This date in Devils history: April 22
Sundstrom leads the way as Devs blast Caps, 10-4, in Patrick Div. finals
|Sundstrom still holds a share of the league record for points in a playoff game (8).|
On April 22, 1988, Sundstrom recorded an NHL-record eight points for the Devils, who dumped the Washington Capitals, 10-4, in Game 3 of the Patrick Division finals.
Sundstrom tallied a hat trick and added five assists on the night, which is tied for second all-time.
The eight-point feat was matched a year later, when Mario Lemieux netted five goals and three assists against Philadelphia.
After finishing fifth on the team in regular-season scoring (15g-36a-51pts) in 1988, Sundstrom was instrumental in New Jersey's first postseason run. The native of Skelleftea, Sweden, led the way in the second round with a team-high 10 points (4g-6a), and the Devils narrowly outscored the Caps, 25-23, to advance to the third round.
The Devils took out Washington in seven games, ultimately falling in seven to the Boston Bruins in the Wales Conference finals.
Only five Devils have ever scored a postseason hat trick, and three alone came in that series with Washington. Aaron Broten potted three in Game 2, lifting the team to a 5-2 win at the Cap Centre in Landover, Md. Mark Johnson did Sundstrom one better in Game 3, contributing four goals.
On April 22, 1997 – exactly nine years later – Valeri Zelepukin scored three against Montreal in a 6-4 Devils win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
John Madden accounted for New Jersey's most recent hat trick in Game 2 (April 24) of the Devils' quarterfinal sweep of the New York Rangers in 2006.