Monday, October 28, 2013
On this date in 2000, the New Jersey Devils travelled to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. It was the Devils 9th game of the season and they brought a 5-2-1 record into the game as well as a three game winning streak. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, stood at 5-3-1 after starting their season with a pair of games in Tokyo, Japan, tied with the Devils with 11 points atop the Atlantic Division.
Martin Brodeur got the start in goal, while Jean-Sebastien Aubin got the nod for Pittsburgh.
Turner Stevenson got the scoring started with with a goal from Sergei Nemchinov and John Madden at 2:02 of the first period to put the Devils up by one.
The same line struck again at 4:45, this time with Madden scoring from Nemchinov and Stevenson. Randy McKay put the Devils up by three when he scored on the power play at 12:32 from Bobby Holik and Colin White at 11:18. Before the period ended, McKay scored his second off a goal post from Ken Sutton and Holik at 19:30 to send the Devils into the locker room with a stout 4-0 lead.
The second period began with Garth Snow taking over in goal for Pittsburgh and he held the Devils off the scoreboard for half a period until Madden scored his second at 11:10 on Nemchinov's third assist. The rout was on when McKay completed his hat trick at 12:32 from Brian Rafalski. It was the third hat trick of his career.
Five minutes would pass before McKay scored his fourth of the night on a rebound off the back boards on a shot from Patrik Elias with the second assist from Rafalski at 17:44 before Madden made good in his bid for his first career hat trick with assists from Stevenson and Sutton at 18:57, putting the Devils out of reach at the end of 40 minutes 8-0.
Clearly owning the hot hand, their teammates kept feeding McKay and Madden the puck in the third period and Madden converted from a bad angle with assists from Ed Ward and Jim McKenzie for his fourth goal of the night at 15:55 of the third period to tie New Jersey's largest margin of victory ever at 9, accomplished twice before.
When Madden scored his fourth goal, he and McKay became the first teammates to score four goals in a game since Odie and Sprague Cleghorn did it for the Montreal Canadiens way back on January 14, 1922, a gap of over 78 years.
Their four goals in a game also tied a team record held by Pat Verbeek since February 28, 1988.
Lost in the offensive fireworks was Broduer's shutout on 21 saves and McKay nearly stole the spotlight from Madden when he hit the pipe in the third period, just missing his fifth goal of the night.
McKay was named as The First Star of the Game despite Madden having five points in the game. "Randy's goals were much more fashionable than mine, so I'm sure they gave it to him for that even though I had one more point than he did." Madden needled after the game.
"I was in the right spot in the right time tonight, and it seemed like every time I got in the open, someone got me the puck," McKay said. "It was one of those nights where every time I touched the puck, I felt I had a shot. The last one, it came back to me, flat as could be, right in my wheelhouse and I had an open net to shoot at. Every time I came back to the bench, Bobby Holik was shaking his head. He couldn't believe it."
Holik concurred, "That's because he didn't just get goals, he got pretty goals, three of them. I was like, 'whooooo'. They weren't just going in, the goalie had no chance on them. It was hard to believe."
The reason for the extra celebration and incredulous reaction was that McKay was not known as much of a goal scorer and generally was a member of the Devils "Crash Line" of checkers and grinders. In his nine previous season in New Jersey, he averaged 12 goals a season with a career high of 24. After his four goal outburst, McKay would score just 16 goals in the Devils 73 remaining games.
"I scored one, I was happy with one," Madden Said. "The puck was coming my way."
"I would like to say I'm sorry to the people who bought tickets," Penguins coach Ivan Hlinka said. "I would like to say thanks to the people who stayed to the finish. I believe we ware not a bad team like tonight. I hope we will show our face over the next game and the next week."
Penguins defenseman Bob Boughner went farther, saying, "Maybe we should all take money out of our next checks and pay all the fans who stayed to watch the rest of that game. It's a joke."
This game was played back in the era when the home team traditionally wore white jerseys, but with the increasing number of colored alternate jerseys now in use, the visiting teams often had to wear white on the road to accommodate the home teams wearing their third jerseys, as was the case in the game where Madden and McKay each scored four goals, as Pittsburgh had just reintroduced the skating penguin logo on their new alternate jerseys in 2000-01.
In order to eliminate the need for the road teams equipment managers to have to pack two sets of jerseys for road trips, the rule was changed for the 2003-04 season onwards, where the road team would nearly always wear white, regardless of the home team was wearing their dark home jersey or colored alternates. There are of course always exceptions to this rule, but in general it made life easier for the traveling equipment managers league wide.
Today's Bonus jersey is a 2000-01 New Jersey Devils Randy McKay jersey. The Devils jersey is on it's way to joining the Canadiens, Red Wings and Blackhawks as one of the longest tenured iconic jerseys in the NHL, as team president Lou Lamoriello steadfastly remains against any changes to the Devils jersey adopted in 1992, including the adoption of an alternate jersey for the Devils.
Today's video segment begins with a Randy McKay overtime game winner in the 1995 playoffs, in what was until then a scoreless tie against the Boston Bruins.
In this next clip, Madden seals a win over Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche in the 2001 Stanley Cup playoffs.