By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils will officially retire Patrik Elias’ No. 26 Saturday night at the Prudential Center prior to their game against the New York Islanders.
Elias will be the fifth Devils player to have his number retired and the first forward, joining defensemen Scott Stevens (No. 4), Ken Daneyko (No. 3), Scott Niedermayer (No. 27) and goaltender Martin Brodeur (No. 30).
Here are 26 Patrik Elias moments and facts as the Devils prepare to honor No. 26.
1. Elias is the Devils all-time leader in goals (408), assists (617) and points (1,025). He is one of 11 players in NHL history to reach the 400-goal, 600-assist and 1,000-point plateaus while playing for just one franchise their entire careers.
2. He is third all-time in games played for New Jersey (1,240), trailing only Daneyko (1,283) and Brodeur (1,259).
3. Elias’ first NHL game was on Dec. 7, 1995, vs. Toronto, a 2-1 loss. (Randy Wood scored for the Leafs in this game. His son Miles, who was 3 months old, would play with Elias in his final game vs. the Leafs in 2016.)
4. The first NHL point for Elias came on Dec. 5, 1996, vs. Calgary (2-1 win), an assist on Bobby Holik’s third-period, game-winning goal.
LISTEN: Patrik Elias On ‘Boomer & Gio’
5. Elias’ first NHL goal came on Dec. 12, 1996, at Boston vs. Bill Ranford (7-4 win). Jay Pandolfo and Bobby Holik had the assists.
6. Elias finished his career with 251 multi-point games. His first multi-point game was on Dec. 12, 1996, at Boston. His last multi-point game came in his final NHL game vs. the Leafs on April 9, 2016.
7. He had eight career hat tricks, the most in club history. His first was on Dec. 5, 2000, vs. Colorado. The last came on April 1, 2011, vs. Philadelphia.
8. He holds the Devils’ single-season points record with 96 (40 goals, 56 assists in 2000-01).
9. Elias also holds the Devils’ single-season playoff points record with 23 points in 25 playoff games, nine goals and 14 assists in 2001.
10. He sored career goal No. 100 in a 6-2 win vs. Minnesota on March 8, 2001.
11. Elias is one of five Devils with a four-goal game, which came on March 30, 2003, vs. the Islanders.
12. He scored career goal No. 200 in a 4-1 win at Carolina on March 6. 2004.
13. Elias surpassed John MacLean as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer with an assist on Brian Gionta’s goal on March 17, 2009, giving him 702 points for his career.
14. He scored career goal No. 300 in a 4-1 win vs. Philadelphia on Dec. 12, 2009.
15. Elias became the Devils’ all-time leader in goals, passing MacLean with No. 348 on Dec. 17, 2011, at Montreal. (It was the same game that Martin Brodeur passed Patrick Roy for most wins by an NHL goalie.)
16. He became New Jersey’s all-time leader in assists, passing Scott Niedermayer with No. 365 on Oct. 18, 2008, at Washington. The assist came on Petr Vrana’s only career NHL goal.
17. He scored the overtime winner in 3-2 victory at Dallas on Jan. 30, 2014, his 16th career OT goal, the most in Devils history and now the third most in NHL history.
18. Elias reached the 1,000 career point mark with a goal and two assists, as the Devils beat the Sabres, 4-1, on Jan. 6, 2015.
19. His first postseason game was Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals vs. Montreal on April 17, 1997. (It was the same game that Martin Brodeur scored into an empty net.) Elias went on to play in 162 postseason games, the third -most in Devils history, trailing on Daneyko (175) and Brodeur (205).
20. He is New Jersey’s all-time leading playoff scorer with 45 goals, 80 assists and 125 points.
21. His first postseason points came in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals vs. Montreal on April 22, 1997 (a power play goal vs. Jocelyn Thineault and an assist on Valeri Zelepukin’s hat-trick, game winning goal). Elias’ last postseason point came on a goal vs. the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 6, 2012.
22. Elias had six game-winning playoff goals, tied for the most in franchise history with Stevens, Sykora Lemieux and Jamie Langenbrunner.
23. Elias had six career goals for New Jersey in the Stanley Cup Finals, the most by any Devils player (Arnott, Friesen & Sykora five each).
24. He had the primary assist on Jason Arnott’s Stanley Cup winning, double-overtime goal in Game 6 at Dallas on June 10, 2000.
25. He cored career goal No. 400 in a 4-1 win vs. Toronto on Feb. 6, 2015.
26. Elias’ last game was on April 9, 2016 vs. Toronto. He had a goal and two assists in a 5-1 win — his 74th career three-point game, the most in club history. His last assist came on a goal by Kyle Palmieri. His final goal came against Garret Sparks and was assisted by Kyle Palmieri.
(Thanks to NHL.com, the Elias Sports Bureau, Hockey-Reference.com and the Hockey Summary Project for their help in compiling the information for this article.)