The New Jersey Devils are playing an outdoor game for the first time since the 2014 Stadium Series when they played the New York Rangers.
The Devils were the “home” team in that game at Yankee Stadium. They jumped out to an early 3-1 lead thanks to a pair of Patrik Elias goals. New York later scored six unanswered goals to win 7-3. Two of those goals came courtesy of Mats Zuccarello.
That game is the only outdoor game the Devils have played in. The NHL hasn’t really had much of a reason to put the Devils on center stage as of late. New Jersey isn’t exactly the biggest market for hockey. Especially considering that the Rangers and Islanders are in the surrounding area. Furthermore, the Devils went through two failed rebuilds between the 2012 finals appearance and this past season.
However, the emergence of a young group led by flashy superstar Jack Hughes got the hockey world’s attention. In the 2022-23 season, New Jersey finished with a 52-22-8 record in the regular season, good for third in the NHL. They also won a playoff series against the aforementioned Rangers in seven games. It was their first series win since the 2012 eastern conference finals, also against the Rangers.
That performance and swagger might’ve earned the Devils a spot in the Stadium Series in the 2023-24 season. New Jersey is playing the Philadelphia Flyers at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets.
For the Devils, it’s the first time they’ll be playing in the Meadowlands since they played their home games in the Continental Airlines Arena. They last played there in the 2006-07 season before moving to the Prudential Center in Newark.
Both teams in this game are going in opposite directions. The Devils just opened a championship window and are looking to win the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are in the midst of liquidating their roster and beginning a rebuild under new GM Danny Briere.
Regardless, it’s an exciting time for both teams to play outdoor hockey.
Stay tuned for more New Jersey Devils and NHL content, including trades, signings, and various updates.
Featured image courtesy of NHL.com