14. april 2010 / PATRIK ELIAS AND DEVILS HEAD TO THE PLAYOFFS
Two key wins on the final weekend of the regular season propelled the Devils (48-27-7) into first place in the Atlantic Division and second overall in the Eastern Conference, setting up a first round showdown with rival Philadelphia Flyers beginning Wednesday at the Prudential Center.
Patrik Elias enters the 2010 postseason on a high note, having collected six points in his last six contests. On Saturday, he scored goals 18 and 19 in a 7-1 thrashing of the New York Islanders to help the Devils clinch the Atlantic Division, and registered three shots on goal in a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Sunday which solidified the team’s second place slot in the Conference. Patrik finishes the regular season with 48 points (19g, 29a) in 58 games, a +18 rating, and four game winning goals.
The Czech winger has never missed the playoffs in his storied career, and has put up impressive numbers along the way. In 133 postseason games played, he has registered 40 goals and 73 assists and is a +21. He brings the experience of two Stanley Cup victories (2000, 2003) into Wednesday’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Patrik has always seemed to excel against Philadelphia, who made the playoffs on the last game of the season with a heart pounding 2-1 shootout win over the Rangers. In 65 career games played against them, he has put up 62 points (26g, 36a). He has repeatedly mentioned that one of his fondest moments in his career was netting the game winning goal in Game 7 of the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals against the Flyers, which led to the team’s second Stanley Cup Championship. The Devils will need that same magic against a tough Flyers team who gave them some trouble this season. New Jersey won only once out of six contests, a 4-1 decision on Dec. 12 thanks to two goals from #26.
New Jersey will attempt to redeem themselves from last year’s early playoff exit at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes.
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