May 25, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) celebrates his game-winning goal during the first overtime period in game six of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals at the Prudential Center. The Devils defeated the Rangers 3-2 to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils are heading back to the Stanley Cup Finals after finishing off the top-seeded New York Rangers with a 3-2 overtime victory Friday night at the Prudential Center.
Adam Henrique scored 63 seconds into overtime as the Devils claimed the 2012 Eastern Conference championship on a significant anniversary in the history of both franchises.
Eighteen years ago to the day, a fresh-faced Martin Brodeur found himself in a similar place, with his Devils holding a 3-2 lead over the Rangers in the East finals, and a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals with a victory on home ice in Game 6.
On May 25, 1994, captain Mark Messier backed up his guarantee of a Rangers win by recording a third-period hat trick as New York rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force a decisive seventh game that ended when Stephane Matteau beat Brodeur on a wraparound in double-overtime.
Now 40, Brodeur, the lone player remaining from that memorable series, is reveling in a different outcome as New Jersey clinched its fifth trip to the Cup Finals.
The Devils will meet Los Angeles, beginning Wednesday in Newark.
The Sports Network