Veteran defenseman reaching milestone

Scott Stevens is due to play his 1,616th game, passing Larry Murphy as the all-time leader for defensemen.

Updated: November 25, 2003, 1:55 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Wednesday's game between New Jersey and Anaheim will have more importance than a rematch of the Stanley Cup finals. Devils defenseman Scott Stevens is due to play his 1,616th game, passing Larry Murphy as the NHL's all-time leader for defensemen.

Making the achievement more impressive is the toll his hard-hitting, physical and often ferocious style has taken on his body. Stevens told a media conference call Thursday that his drive to improve every year has kept him going strong from his rookie season in 1982-83 until today at age 39.

"Obviously, staying in good shape and liking the game and enjoying the competition -- all those things are a factor," said Stevens, who is scheduled to tie Murphy on Tuesday night when the Devils play at the Kings. "I guess because I have always played a physical, rough game. I really don't know any better, so my body doesn't know any better. I don't know any other way, and I guess you just get used to it and you just go out year after year and keep playing."


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