Game 7 of the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals until Elias scored with 2:32 remaining. The goal proved to be the winner as the Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup Final following a dramatic comeback from a 3-1 series deficit to Philadelphia.

Arnott flubbed a one-timer from the high slot, but the puck came to Elias, who got around Flyers defenseman Dan McGillis and beat goalie Brian Boucher.

Best season

After setting up Arnott's Cup-clincher, Elias went out the following season and set a Devils' franchise record with 96 points (40 goals, 56 assists) in 2000-01. He broke Kirk Muller's previous record of 94 points set in 1987-88.

Elias was third in the NHL in scoring behind Jaromir Jagr (121 points) and Joe Sakic (118 points). His plus-45 rating was tied for first with Sakic.

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He also set a Devils' franchise record with 23 points in the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs, topping Stephane Richer's previous record of 21 points in 1995. The Devils went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final before losing to Colorado.

Odds-defying comeback

While playing in Russia during the 2004-05 work stoppage, Elias contracted hepatitis A. He thought his career was in jeopardy.

Elias wound up missing the first 39 games of the 2005-06 season, finally returning on Jan. 3. He came back with a vengeance, too, as he put up points in nine of his first 10 games (4-12-16) and finished with 16 goals and 45 points in 38 regular-season games to help the Devils win the Atlantic Division. He also scored another 16 points in nine playoff games.

"With injuries like legs, arms, groins, hips, you know that if you take care of yourself and you do the treatment right and rehab everything, you've got a good chance to get back," Elias said. "With that, I didn't know."

Top line

The "A" Line was formed on Feb. 6, 1999 and for the next two-plus seasons Elias, Arnott and Petr Sykora made up one of the best lines in hockey.

They combined for 196 points (82 goals, 114 assists) in the 1999-2000 season and another 57 points (26 goals, 33 assists) during the Devils run to the 2000 Stanley Cup championship. Elias, Arnott and Sykora were even better in 2000-01 with 232 points (96 goals, 136 assists) in the regular season and 60 points (27 goals, 33 assists) in the postseason.

The notoriously defense-first Devils led the NHL with 295 goals in 2000-01 largely because of Elias, Arnott and Sykora.

Notable numbers

Regular-season franchise records: goals (348), assists (502), points (850), power-play goals (96), game-winning goals (77), power-play points (272), overtime goals (15), hat tricks (8)

Postseason franchise records: goals (40), assists (77), points (117), points at home (67), points on the road (50), shots (387), power-play goals (19), power-play points (50)

Patrik Elias
Center - NJD
GOALS: 13 | ASST: 21 | PTS: 34
SOG: 85 | +/-: -5
All-Star Game appearances: 3 (2000, 2002, 2011)

Important dates

Dec. 17, 2011: Breaks John MacLean's old franchise record for goals by scoring twice in a 5-3 win at Montreal.

March 17, 2009: Passed MacLean as the team's all-time points leader with an assist in a 3-2 win over Chicago. The milestone was overlooked because it was the same night Martin Brodeur set the NHL's all-time record for victories by a goalie.

April 16, 2006: His first goal against Philadelphia was his 500th career point.

Oct. 5, 2006: Named Devils captain (lasted one season)

Feb. 6, 1999: The "A" Line is formed with Elias joining Arnott and Sykora.

Dec. 12, 1996: Scores his first NHL goal against Boston's Bill Ranford.
 
Dec. 7, 1995: Made his NHL debut against Toronto as an emergency call-up. He was sent back to Albany (AHL) following the game.

June 28, 1994: Selected in the second round, No. 51, by the Devils at the Entry Draft in Hartford.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Quote of the Day

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— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players