It was just another Friday night at the Meadowlands when the New Jersey Devils defeated the Atlanta Thrashers, 2-1, on Jan. 12, 2007.
On that winter night at Continental Airlines Arena, Sergei Brylin scored the game-winning goal on the power play, with the primary assist belonging to a 21-year-old rookie center. His name?
Also on the ice for New Jersey when the goal was scored was a 24-year-old defenseman from Trenton, Mich., making his National Hockey League debut. His name?
Nobody at the Devils’ old barn could’ve imagined how the next decade would play out, with the team going from a Stanley Cup contender to an Eastern Conference champion to a participant in multiple NHL draft lotteries. But through the wins, the move to Newark, the losses and a change in management, the two constants have been Zajac, now 32, and Greene, now 35.