The 10 Most Defining Devils Wins this Decade: Waking the Rookie

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 26: Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils is congratulated by teammates after scoring the game winning goal in the second overtime period against the Florida Panthers in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the BankAtlantic Center on April 26, 2012 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images)

2020 is almost here, and the New Jersey Devils are hoping their bad seasons end with a new decade. A new decade could show signs of a team changing, and the New Jersey Devils could be one of them. First, they must fix their issues starting with a new head coach. Then they must show us that they can play better to keep up with other teams. With only 2 days left, let’s look at the top 10 best wins for the New Jersey Devils in this decade. See how the biggest named rookie on the 2012 teamed helped the Devils beat the Panthers in a climatic way.

How big was this game for both teams?

This game meant everything to both teams. One team was going home, the other was moving on to the second round. The Devils had just won game 6 in OT to force a Game 7.both teams had to step up for their team, and while not everyone in the game did, both teams knew that each goal would change the game significantly. So let’s see how this game 7 worked out for both teams.

How good did the Devils perform early?

The 1st period got underway on this April 26th, as the rookie known as Adam Henrique, made sure he wanted to put the Devils up early. 1:29 into the game, an Anton Volchenkov shot that was tipped by Henrique went in to put the Devils up 1-0. In any game a big goal early can mean a lot for your team. While both teams did not record a goal after that, the rookie’s goal was a big advantage for the Devils.

In the 2nd period, the Devils were once again the only team scored in the period. But for the Devils scoring twice in this type of game setting is huge. This time the goal went to Stephen Gionta, who scored on the backhand while falling. Now that the Devils had a 2 goal lead in a Game 7, there was no way they were gonna blow it, this team seemed smart enough to let the Panthers back in it. Well it’s now time to discuss how the third period went.

How did the Panthers came back in this important game?

The Panthers now down 2-0 in the game, and their fans becoming dismal, had to get back in this game. This 3rd period they had to prove they could still stick around in these playoffs. For them do that they had to rely on their special teams in a big way. Luckily for the Panthers, they were about to get a chance to get back in the game. When Peter Harrold went off for holding, the Panthers took this power play and got back in this game. On a 4 on 3, Stephen Weiss took a one time pass, and buried it past Martin Brodeur to cut the lead to 1. Panthers got another big power play in the 3rd when Marek Zidlicky got a delay of game penalty for putting the puck over the glass.

With another PP, the Panthers made sure to give their fans more hope to believe in them. 11 seconds in, a Brodeur save, was put home on the rebound Marcel Goc to tie the game at 2. The Panthers fans just witness their team put a hard fought comeback in a huge game 7. For the Devils fans like myself, there was so much disappointment. But there was still time for the Devils to win, but first they had to deal with an overtime period in a game 7.

How did both OT’s go and which Devils rookie came up as a giant in a big way?

In the first overtime, nobody was able to rise the occasion. The Panthers were the closest to ending it, but the legendary goaltender for the Devils made sure to keep the Panthers from moving on. The Devils did have a power play chance in that period though when Kris Versteeg went off though for slashing. A power play in overtime in a game 7 has to be huge for any team to take advantage for. The Devils however did not take advantage as their PP was wasted and the teams remained tied so it came down to a second OT.

The second OT was underway. One team was about to find out their rookie was becoming a hero. For the other team it was about to become heartbreak. Almost 4 minutes into the 2nd OT, the Devils rookie was about to make his presence known to the NHL. Adam Henrique brought down a Alexei Ponikarovsky shot that went high into the air. He then shot the puck and it beat it past Jose Theodore to win the series for the Devils in Game 7. The Devils had just passed their first big test of the playoffs. The rookie became a big hero in Jersey, and made his name in presence in the NHL. However this isn’t the only time the rookie made a big goal like this, as our No.1 of the decade will be next, and trust me you want to stick around for it.

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