Devils' captain fourth overall in games played

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- New Jersey captain Scott Stevens played his 1,616th NHL game Wednesday night, breaking Larry Murphy's record for defensemen.

Stevens set the mark against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, the team New Jersey beat last season for its third Stanley Cup title in nine years. Stevens has been in the NHL for 22 seasons, the last 13 with the Devils.

"It was nice to finally accomplish it," he said. "To do that, you have to work through some rough nights with injuries and battle through those things. Ever since I came into the league, I wanted to be there every night."

Murphy and Stevens were defensive partners with the Capitals when they were teammates for six seasons in the 1980s. Murphy retired after the 2000-01 season, having played three more games than former Boston and Colorado defenseman Ray Bourque -- who left the NHL at the same time.

The only players who have played more NHL games than Stevens are Gordie Howe (1,767), Mark Messier (1,702) and Ron Francis (1,673). Stevens has played in more regular-season victories than anyone (870).

Stevens has played 233 postseason games, also the most by a defenseman.

He wore a different jersey in each period against the Ducks. One will go to the Hockey Hall of Fame, one he will keep and the other will be auctioned off for charity.