THIS DAY IN DEVILS HISTORY: March 17
On this day in Devils history, the Devils and Blackhawks had a game for the record booksby Amanda Stein amandacstein / NewJerseyDevils.com
The game between the Devils and Blackhawks was one for the record books - literally. On that night, in 2009 two players whose numbers are posted up in the Prudential Center rafters put their stamp on both Devil and NHL records books.
Let's start with Patrik Elias, who on March 17, 2009, assisted on the Devils third goal against Chicago and scored by Brian Gionta. The goal put the Devils up 3-0 on Chicago, but that assist sprung Elias to the top of the franchises' all-time points list with his 702nd NHL point.
The night also marked an iconic moment: Elias with that green hat as he stepped out onto the ice for the announcement of the three stars.
"It was a great thing by one of the fans, who gave me that green hat and it kind of became a tradition, to come out with the green hat."
Elias would go on to score another 323 points before retiring. His 1,025 points remain the franchise lead, as well as at the time the 77th most points NHL history. He currently sits 81st on the NHL all-time list.
"It was a great night," Elias said reflecting on the goal in 2017. "I knew it would be a possibility, coming close to it. Ironically, on Marty's achieved his big achievement! I was really happy to share it with him, it was just a special night. It was a great game, I always liked playing on St. Patrick's Day, after that because of that reason!"
Martin Brodeur called it "a great moment for the franchise." A night both Elias and Brodeur helped make so special.
Elias assisted on the game-winner and Brodeur was credited with the win, where he made 30 saves on 32 shots. But the really important number for Brodeur was 552. As the clock wound down on the game, Brodeur became the winningest goaltender in NHL history, surpassing Canadiens/Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy.
"It was an exciting night," Brodeur said at the time. "I'm happy that it's done and over with."
The celebration at Prudential Center, as the clock hit zero, emulated that of a Stanley Cup championship victory. Teammates surround Brodeur in celebration, the crowd were on their feet in applause and then, out came the scissors.
In front of his teammates and his home crowd, Brodeur cuts off the milestone net and as he skates off the ice, waves it to the Devils faithful.
Brodeur's 552nd victory came in his 987th NHL game and he retired with 691 wins in 1266 games.