Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top 10 Video Special - Devils moments in the Stanley Cup Finals

There's been a lot of down time between the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals.  I decided that now would be a good time to put together the 19th installment of my Top 10 Video Specials series.  I recently counted down the 10 greatest moments in Devils' Eastern Conference Finals history, and now I'll count down the 10 greatest moments in Devils' Stanley Cup Finals history.

#10 - Sykora snipes

With the Devils down in the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, 2-1, and tied 2-2 late in the third period of Game 4, Petr Sykora made sure that they wouldn't need overtime and that the series would be tied heading back to Colorado.  The Devils ended up winning Games 4 and 5, but couldn't manage a fourth win in the series to win a third Stanley Cup championship at the time.

#9 - Stevens levels Kariya

The Mighty Ducks were on their way to winning Game 6 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, but Scott Stevens knew he had to send a message before heading back to New Jersey for Game 7.  He found his opportunity when Paul Kariya was skating through center ice...with his head down.

#8 - Dano puts the Devils on top

The 2000 Stanley Cup Finals weren't remembered for having a lot of goals, but Game 1 did.  This is Ken Daneyko's goal that put the Devils on top, and they never looked back.

#7 - "You're next!"

It was Game 2 of the 1995 Finals.  Tied in the second period, Scott Stevens saw an opportunity to deliver one of his thundering open ice hits.  He caught Slava Kozlov with his head down, and the rest is history.  His famous "You're next" line was a result of this hit.

#6 - Zero to hero

After a scoreless first period in Game 7, the Devils were looking to get on the board first.  At the end of a shift in the offensive zone, Scott Niedermayer flung a loose puck at the net, and Mike Rupp deflected it past J.S. Giguere.  It was Rupp's first playoff goal and last until 2011.

#5 - Scott Niedermayer, part 1

The Devils had a chance to clinch the Stanley Cup in Game 6 of the 2000 Finals.  On a penalty kill, Scott Niedermayer joined a rush and scored the game's opening goal.  The rest is history.

#4 - Scott Niedermayer, part 2

Before winning the Cup in 2000, the Devils won the Cup in 1995, and Scott Niedermayer had a classic moment in that Finals series as well.  In Game 2, with the Devils trailing, Niedermayer went end-to-end to score one of the most famous goals in Devils history.

#3 - Winning the Cup, part 1

Of course, there's nothing greater in hockey than winning the Stanley Cup.  That's what it's all about, and for the first time in franchise history, the Devils were in a position to do that in Game 4 of the '95 Stanley Cup Finals.  Here's the final minutes of what turned out to be a 4-game sweep of the Red Wings.

#2 - Winning the Cup, part 2

The Devils needed five seasons to get back to the Cup Finals after winning in 1995.  After losing a triple-overtime Game 5, they traveled to Dallas for Game 6.  Late into the night, tied 1-1 in double-overtime, Patrik Elias set up Jason Arnott for the clincher.

#1 - Winning the Cup, part 3

After winning the Cup in 1995 and 2000, and losing in Game 7 of the 2001 Finals, the Devils were right back in the show in the spring of 2003.  The home team went undefeated in that series.  Late in the third period of Game 7, Jeff Friesen scored his second goal of the game to seal the win.  The first clip is Friesen's goal and the second clip is final two minutes of play.

Here's to new memories as the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals await us tomorrow night.

Let's go Devils!