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Devils forward Elias reflects on milestone evening

by Staff /

New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias joined NHL Live to discuss the milestones he achieved Tuesday during a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Prudential Center.

Elias became the 80th player in NHL history to reach 600 career assists when he connected with Travis Zajac for a shorthanded goal that gave the Devils a 3-0 first-period lead. His assist on Mike Cammalleri's empty-net goal at 16:56 of the third made him the 82nd player to earn 1,000 points.

"Obviously it was a great night for me personally," Elias said. "It was a special evening. I'm glad it worked out with both of those milestones on the same night and it helped us, obviously, to get a win against Buffalo which we needed badly."

Elias has played in in 1,187 games, all with the Devils. He has four goals in his past seven games and needs one goal to become the 91st player with 400. He had a goal and two assists Tuesday to lead New Jersey (15-20-7) to its first two-game winning streak since Nov. 11-14.

"This year we haven't had too many opportunities to get our fans excited," Elias said. "I'm happy that we've been going better lately and happy that I contributed [Tuesday] night for us to get two big points, to get two wins in a row, which we haven't had for a while. Hopefully that will get us going until the All-Star break."

The Devils are 3-3-0 since a new coaching trio of general manager Lou Lamoriello, Scott Stevens and Adam Oates replaced the fired Peter DeBoer on Dec. 27. They play the Boston Bruins on Thursday at TD Garden.

"Having [Oates] and [Stevens] back, they're hockey guys, they understand how individual players can fill in different situations," Elias said. "Don't get me wrong. I loved working with Peter. He was a smart hockey coach and a smart guy that you could talk too, and he had a good relationship with the players. With these guys what they changed was we're being more patient in the defensive zone and the neutral zone. I think that gives us more energy to go on offense and therefore create more opportunities."

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