Former ECAC and Ivy League standout Lee Stempniak (Dartmouth) boosted the New Jersey Devils to their first victory of the 2015-16 campaign at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.
Stempniak finished off a 2-on-1 break in overtime to give the Devils a 2-1 win over the local rival New York Rangers, one of his seven former NHL clubs, and also gave New Jersey head coach John Hynes (Boston University) his first career NHL victory. Devils captain Andy Greene (Miami) assisted on Stempniak’s game-winner, while Mike Cammalleri (Michigan) set up New Jersey’s game-tying goal early in the second period. Cory Schneider (Boston College) finished with 26 saves for the Devils, while Derek Stepan (Wisconsin) recorded New York’s only goal on the night.
Stempniak, 32, who tallied 63 goals and 151 points for the Big Green from 2001-2005, is now in his 11th NHL season. Originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the fifth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft after scoring a career-high 21 goals as sophomore at Dartmouth, he has also skated with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets. In 713 career NHL regular-season contests to date, he has tallied 166 goals and 206 assists for 372 points.
Stempniak was Dartmouth's first-team selection for the ECAC All-Decade Team that was named back in 2010. A two-time NCAA All-America choice, he was also named Dartmouth's Most Valuable Player three seasons in a row, and tied for the ECAC scoring lead as a senior with 8-19—27 points in 22 conference contests.