Devils celebrate in game seven of the 2001 Semifinal against Toronto, in which Brian Rafalski scored two game-winning goals.
MAY 1 , 2001:
DEVILS NOTCH BACK-TO-BACK PLAYOFF OT WINS
newjerseydevils.com – Six years ago today, the Devils recorded playoff overtime victories in back-to-back games for the first time in franchise history as Brian Rafalski scored the winning goal to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in game three of the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The 2000-01 regular season wrapped up as a very successful one for the Devils, as they won their fourth Atlantic Division title and tied a then-franchise record with 48 victories.
Patrik Elias finished third in league scoring with 96 points (40g, 56a) and Martin Brodeur led the league with 42 wins.
New Jersey earned a first-round meeting with Carolina, and dumped the Hurricanes in six games before opening the Conference Semifinals at home against the Maple Leafs.
Having been shutout 2-0 in game one against Toronto, the Devils evened the series at 1-1 in game two with a 6-5 win. Randy McKay took a Bobby Holik feed to score the winning goal at 5:31 of overtime.
In game three, the Devils trailed 2-1 in the third period until Rafalski set up Scott Gomez in front of Toronto’s Curtis Joseph for the centerman’s fourth of the postseason. Tied at 2-2, New Jersey headed for overtime.
Seven minutes in, Rafalski slid a pass toward the front of the net that was intended for McKay, but deflected instead off of Maple Leaf defenseman Cory Cross and past Joseph for the 3-2 win.
New Jersey took a two-games-to-one lead in the series, and Rafalski would go on to score the game-winning goal in game six, as the Devils eliminated the Leafs from the second round in seven games.
The Devils resume their 2007 Eastern Conference Semifinals in Ottawa for Wednesday's game four at 7 p.m. (VERSUS, WFAN 660 AM).
New Jersey returns to the Meadowlands for game five this Saturday, May 5 (FSN NY, 92.3 Free FM). Tickets can be purchased at the arena box office, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.
with wire services