The longest game in New Jersey Devils history is a throwback that was a test of wills and a battle between legendary goaltenders.
There are plenty of memories and New Jersey Devils’ nostalgia to look back on, especially with the team’s history and success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
While there are other NHL teams that have played in some extensive overtime contests, and matchups that went down as the longest games ever played, the Devils’ playoff history entails a handful of games that went past the first overtime.
However, there’s one in particular that goes down as the longest game ever played in the team’s history.
Here’s a look back at the longest game in New Jersey Devils history.
New Jersey Devils vs. Buffalo Sabres
The spring of 1994 can be a tough subject for Devils fans and the team also played in six overtime contests during the ’94 Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, New Jersey had an overall record of 2-4 that spring in games that required at least one overtime period.
The first overtime game that the Devils played in happened to be the team’s longest contest, ever.
On April 27, 1994, New Jersey took to the ice against the Buffalo Sabres in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals. The Devils had a 3-2 series lead during the first round of the playoffs against Buffalo, and were looking to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the second time in team history.
Game 6 between the Sabres and Devils began at 7:30 p.m. ET, but ended just before 2:00 a.m. the next morning. The contest went to a fourth overtime and ended in dramatic fashion at the old Buffalo Memorial Auditorium after forward Dave Hannan scored the game-winning goal.
It’s hard to believe, but neither team had found the back of the net that night before Hannan beat goaltender Martin Brodeur 5:43 into the fourth overtime. So, the New Jersey Devils longest game in history ended in a 1-0 shutout loss.
While Brodeur had 49 saves, Buffalo goaltender Dominik Hasek turned away all 70 of New Jersey’s shots that night.
That aspect may be even harder to believe than the game ending with just one goal scored after the team’s essentially played two-plus hockey games in less than 10 hours.
Devils’ forwards Stephane Richer (9), Bobby Holik (8) and Bobby Carpenter (7) led New Jersey in shots on goal. The great Scott Stevens spent plenty of time in the sin bin, too. The Devils’ captain tallied 14 penalty minutes on the night.
A Game 7 was required on April 29, at the (then) Brendan Byrne Arena. New Jersey fell behind early to the Sabres, 1-0, but scored the game’s next two goals and sealed the deal to advance to the second round.
While the team’s longest game wasn’t necessarily a positive outcome, New Jersey did still win the series and beat an efficient Buffalo Sabres team.
Other notable extensive overtime contest in Devils history would be Jason Arnott’s Stanley Cup clinching-goal against the Dallas Stars in double overtime during the 2000 Stanley Cup Final, Adam Henrique’s double-overtime goal against the Florida Panthers (round one) in Game 7 and Grant Marshall’s triple-overtime series-clincher against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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