New Jersey Devils Best Overtime Playoff Goals Of All Time

Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils surround Travis Zajac #19 (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils have some of the greatest playoff goals in NHL history.

It’s been a long time since the New Jersey Devils had a magical run, but at one point in their history, it seemed like they had a magical run every year. That’s what happens when missed the playoffs in their first five years of existence and six of their first seven, but then make the playoffs in 19 of the next 20 postseasons. It was an insane run by a Devils team that enjoyed some of the best hockey stories of the past 30 years.

When you have someone in the conversation for “greatest of all time” on your team for two decades, the headlines write themselves on the way to a Stanley Cup Championship. The Devils have three titles and made the Cup Finals five times. Those five runs all came with amazing games, but there is nothing like playoff overtime. Some of the game-winners came in the biggest moments of the season, while others just helped avoid disaster. Either way, they were the lifeblood of that particular run.

With that said, it was hard to cut this down to just five goals, so here are a couple of honorable mentions.

1988 ECF Game 2 versus Boston Bruins: Doug Brown scores

This was the first-ever overtime goal in New Jersey Devils playoff history. Doug Brown signed with the Devils out of Boston College in 1986, and he spent the next seven seasons with the Devils. In his first full season, he was on the ice in Game 3 with the Devils down in the series 1-0 in the extra period. He threw a seeing-eye puck at the net, and it found the back of the net. Maybe if the Devils won that series, we’d think of this one more fondly.

1994 ECF Game 1 versus New York Rangers: Stéphane Richer scores

A goal against the Rangers is always going to get mentioned. This goal and the Zajac goal are probably numbers six and seven on the list. Stéphane Richer destroyed Adam Graves and beat Mike Richter to give the Devils the series lead. We know how it ended and we won’t hash it out again, but this moment was great.

1995 2nd Round Game 4 versus Pittsburgh Penguins: Neal Broten scores

John MacLean with one of the best cross-crease passes you will ever see. MacLean brought the puck around the net, skipped Brian Rolston to find a wide-open Neal Broten to the left of the goalie. He did not miss from there. The Devils ended up winning the series the next game to dispatch the Penguins fairly easily.

2001 2nd Round Games 2 & 3 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs: Randy McKay and Brian Rafalski score

It’s really hard to keep these two games in one of the greatest series in this franchise’s history. The Maple Leafs, as you know, have gone quite a while without a Stanley Cup Championship. That season, they went toe to toe with the defending champs, taking the series to seven games. The Devils ended up winning Game 7, but without these two overtime wins, it never gets there.

2012 1st Round Game 6 vs. Florida Panthers: Travis Zajac scores

The Devils were facing overtime down 3-2 in the series and tied 2-2 in the game. They were supposed to easily roll past the Florida Panthers (unless you ask Scott Burnside), but they were faced with the fight for their playoff lives. Travis Zajac missed most of the season with an injury and returned right before the playoffs. It ended up being the biggest addition for the Devils right before the postseason since they made Larry Robinson coach in 2000. That magical 2012 run doesn’t happen without this goal.