New Jersey Devils forward Jack Robinson, a Stanley Cup champion, and the New Jersey Jets’ Jack Del Rio were the most successful teams in the league last season.
But when it came to the Stanley, the Jets’ team was the first to win.
The two teams played each other in the semifinals and advanced to the final.
Robinson was named the Stanley champion in his second season with the Devils, but Del Rio won the Conn Smythe Trophy in his third season with Winnipeg.
“It was an incredible accomplishment for us,” Robinson said.
“I think we played our hearts out for our guys and we were really fortunate to be able to get there.
We got a lot to work on, and we know it. “
We had a lot of young players on the team, and I think for us it’s been good for us.
We got a lot to work on, and we know it.
We have to get some better shots up, and just try to get the puck in the net.”
Robinson had 14 goals and 29 assists in 74 games last season, helping the Devils to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
He scored at least one goal in eight straight games from Feb. 22-March 2, the longest streak in franchise history.
“The way Jack and I play together, we’re not a traditional power forward,” Jets coach Peter DeBoer said.
The Devils have had a solid team under DeBoar, with Robins and rookie goalie Martin Jones scoring 20 goals and 24 assists.
Jones has not played since Feb. 26, the last game before the postseason began.
The Jets have struggled to score at a high rate, and Del Rio has been an effective shutdown defenseman in his NHL career.
“He’s been a solid defensive defenseman in the NHL, and he has played some great minutes,” DeBoers said.
But Del Rio is expected to miss a few games this season with a knee injury, and Robinson and Delos will be the Jets best players on defense this season.
Robinson, 23, had 13 goals and 35 assists in 82 games last year, helping New Jersey to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Del Rio had 10 goals and 33 assists in 71 games for Winnipeg in 2014-15.
The Kings had the NHL’s most shutouts in 2015-16, with 19, and DeBoars team led the league in goals per game at 2.39.
The Panthers had the league’s best record at 2-1.