Johan Franzen

3.4160530191413 (1358)
Posted by kaori 04/27/2009 @ 02:13

Tags : johan franzen, hockey players, hockey, sports

News headlines
Instant replay: Red Wings 5, Blackhawks 2 - Detroit Free Press
Johan Franzen scored his team-leading ninth goal at 16:38 of the second period. Seabrook fired the puck in from the blue line on a power play early in the third period, and Kris Versteeg tapped it in from the right side of the net....
Spector notes Red Wings' good line/bad line issue -
May 18, Fox Sports: Wing power: Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg: The Red Wings' experience and depth gave them the edge over the overmatched Columbus Blue Jackets and the physical Anaheim Ducks, with forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen...
Best and worst of the playoffs so far -
The Red Wings' experience and depth gave them the edge over the overmatched Columbus Blue Jackets and the physical Anaheim Ducks, with forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen standing out amongst the talented Wings crowd....
Franzen propels Wings to 1-0 series lead -
Johan Franzen amassed three points, including two assists, to lead Detroit to a 5-2 victory on Sunday against Chicago. Franzen continues to impress in post-season play, leading the Wings in scoring with nine goals and 18 points....
The Octometer - Detroit Free Press
By STEVE SCHRADER • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • May 18, 2009 Johan Franzen -- always so sure with the puck -- was a little unsure what the word "tenacity" meant when a reporter threw it at him in the postgame grilling. Tenacity?...
Big hit on Marian Hossa brings only a scare - The Detroit News
"He loves that spot, too," Red Wings center Johan Franzen said of Samuelsson. "He can hit that spot with his eyes closed. We're used to him coming up and scoring big goals, like last year in the (Stanley Cup) Finals against Pittsburgh, he had two goals...
Johan Franzen clutch for Red Wings in playoffs - The Ann Arbor News -
by Ansar Khan AP PhotoDetroit's Johan Franzen, top, celebrates his game-winning goal against Columbus on Thursday. DETROIT -- A lot of players score goals and rack up points during the regular season. The true test of a player's value is how he...
Kane, Toews silenced by Zetterberg line - Chicago Daily Herald
In addition to his goal and assist, Zetterberg's line with Johan Franzen and Dan Cleary didn't give the Hawks' top line of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Troy Brouwer a sniff for 60 minutes. Kane had no shots on goal, Toews 3 and Brouwer 1 in the...
Detroit-Chicago opener builds hope for great series -
And Duncan Keith was pick-pocketed by a swift Johan Franzen who executed a sweet wrap-around to make it 2-1. The thrill factor was made all the more remarkable by the paucity of power plays — just two for Detroit (not counting a meaningless one as time...

Henrik Zetterberg


Henrik Zetterberg (born October 9, 1980) is a Swedish professional ice hockey left winger and alternate captain currently playing for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Zetterberg started out by playing his youth league games for the Njurunda Sports Club, as did Fredrik Modin. In 2008, the club renamed their arena—until then known as Njurunda Ishall—to Modin & Zetterberg-hallen in their honor.

Zetterberg was selected by the Detroit Red Wings 210th overall in the seventh round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. Detroit was under criticism at the time for "mortgaging its future," trading away many of its earlier picks in the 1999 draft. After playing for Timrå IK of the Swedish Elitserien for the 2000–01 and 2001–02 seasons, Zetterberg came to Detroit to play in the NHL for the 2002–03 season.

Zetterberg, a highly touted rookie, did not disappoint. He made his debut against the San Jose Sharks on October 10, 2002, at the Joe Louis Arena. He played in 79 games his rookie season, scoring 22 goals and 22 assists for 44 points, leading all first-year players. Zetterberg finished the season as runner-up for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year behind St. Louis Blues defenceman Barret Jackman. In his sophomore season, Zetterberg nearly matched his rookie stats despite missing 21 games due to a broken leg suffered against the Vancouver Canucks early in the season on November 5, 2003. Due to the owners' lockout the next season, Zetterberg returned to Sweden to play for Timrå IK in 2004–05, leading the Elitserien in scoring with 50 points in 50 games.

As the NHL resumed in 2005–06, Zetterberg emerged as an NHL star and was also named an alternate captain in the absence of team captain Steve Yzerman. He enjoyed his second best statistical season in 2005–06, tallying 39 goals and 85 points, second in team-scoring to Pavel Datsyuk's 87, along with a plus/minus of +29 and a team-high 17 power play goals. That season, head coach Mike Babcock began assembling an all-Swedish starting lineup which included Zetterberg and teammates Tomas Holmström, Mikael Samuelsson, Nicklas Lidström, and Niklas Kronwall (sometimes Andreas Lilja). The combination was dubbed the "Swedish Five", a concept similar to the famed Russian Five of the Red Wings during the 1990's. All five players would also skate together at the 2006 Winter Olympics, helping Sweden to a gold medal.

With the announced retirement of Steve Yzerman during the season, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet speculated that Zetterberg might take over the captaincy for the Red Wings, but Nicklas Lidström was instead named Yzerman's successor while Zetterberg was named an alternate on the day of the Red Wings' 2006–07 season opener. That season, Zetterberg was selected for the 2007 NHL All-Star Game, but withdrew to rest an injured wrist. Later in the year, Zetterberg scored his 100th career goal against the Phoenix Coyotes on February 8, 2007, prompting Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky to comment that Zetterberg is "probably the most underrated player in the league." Nine days later, on February 17, in another game against the Coyotes, Zetterberg picked up his first career hat-trick, all power play goals, and added an assist on an empty-net goal by Jason Williams for a four-point game. He finished the campaign with 68 points in his injury-shortened 63-game season.

Zetterberg began the 2007–08 season with a 16-game point-scoring streak, breaking the record of 14 games set by former Red Wing Norm Ullman in 1960. He was voted to start for the Western Conference in the 2008 NHL All-Star Game alongside teammates Chris Osgood (who was named a starter after Roberto Luongo declined), Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk, but again did not play in the game due to back problems. Despite missing time due to injury, Zetterberg recorded a career-year with personal bests of 43 goals, 49 assists and 92 points in 75 games. He went on to add a 27 points in 22 playoff games, leading the Red Wings to the 2008 Stanley Cup championship, their 11th in team history. In game six of the Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Zetterberg scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP afterwards. His 13 playoff goals tied with teammate Johan Franzén for the Red Wings record for most in a single postseason. At the end of the season, Zetterberg was also up for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward, but finished as a runner-up to teammate Pavel Datsyuk.

In the final year of his contract in 2008–09, Zetterberg agreed to a 12-year, $73 million contract extension with the Red Wings on January 28, 2009. The deal is the longest and most lucrative in franchise history.

Zetterberg has been a consistent part of the Swedish national team, "Tre Kronor", since 2001. He has enjoyed a fair amount of success in the IIHF World Championships, winning a medal in four of the five years he has appeared in that tournament. He was one of just two non-NHLers named to the Swedish squad for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He won a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics and then again in the 2006 World Championship in Riga, playing a part in the international sweep (both Olympic and World Champion the same year). Zetterberg is one of only eight players to capture this sweep.

With the 2008 Stanley Cup championship, Zetterberg became a member of the Triple Gold Club. The term is used for an exclusive group of ice hockey players who have won Olympic gold, World Championship gold, and the Stanley Cup. Zetterberg is one of 22 members of this exclusive club, which is formally recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Zetterberg goes by the nicknames of "Zäta" (pronounced "Zaeta," which means "Z" in Swedish); and "Hank," an anglicized shortening of Henrik that is used by his Red Wings teammates. He and his fellow linemate Pavel Datsyuk have been nicknamed by commentators and the Detroit media as the "Euro Twins" and "The Pav and Hank Show." He also carries the nickname "Sasha," which he was given by Tomas Holmström to match "Pasha" Datsyuk.

His father, Göran Zetterberg, is coach of the hockey team in Njurunda, and his mom Ulla is an office supervisor.

In the summer of 2008 he became engaged to Emma Andersson, a Swedish model and TV host.

To the top

Håkan Andersson (ice hockey)

Håkan Andersson is a Swedish amateur hockey scout who currently serves as the Director of European Scouting for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has won four Stanley Cup Championships as a member of the Detroit Red Wings organization, in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008. Andersson, based in Stockholm, Sweden, scouts all over Europe including Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, and Russia.

His scouting and player evaluation, along with that of Director of Amateur Scouting Joe McDonnell and Assistant General Manager Jim Nill, has been credited by Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland as the reason for the long term success of the Red Wings, specifically the ability of the team to find talented players late in the draft.

As a talented hockey player growing up, in his pre-teen years from the age of 10-14 he played with Charles Berglund on the IFK Tumba hockey club, and continued playing hockey until the age of 19 when, after having suffered a knee injury, he began his compulsory military service in Sweden.

Sometime after his military career was over he began working as a fishing guide with Frontiers International Travel, guiding clients such as Seymour Knox, founder of the Buffalo Sabres, around the waters of Sweden, Norway, and Argentina. After joining the Red Wings he kept that job part time until the mid-1990's when scouting took over as his full-time career.

Andersson began scouting for the Wings in 1990 after being recommended to the position by Christer Rockström, who was leaving the Red Wings organization to work for the New York Rangers.

While scouting in Sweden in 1993, Andersson visited the national team selection camp for players born in 1973 in order to scout players such as Peter Forsberg and Markus Näslund, and while there noticed a young Tomas Holmström. The next year Holmström caught his attention again when Holmström's coach at the time, Niklas Wikegård, described Holmström as the best player on the team. In 1994 the Red Wings for the first time gave Andersson a draft pick, their 10th round pick, meaning he had first and final say over who would be chosen by the team in that round. Andersson chose Holmström, who has since been part of four Stanley Cup winning teams in Detroit.

It was through happenstance that Andersson discovered first Pavel Datsyuk and then Henrik Zetterberg. In 1997 he went to Moscow to scout Dmitri Kalinin, noticed Datsyuk playing for the other team, and decided he needed to see more of Datsyuk. He made the trip a second time and would have come again, but the flight he and a scout from the St. Louis Blues were on was cancelled due to a storm. The Wings drafted Datsyuk 171st overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and Andersson believes he was the only NHL scout to have seen Datsyuk play prior to the draft. The next year Andersson travelled with Nill to a tournament in Finland to scout Mattias Weinhandl. Nill was distracted, however, by "this little Zetterberg guy who always seemed to have the puck." Andersson and Nill came away with a very high opinion of Zetterberg, whom they drafted 210th overall in the 1999 entry draft, and he has matured into a superstar in the NHL. Their decisions to go with Zetterberg and Datsyuk have paid off handsomely. The two star centers were named as finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 2008, with Datsyuk winning the award, while Zetterberg set a new franchise record for most points in a post-season (27) and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the 2008 playoffs.

In 2004 Andersson took a chance and recommended the Wings draft an unheralded defensive-minded Swede center named Johan Franzén despite Franzén's age at the time (24). Franzén was big, had a heavy shot, and very good skating abilities for his size, and Andersson believed Franzén could at least be a good checking center. Andersson's expectations were exceeded in 2008 when, despite missing six games, Franzén set a new Red Wings franchise record by scoring 13 goals in a single post-season, a mark subsequently matched by Zetterberg.

Besides Holmström, Franzén, Datsyuk, Ericcson, and Zetterberg, Andersson has also been responsible for the selection by the Red Wings of Niklas Kronwall, Jiří Hudler, and Valtteri Filppula, among others. In 2008, the Red Wings' top five post-season scorers (Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Franzén, Kronwall, and Hudler) had all been scouted and recommended to the team by Andersson.

Andersson and his wife live in Stockholm where they have recently started a family. In his free time he enjoys fishing, sometimes with former clients.

To the top

2008 Stanley Cup Finals


The 2008 Stanley Cup Final determined the winner of the Stanley Cup and the champion of the National Hockey League (NHL) for the 2007–08 season. As a culmination of the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings defeated the Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins, four games to two. Henrik Zetterberg was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.

This was Pittsburgh's third appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, and its first since winning consecutive championships in 1991 and 1992. Detroit made its 23rd appearance in the championship series, and its first since winning the Cup in 2002. This was Detroit's 11th Stanley Cup title. This was also the first Cup Final between two United States-based NHL teams since 2003. The 1993 Montreal Canadiens remain the last Canadian team to have won the Cup.

The Cup Final was broadcast in Canada and some parts of the United States as part of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada in English and on RDS in French. In the United States, Versus televised games one and two, and NBC broadcast the rest of the series. In the United Kingdom, all games were aired live on Five, and on the cable sports channel NASN. The series was also broadcast by NHL Radio via Westwood One.

The Detroit Red Wings entered the Final after winning the Presidents' Trophy as the team that had the best record during the regular season. Led by forwards Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Johan Franzén, Detroit scored 55 goals in the first three rounds of the playoffs. With struggling goaltender Dominik Hasek being replaced mid-series by Chris Osgood, the Red Wings defeated their division rival Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, in six games. The team swept the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Semifinal round, and defeated the Dallas Stars in six games to win their fifth Clarence S. Campbell Bowl in franchise history.

The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the championship series after winning the Atlantic Division and earning the second-best regular season record in the Eastern Conference. The team was led by Sidney Crosby; missing 29 games throughout the regular season because of an ankle injury, the captain returned to lead the first three rounds of the playoffs in assists, and to tie for the lead in points heading into the Stanley Cup Final. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury recorded three shutouts throughout the playoffs, to lead the league in that category. Evgeni Malkin and Marian Hossa each recorded nine goals and ten assists throughout the playoffs. The Penguins swept the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a reversal of the series of the previous season when Ottawa beat Pittsburgh 4–1. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Penguins defeated division rival the New York Rangers, in five games. The team won the Prince of Wales Trophy by defeating another division rival, the Philadelphia Flyers, also in five games.

The 2008 Stanley Cup Final marked the first time that the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins have met in postseason play. The Red Wings and Penguins did not play each other during the 2007-08 regular season.

Pittsburgh's Gary Roberts and Detroit's Chris Chelios were both healthy scratches for game one. Prior to the game, a ceremonial faceoff featuring former Pittsburgh captain and current team chairman Mario Lemieux and former Detroit captain and current team vice president Steve Yzerman. Each dropped a puck to their current captains Sidney Crosby and Nicklas Lidstrom, respectively.

At 15:20 into the first period, a goal scored by Nicklas Lidstrom was waved off after Tomas Holmstrom was called for goaltender interference. The remainder of the first period went scoreless, as Pittsburgh failed to capitalize on four consecutive power plays. At 13:01 into the second period, Mikael Samuelsson gave the Red Wings the unassisted game-winning goal, on a wrap-around. Just over two minutes into the third period, Samuelsson added his second unassisted goal of the game. At 17:18 into the third period, Dan Cleary scored shorthanded to give the Red Wings a 3–0 lead. Henrik Zetterberg scored on the power-play with 13 seconds remaining. Chris Osgood recorded his second shutout of the playoffs, to give the Red Wings a 4–0 victory in game one. The Red Wings outshot the Penguins 36–19.

In preparation for game two, head coach Michel Therrien revised Pittsburgh's lines; the revision included Gary Roberts who did not play in game one. Johan Franzen, the leading goal-scorer in the playoffs, returned to the line-up for Detroit.

Detroit's Brad Stuart scored the first goal of the game 6:55 into the first period, on a slap shot, with an assist from Valtteri Filppula. Tomas Holmstrom added a goal at 11:18 into the first period, to put Detroit up 2–0. Pittsburgh struggled throughout the period, failing to get a shot on goal for the game's first twelve minutes. Detroit outshot the Penguins 11–6 in the second period, but both teams failed to score. At 8:48 into the third period, Valtteri Filppula scored his first goal of the series, beating goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with a wrist-shot. Chris Osgood recorded his second consecutive shutout, stopping all 22 shots faced.

Game three was held in Pittsburgh, where going into the matchup the Penguins had won sixteen consecutive home games. Pittsburgh continued to shuffle their lineup by replacing defenseman Kris Letang with veteran Darryl Sydor, but going back to the top line combinations from game one. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored the team's first goal of the series late in the first period, with an assist from Marian Hossa. The Penguins went up 2-0 after Crosby scored a second time, his second coming on the power-play, just 2:34 into the second period. Johan Franzen pulled the Red Wings within one, when he scored on the power-play at 14:48 of the second period. Adam Hall scored his second goal of the post season, when the Penguins winger scored at 7:18 of the third period, putting his team up 3-1. Mikael Samuelsson scored a second goal for the Red Wings, with assists from Brad Stuart and Valtteri Filppula. However, Pittsburgh's 3-2 lead held, giving the team their first victory of the series. Despite winning the game, Pittsburgh was outshot by the Red Wings for the third consecutive game by at least 10 shots.

Entering Game Four, Petr Sykora said the game was a must-win for the Penguins, "For us, basically, is a do-or-die game". Jiri Hudler's game-winning goal at 2:26 of the third period broke a 1–1 tie, and the Red Wings killed off a Penguins 1:26 5-on-3 advantage midway through the final period to help preserve the victory, thanks in large part to a terrific defensive play by Henrik Zetterberg on Sidney Crosby, preventing what would have been a tap-in goal when he tied up Crosby's stick at the front of the net. Pittsburgh scored first on Marian Hossa's power play goal 2:51 into the game before Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game at 7:06 of the first period.

Pittsburgh's Marian Hossa scored the first goal of the game at 8:37 into the first period. Teammate Adam Hall added his second goal of the series at 14:41 of the first period, giving the Penguins a 2–0 lead. Detroit then scored three consecutive goals—by Darren Helm, Pavel Datsyuk, and Brian Rafalski—to gain the lead. After Pittsburgh pulled its goalie with less than one minute remaining in regulation, Maxime Talbot scored with 34.3 seconds remaining to tie the game and force overtime. The goal marked only the second time in NHL history that a team avoided elimination in the Final by scoring in the last minute of the third period. The first two overtime periods were scoreless, and the game went into the third overtime with Detroit killing two consecutive penalties, and Pittsburgh killing one. At the 9:21 mark, Pittsburgh's Petr Sykora scored the game-winning goal on another power-play, forcing the series back to Pittsburgh for game six. The goal was assisted by defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who was playing his first shift in forty minutes as a result of an injury, and Evgeni Malkin, who got his first point of the Final. Pittsburgh became the first team in modern NHL history to have three overtime power-plays in the Final. Goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Chris Osgood stopped 55 and 28 shots, respectively. The triple overtime game was the fifth-longest in Stanley Cup Final history.

Pittsburgh's Ryan Malone was scheduled to have X-rays on June 3, after being hit in the face with the puck in game five, but was expected to play.

The Red Wings took a 2–0 lead in the second period in game six en route to a 3–2 victory to clinch the Stanley Cup. Brian Rafalski scored a power play goal at 5:03 in the first period before Valtteri Filppula extended the lead with a goal at 8:07 in the second. The Penguins had an opportunity to get their first goal later in the first period, with a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:33, but could not convert. Pittsburgh finally cut the lead at 15:26 of the second period with Evgeni Malkin's power play goal. However, a third period shot by Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg squeezed through the legs of Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who, after noticing he was not covering the puck, fell backwards and accidentally knocked the puck across the goal line for the Red Wings' third goal. Marian Hossa scored a power play goal at 18:33 of the third period to cut the lead to 3–2, but the Penguins, despite a shot by Sidney Crosby and shot off rebound by Hossa in the final seconds, could not tie the game before time ran out. Lidstrom became the first European-born Stanley Cup captain.

Game one of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals had a 1.8 rating in the United States, drawing 2.3 million viewers. The rating was a 157% increase over the previous Playoff Finals opener, and a 100% rise from two years previous. Game two had a 1.9 rating, drawing 2.5 million viewers. It was the highest-rated and most-watched cable telecast of the finals in six years in the United States. The rating was the highest for an NHL game on Versus and the second highest rating for a Versus broadcast ever only to Lance Armstrong's seventh straight Tour de France victory in 2005 (2.1). Game three drew a 2.8 rating, representing an 87% increase over the previous year's game three. In Detroit, game three drew higher ratings (18.2) than game five of the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Detroit Pistons and the Boston Celtics (15.9). Game four earned a 2.3 rating, up 21% over the previous year's game four. Game five drew a 4.3 rating, representing a 79% increase from the previous year's game five. It drew the highest ratings for a game five since 2002. Game six had a 4.4 rating, the best performance in a game six since 2000. It was a 100% increase over game six of 2006 and was the highest rated game for NBC since they reacquired the NHL broadcasting rights in 2004.

Years indicated in boldface under the "Finals appearance" column signify that the player won the Stanley Cup in the given year.

To the top

2008 Stanley Cup playoffs

Official logo for the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

The 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs of the National Hockey League began on April 9, 2008, after the 2007–08 regular season. The sixteen teams that qualified, eight from each conference, played best-of-7 series for conference quarterfinals, semifinals and championships, and then the conference champions played a best-of-7 series for the Stanley Cup.

The Finals ended on June 4, 2008, with the Detroit Red Wings defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins four games to two to win their eleventh championship and their fourth in eleven seasons. It was the first championship in the 16 year career of Red Wings winger Dallas Drake, who retired following the season. Red Wings winger Henrik Zetterberg was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff's Most Valuable Player.

The San Jose Sharks were the media's favorite to win the cup going into the play-offs, having gone the entire month of March without a regulation loss and nearly finishing first overall during the regular season.

In game one of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Minnesota Wild, captain Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche extended his record for playoff overtime goals to 8, with a goal 11:11 into overtime. Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings appeared in his 248th career playoff game, passing Patrick Roy for most career playoff games of all-time.

In game two of the Western Conference Semifinals in San Jose, Dallas Stars' center Brad Richards tied an NHL record for most points in one period of a playoff game, when he recorded one goal and three assists in the third period.

In the Western Conference Semifinals against the Colorado Avalanche, Johan Franzen set a Detroit Red Wings record for most goals in a playoff series with 9, beating the previous record of 8 set by Gordie Howe in 1949. Franzen achieved this feat in only four games, while Howe achieved it in seven.

Game six of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Sharks and Stars was the eighth longest game in the history of the NHL, lasting 129:03. Stars' captain Brenden Morrow ended the game at 9:03 of the fourth overtime tapping in a power play goal. Goalies Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov set team records for saves in a game with 61 and 53 respectively. The final score was 2–1.

Nicklas Lidstrom became the first team captain born and trained in Europe whose team won the Stanley Cup. Charlie Gardiner (born in Scotland) and Johnny Gottselig (born in Russia) both won the Stanley Cup as captains of the Chicago Black Hawks (in 1934 and 1938, respectively), but they were both raised in Canada.

In game three of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, while on a 5-on-3 powerplay, the New York Rangers' Sean Avery tried to screen the New Jersey Devils' goaltender Martin Brodeur by waving his hands and stick while facing Brodeur. This prompted the NHL to issue an interpretation of the league's rules, stating that an unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty will be called on actions such as the one used by Avery.

After the 2007–08 NHL regular season, the standard of 16 teams qualified for the playoffs. The Detroit Red Wings were the Western Conference regular season champions and were also the Presidents' Trophy winners with the best record at 115 points. The Montreal Canadiens earned the Eastern Conference regular season crown with 104 points.

In each round, the highest remaining seed in each conference is matched against the lowest remaining seed. The higher-seeded team is awarded home ice advantage, which gives them a possible maximum of four games on their home ice, with the lower-seeded team getting a possible maximum of three. In the Stanley Cup Finals, home ice is determined based on regular season points; thus, the Detroit Red Wings had home ice advantage throughout the playoffs, including in the Finals. Each best-of-seven series follows a 2–2–1–1–1 format. This means that the higher-seeded team will have home ice for Games 1 and 2, and if necessary, Games 5 and 7, while the lower-seeded team will have home ice for Games 3, 4, and, if necessary, Game 6.

These are the top ten skaters based on points.

These are the top five goaltenders based on either goals against average or save percentage with at least four games played.

Going into the playoffs, expectations were high for the Montreal Canadiens, since they had won all eight games against the Boston Bruins during the 2007–08 season and the last three games of the previous season. Additionally, Montreal ended the regular season going 8–1–1 while Boston had a mediocre finish with 4–2–4. One potential disadvantage for Montreal was the inexperience of their young goaltenders: Carey Price, age 20, had only played 41 NHL games, and Jaroslav Halak, age 23, had only played 16 NHL games. Neither Price nor Halák had any NHL playoff experience. However, Boston's Tim Thomas had only played 165 career NHL games, and he also had no NHL playoff experience.

A strong performance in Game 1 reinforced the idea of a quick win for Montreal. The Bruins also lost Game 2 but demonstrated strong play throughout the game, culminating in two third period goals to take the game into overtime, where they quickly lost.

Boston won Game 3 in overtime, ending the 13-game winning streak that Montreal had accumulated against the Bruins. The tight competition continued into Game 4, with Canadiens goaltender Carey Price notching his first playoff shutout in a 1–0 win.

After two periods in Game 5, with the score 1–1, the game looked as though it would be another close battle. However, a mishandling of the puck by Carey Price early in the third period resulted in a goal for Glen Metropolit; this ended up being a turning point in the game; Boston followed up with three more goals in the period to win 5–1. The Bruins also won Game 6 in a high scoring match to tie the series at 3–3.

In Game 7, Montreal rebounded from the lackluster performances of its previous games and won with a dominant and convincing 5–0 win, resulting in Price's second career playoff shutout.

The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the playoffs as the second overall seed in the Eastern Conference, having clinched the Atlantic Division title with 102 points. Meanwhile, the Senators limped into the playoffs as the seventh seed, with key players out with injuries, including captain Daniel Alfredsson who missed the first two games.

The Penguins dominated the Senators in Game 1, winning by a score of 4-0. The Penguins then held on for a 5-3 win in Game 2, taking a 2-0 series advantage. The Senators were hoping to gain momentum when the series shifted to Ottawa for Games 3 and 4, but the Penguins would not relent. Sidney Crosby's goal in the opening seconds of the third period of Game 3 broke a 1-1 tie, and Pittsburgh eventually won 4-1, and then completed the series sweep in Game 4 with a 3-1 win. Sidney Crosby led the Penguins with 8 points (2 goals and 6 assists).

The Washington Capitals made a late season surge that helped them clinch first place in the Southeast Division, and third overall spot in the Eastern Conference while the Philadelphia Flyers returned to the playoffs after finishing last in the league the previous season.

The Capitals were victorious in Game 1 thanks to the game winning goal being scored by Alexander Ovechkin, but the Flyers won three straight games to take a 3-1 lead in the series, including 4-3 Game 3 victory in double overtime thanks to Mike Knuble. But Washington was able to win the next two games to force a Game 7. Joffrey Lupul scored a power play goal in overtime of Game 7 to advance the Philadelphia Flyers to the next playoff round.

Tension was high in this series, as the Rangers won 7 of the 8 games against the Devils during the regular season. The New York Rangers mostly dominated the New Jersey Devils in the opening round, becoming the first team to win on New Jersey's home ice three times in a playoff series. The Devils' only win was an overtime victory in Game 3 with a goal by John Madden. In Game 3, the Rangers' Sean Avery tried to screen New Jersey's goaltender Martin Brodeur by waving his hands and stick while facing Brodeur. This prompted the NHL to issue an interpretation of the league's rules, stating that an unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty will be called on actions such as the one used by Avery. The Rangers won the next two games, each by a score of 5-3 to move on to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

The Detroit Red Wings began the playoffs as the President's Trophy winners as the highest seed in the NHL, while the Nashville Predators had battled for a playoff spot, clinching a spot in the final days of the regular season. It was the second-ever playoff matchup between the two teams, with the Red Wings winning the first in 2004 in six games.

The Red Wings won each of the first two games at home 3-1 and 4-2 respectively, but when the series shifted to Nashville for Games 3 and 4, the Predators battled back to tie the series at two games apiece. Jason Arnott scored the winning goal in Game 3, with Greg de Vries scoring the winner in Game 4. The turning point in the series came when Red Wings starting goaltender Dominik Hasek was replaced by Chris Osgood in the middle of Game 4. Osgood was then named the starter for the remainder of the series. Detroit won Game 5 thanks to an overtime goal from Johan Franzen, and then shut out the Predators 3-0 in Game 6 in Nashville to take the series in six games, advancing to the second round.

San Jose came into the series as Stanley Cup favorites and the hottest team in the NHL, while the Flames were considered the underdogs. Calgary won Game 1 in San Jose, thanks to two goals by Stephane Yelle and two assists from Jarome Iginla, before San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov recorded a shutout in Game 2 to help the Sharks tie the series. The Flames then rallied from a three-goal deficit to earn a Game 3 victory thanks to backup goaltender Curtis Joseph's strong performance in relief of Miikka Kiprusoff, and appeared to be on their way to a Game 4 win as well, but the Sharks scored two goals late in the third period to win the game and tie the series. San Jose jumped again to a three-goal lead and held off a Calgary comeback in Game 5, but Miikka Kiprusoff recorded his own shutout in Game 6 to force a deciding Game 7 as the Flames won, 2-0. Unfortunately for the Flames, veteran Jeremy Roenick had something to prove in these playoffs and exploded in game 7, scoring 2 goals to go along with 2 assists as the Sharks won 5-3; Roenick was named the game's first Star. Curtis Joseph made his second appearance in the series, once again relieving Kiprusoff. Jarome Iginla and the Flames failed to get past the first round for the third time in three years after playing in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004.

The first three games of the conference quarterfinals series between the Minnesota Wild and the Colorado Avalanche each ended with 3–2 scores in overtime, with the Avalanche taking the first game and the Wild winning the next two. But five different Colorado players scored goals in Game 4 to give them the win. Then Wojtek Wolski and Paul Stastny scored less than 80 seconds apart in the third period of Game 5 to win it for the Avs. Colorado then captured the series in Game 6, aided by Jose Theodore's 34 saves out of 35 shots.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks came into the 2008 playoffs finishing second in the Pacific Division behind the San Jose Sharks, and they were slotted as the fourth seed in the West facing the fifth seeded Dallas Stars in the opening round. Despite winning five of eight games against the Ducks during the regular season, the Stars had lost their last two matchups and only collected six total points in the month of March (out of a possible 22 points). Consequently, the defending champions were heavy favorites against the Stars, who had not made it out of the first round in over five years.

Dallas stunned the undisciplined Ducks, posting a 4–0 shutout in Game 1, with all four goals coming on the powerplay. Anaheim went into in Game 2 with a much more focused attack but could only manage a 2–2 tie after two periods. Dallas then took control of the series, getting three goals in the third period.

The series shifted to Dallas with the Stars having a 2–0 series lead. In Game 3, the Ducks avoided a 3–0 deficit by taking control early in the game and jumping out to a 4–0 lead, with two goals coming from Ducks captain Chris Pronger. Anaheim won the game, 4–2. Anaheim's leading goal scorer in the regular season, Corey Perry, returned from injury in Game 4. However, the Ducks could not keep up with the Stars' home-ice advantage, and scored their only goal of the game with eight seconds left. Dallas won the game 3–1 and took a commanding 3–1 series lead.

Game 5 returned to Anaheim—where the Stars had already won the first two games of the series—as the Ducks attempted to avoid elimination. The Stars kept it close, but the Ducks took control late in the game, getting their first contributions of the series from Perry. The Ducks won 5–2 to send the series back to Dallas. In Dallas, the Ducks struck first, getting another goal from Perry, but the Stars scored four goals in the third period with defenseman Stephane Robidas scoring a goal and then setting up Stu Barnes for the game winner just one minute later to give the Stars the series win.

The Philadelphia Flyers won four consecutive games to eliminate the Eastern Conference top seeded Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens took Game 1 with Tom Kostopoulos's goal in overtime, but then had a hard time getting past Flyers goaltender Martin Biron for the rest of the series. Montreal goaltender Carey Price started to struggle with the Flyers, and was replaced by Jaroslav Halak late in Game 3. Price regained his starting job in Game 5, and the Canadians jumped to a 3–1 lead early in the second period, but the Flyers scored three consecutive goals en route to a 6–4 series clinching victory.

The semifinal matchup, between two Atlantic Division rivals, began on April 25. After overcoming a 3–0 deficit midway through the second period, the Penguins took the lead with 1:41 remaining, and held on to win the game 5–4. In Game Two Penguins' goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots to achieve his second shutout of the playoffs; the Penguins won the game 2–0 to take a 2–0 lead in the series. Game Three shifted the series to New York, where the Rangers were undefeated against the Penguins during the regular season. Martin Straka scored his second goal of the series to tie the game at one, in the first period. But in late in the second Evgeni Malkin netted his second game-winning goal of the series to give the Penguins a 3–0 lead in the series. Facing elimination in Game Four, Rangers' goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 29 shots that he faced, and Jaromir Jagr scored twice as New York shutout the Penguins, 3–0. Game Five was played in Pittsburgh, after falling to a 2–0 deficit the Rangers battled back to tie the game, which was forced into overtime. Pittsburgh's Marian Hossa, scored his fourth goal of the series, at the 7:10 mark of the first overtime, to win the series for the Penguins. The Penguins went on to play another division rival, the Philadelphia Flyers, for the Eastern Conference championship.

The Red Wings and Avalanche met for the sixth time in the playoffs, with the winner of the series later winning the Stanley Cup 3 times. Once bitter rivals, this series proved to be no contest as the Red Wings scored 21 total goals in four games to sweep the Avalanche, the first ever sweep in the two teams playoff matchups against each other. Detroit's Johan Franzen scored 9 goals, including two hat tricks, breaking the franchise record for goals in a playoff series, and also scoring as many goals as the entire Avalanche team. Meanwhile, Colorado was depleted with several key players out with injuries, including Peter Forsberg (who played 1 game in the series), Ryan Smyth, Paul Stastny, and Wojtek Wolski.

Dallas opened the series having not lost in regulation to the Sharks in San Jose since 2006, however, as in the Anaheim series, the Stars were seeded lower than the Sharks, who had home ice advantage.

Game 1 went to overtime after a late goal by Jonathan Cheechoo which tied the game, but Dallas captain Brenden Morrow scored in overtime to finish the game at 3–2. In Game 2, defenceman Sergei Zubov returned from a hernia injury that had kept him out since January. Stars' center Brad Richards keyed a four goal outburst in the third period for Dallas, scoring a goal and three assists to lead The Stars to a 5–2 win. The Stars became only the fifth team in NHL history to win games 1 and 2 on the road in back to back series in the playoffs. In Game 3 in Dallas, the Stars won again in overtime on a rare goal from defenceman Mattias Norstrom.

With the Stars leading the Sharks 3–0 in the series, San Jose fought off elimination with third period goals from Patrick Marleau and Milan Michalek in Game 4. San Jose came back home for Game 5. Dallas took a two goal lead into the third period, however, the Sharks tied the game with goals by Michalek and Brian Campbell. Overtime was needed for the third time in five games, but just 1:05 into the first overtime, San Jose center Joe Pavelski converted a turnover to keep the Sharks alive in the playoffs down 3–2. Brenden Morrow had two goals disallowed in the game for illegally kicking the puck into the net and bunting one in with his hand.

In Game 6, Stars right wing Antti Miettinen opened the scoring in the second period off a rebound from Mike Modano. Minutes into the third period, San Jose winger Ryane Clowe tied the game on an odd shot from the halfboards. Replay showed the puck appeared to have been played with an illegal hand pass. Stars goaltender Marty Turco protested, but no official review took place, and the goal was allowed to stand. The game required overtime for the fourth time in the series. The game played on until the early hours of the morning and featured a fantastic goaltending duel between Turco and Sharks' goalie Evgeni Nabokov, each trading spectacular saves throughout all four overtimes. Just past the 9:00 mark of the fourth overtime, with Brian Campbell in the Sharks' penalty box for tripping, Brenden Morrow tipped home a pass from defenceman Stephane Robidas to end the eighth longest game in NHL history and win the series for the Stars 4–2. Goaltenders Turco and Nabokov set team records for saves in a game with 61 and 53 respectively.

The Eastern Conference finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers began on May 9. Game One was tied with seven seconds remaining in the first period when Evgeni Malkin scored to give the Penguins a 3–2 lead. Malkin scored the first shorthanded goal of his career in the second to give the Penguins a 4–2 win and a 1–0 series lead. With less than a minute left in the second period, of Game Two, Mike Richards scored his third goal of the series to tie the game at two. But Maxime Talbot and Jordan Staal added goals for the Penguins to give them their second consecutive 4–2 victory. The series shifted to Philadelphia for Game Three, where the Penguins struggled in the regular season. R. J. Umberger scored half-way through the first period to pull the Flyers within one goal, but the Flyers failed to score again. After getting two more goals in the third the Penguins won the game 4–1, to gain a 3–0 series lead. Facing elimination in Game Four, the Flyers jumped out to a 3–0 lead in the first period. Penguins' Jordan Staal scored twice in the third period, but Joffery Lupul tallied his second goal of the game to win the game for the Flyers, 4–2. With the series returning to Pittsburgh, the Penguins won their eighth consecutive home game to win the Prince of Wales Trophy, by a final score of 6–0.

The Red Wings and Stars met in the playoffs for the first time since the 1998 Western Conference Finals. Detroit took a 1-0 series lead in Game 1, winning 4-1, with Red Wings winger Johan Franzen scored his league leading 12th playoff goal. The Red Wings won Game 2 by a 2-1 margin; rookie Darren Helm scored his first career playoff goal. A scrum followed the game, originating when Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood's stick struck Stars center Mike Ribeiro, who retaliated with a two handed slash to Osgood's chest; no suspensions were given.

The Red Wings dominated the Stars in Game 3 in Dallas, winning 5-2. Winger Pavel Datsyuk recorded a hat trick for the Red Wings, while Osgood stopped 16 shots for the win. But the Stars would avoid elimination in Game 4, winning 3-1. Back in Detroit for Game 5, Stars goaltender Marty Turco stopped 38 shots as the Stars won, 2-1. It was Turco's first ever win at Joe Louis Arena at the professional level. But the Red Wings would return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2002, winning Game 6 by a score of 4-1.

The 2008 Stanley Cup Final was won by the Detroit Red Wings over the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. The series was broadcast in Canada by CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. In Quebec, RDS televised the series. In the United States, Versus televised Games 1 and 2, while NBC broadcast the remainder. In the United Kingdom, all games were shown on Five.

To the top

2009 Stanley Cup playoffs

Logo for 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs

The 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs of the National Hockey League began on April 15, 2009, after the 2008-09 regular season. The sixteen teams that qualify, eight from each conference (the winner of each of the three divisions plus the 5 teams with highest point totals from the teams remaining), play best-of-7 series for conference quarterfinals, semifinals and championships, and then the conference champions will play a best-of-7 series for the Stanley Cup.

After the 2008–09 NHL regular season, the standard of 16 teams qualified for the playoffs. The San Jose Sharks were the Western Conference regular season champions and were also the Presidents' Trophy winners with the best record at 117 points. The Boston Bruins earned the Eastern Conference regular season crown with 116 points. Division champions maintain their relative ranking during the entire playoffs while the remaining teams get reseeded below them after each round.

After the first round, all teams are re-seeded.

These are the top ten skaters based on points.

This is a combined table of the top five goaltenders based on goals against average and the top five goaltenders based on save percentage with at least four games played.

All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−4). Dates and times typeset in italics indicate games that will only be played if neither team has won 4 out of the 7 games by that point.

The Boston Bruins entered the playoffs after finishing the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference with 116 points. On the other hand, the Montreal Canadiens barely qualified for the postseason as the eighth seed with 93 points, winning the tiebreaker over the Florida Panthers based on the season series (6 points to 3).

Boston ended up sweeping Montreal, 4 games to 0, scoring at least four goals in each win. With the score tied 2–2 entering the third period of Game 1, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara scored a power play goal at 11:15 and Phil Kessel the added an empty net score in the closing seconds to clinch the victory. Boston then scored three power play goals en route to a 5–1 victory in Game 2. Game 3 resembled Game 1 in that both teams fought to a 2–2 midway through the game, but like the first contest the Bruins scored the go-ahead winning goal again, this time it was Michael Ryder at 17:21 in the second period. Boston then went on to dominate Game 4, 4–1, to win the series.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers both qualified for the playoffs as the fourth and fifth seeds in the Eastern Conference, respectively. Both finished the regular season with 99 points, but the Penguins won the tiebreaker based on total wins (45 to 44).

Pittsburgh won the series over Philadelphia, four games to two. Sidney Crosby scored a power play goal early in the first period of Game 1, sparking the Penguins to a 4–1 win. Then in Game 2, Bill Guerin scored two goals including the game-winner during a power play at 18:29 in overtime to give Pittsburgh a 3–2 victory. The Flyers bounced back in Game 3 with a 6–3 victory. But goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 45 shots and helped kill off nine Philadelphia power plays to give Pittsburgh a 3–1 win in Game 4. Not to be outdone, goaltender Martin Biron stopped all 28 Penguins to give the Flyers a 3–0 shotout victory in Game 5. Then in Game 6, Philadelphia jumped to a 3–0 lead in the second period and appeared to be on their way to force a Game 7, but Pittsburgh erupted to score five unanswered goals, including two by Crosby, to win the game and the series.

The Detroit Red Wings entered the playoffs as the second overall seed in the Western Conference, having clinched the Central Division title with 112 points. Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, clinching the seventh seed with 92 points but losing the tiebreaker over the St. Louis Blues with 3 points head-to-head versus 10.

The Red Wings ended up sweeping the Blue Jackets, 4 games to 0. Detroit scored four goals in each of the first three games of the series, while goaltender Chris Osgood only allowed two total goals out of 78 Columbus shots, including a shutout victory in Game 2.

Game 4 proved to be the most competitive contest of the series. Nicklas Lidstrom scored a power play goal early in the first period to give the Red Wings an early lead before Kristian Huselius tied the score about three minutes later on a power play goal of his own. Tomas Holmstrom and Dan Cleary then scored to give Detroit a 3–1 lead before the end of the opening period. Columbus fought to tie the score again at 5:38 of the second period with goals by Rick Nash and R.J. Umberger, but the Red Wings Marian Hossa answered with two consecutive goals to give his team a two goal lead again. The Blue Jackets then rallied to tie the score, 5–5, by the closing minutes of the second period with scores by Kris Russell and Fredrik Modin. The third period remained scoreless until the closing minutes of regulation. With less than two minutes left, the Blue Jackets were called for too many men on the ice, which enabled Johan Franzen to score the series winning power play goal with :46.6 remaining.

The Vancouver Canucks entered the playoffs as the third overall seed in the Western Conference, having clinched the Northwest Division title with 100 points. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2004, clinching the sixth seed with 92 points and winning the tiebreaker over the Columbus Blue Jackets with 10 points head-to-head versus 3.

Vancouver ended up sweeping St. Louis, 4 games to 0, their first sweep of a best-of-7 series in franchise history, to move on to the second round. The Canucks held off the Blues in Game 1, winning 2–1 by killing off a Blues 5-on-3 power play midway through the first period. Vancouver then shutout St. Louis in Game 2, 3–0, with goaltender Roberto Luongo stopping all 30 Blues shots. The Blues were hoping to gain momentum when the series shifted to St. Louis for Game 3, but Vancouver held on to a 3–2 win off of 3 power play goals, two of which were scored within 2:21 apart in the second period. Alexandre Burrows then scored with 18.9 seconds left in the first overtime period of Game 4 to give the Canucks a 3-2 victory and the four-game sweep.

In the United States, NBC will broadcast the first two and final three games of the Final, while Versus will broadcast games three and four. In Canada, all games of the Finals will be broadcast in English on the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada and in French on the cable network RDS.

The CBC will have a new broadcast team calling the Final with Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson.

To the top

2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Official Logo for the 2007 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

The 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs of the National Hockey League began on April 11, 2007. The sixteen teams that qualified, eight from each conference, played best-of-7 series for conference quarterfinals, semifinals and championships, and then the conference champions played a best-of-7 series for the Stanley Cup. The series ended on June 6, 2007, with the Anaheim Ducks defeating the Ottawa Senators four games to one to win their first ever championship. For the first time in NHL history, neither of the two teams that played in the previous year's Stanley Cup Finals (the Carolina Hurricanes and the Edmonton Oilers) qualified for the playoffs. For the first time since 1999, neither of the two Stanley Cup finalists (the Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa Senators) had previously won the Cup.

Detroit Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios made his 22nd post-season appearance, breaking the record for most post-season appearances. The New York Rangers set a new post-season franchise record this year by defeating the Atlanta Thrashers 7–0 on April 17. Over the years, the championship round of the playoffs has been variously referred to as the "Stanley Cup Championship," "Stanley Cup Finals," and "Stanley Cup Final," among others. "Stanley Cup Final" has gained official currency with the NHL and its broadcast partners. Other sources continue to use the name "Stanley Cup Finals" and many use both.

After the 2006–07 NHL season, the standard of 16 teams qualified for the playoffs. The Buffalo Sabres were the Eastern Conference regular season champions and were also the Presidents' Trophy winners with the best record at 113 points (53 wins, 22 regulation losses, 7 overtime/shootout losses). The Detroit Red Wings earned the Western Conference regular season crown with 113 points (50 wins, 19 regulation loses, 13 overtime/shootout losses).

In each round, the highest remaining seed in each conference is matched against the lowest remaining seed. The higher-seeded team is awarded home ice advantage, which gives them a maximum possible four games on their home ice, with the other team getting a maximum possible three. In the Stanley Cup Final, home ice is determined based on regular season points, giving the Anaheim Ducks home ice for this year's series. Each best-of-seven series follows a 2–2–1–1–1 format. This means that the higher-seeded team will have Games 1 and 2, plus 5 and 7 if necessary, played on their home ice, while the lower-seeded team will be at home for the other games. The format ensures that the team with home ice advantage will always have home ice for the "extra" game if there are an odd number of games in a series.

These are the top five goaltenders based on either goals against average or save percentage with at least four games played.

The high scoring Buffalo Sabres had completed one of their best regular seasons ever, having won the President's Trophy, awarded to the team amassing the most points in the regular season, with 113 points.

After qualifying for the Eastern Conference Finals in 1993, the Islanders had failed to win a playoff series since then. After a miserable 2005–06 season, the team hired former Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan. Under him the team posted a 92 point season in 2006–07. It was on the final day of the regular season that they clinched a playoff spot with a shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Game 1 went to Buffalo, but in Game 2 the Islanders beat the Sabres 3–2. However that win was overshadowed by Buffalo winning the next three games to clinch the series and move on to Round 2.

In the spring of 2003, the Devils and Lightning met up in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, which the Devils won in 5 games in the First series between the two teams. The Devils and Lightning met again in 2007. However, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello, with 3 games remaining in the regular season, fired head coach Claude Julien so that he could coach the team going into the playoffs.

The Devils and Lightning split the first 2 games in New Jersey. The Lightning were able to win Game 3 to take a series lead, but Devils center Scott Gomez scored the overtime goal in Game 4 to tie the series at 2 games. The Devils then went on to win the next two games to take the series 4 games to 2.

The Thrashers qualified for the playoffs in 2006–07, their first ever trip to the postseason. General manager Don Waddell arranged several trade deadline deals that brought winger Keith Tkachuk and defenceman Alexei Zhitnik to Atlanta from the St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers, respectively. This new veteran leadership helped to propel the young Thrashers into the playoffs. For the Rangers, this was the second straight season in which they qualified for the playoffs after several years of not qualifying, having been swept in four games the season earlier by the Devils.

The Detroit Red Wings tied the Buffalo Sabres for most points in the regular season with 113, but because Buffalo had more victories, Detroit narrowly missed out on winning their third consecutive President's Trophy as the NHL's best regular season team, while the Calgary Flames barely qualified for the playoffs as the number 8 seed with 96 points, 1 point ahead of the ninth place Colorado Avalanche. The Red Wings and Flames met in the 2004 Western Conference semifinals in which the Flames won in 6 games, eventually losing in 7 games of the Finals that year. The Red Wings were looking to silence their postseason critics and advance to the second round after having lost as the number one seed a year earlier to the eighth seed Edmonton Oilers, who also lost in Game 7 of the Finals. The Flames had also been bounced out of the first round the previous season. The Red Wings made several moves at the trade deadline, acquiring Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder while trading away Jason Williams. The Flames made several moves during the regular season as well, trading away Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew to the Boston Bruins for Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau, as well as re-acquiring Craig Conroy.

In Game 1, the Red Wings dominated the Flames 4–1, in which Red Wings centre Pavel Datsyuk scored his first playoff goal since Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. Pavel Datsyuk scored again just over a minute into Game 2, which the Red Wings won 3–1 to take a 2–0 series lead. But the Flames won both Games 3 and 4 by a 3–2 score, tying the series at 2. In Game 5, the Flames were assessed with several penalties for stick-related infractions during a 5–1 loss, giving Detroit a 3–2 series lead. Most notably, backup goalie Jamie McLennan slashed Red Wings forward Johan Franzen in the stomach only 18 seconds after relieving Mikka Kiprusoff. McLennan was immediately ejected from the game, causing Kiprusoff to return to the net; McLennan was later suspended five games. Flames coach Jim Playfair and the Flames organization were also fined. The Red Wings then eliminated the Flames the next night in Calgary when the game winning double overtime goal was scored, coincidentally, by Johan Franzen. The Red Wings moved on to Round 2 for the first time since 2004.

The Anaheim Ducks had won their division for the first time in franchise history with a franchise best 110 points. It was also the first time they had qualified for the playoffs in back to back years. The Minnesota Wild, only making their second playoff appearance, needed to face the team that had eliminated them in the Conference Final back in 2003.

Game 1 of the series began at the Honda Center. Ducks back-up goalie Ilya Bryzgalov began the series while starter Jean-Sebastien Giguere tended to his newborn son. Pavol Demitra opened the scoring for Minnesota. Teemu Selanne tied the game on a breakaway, and Dustin Penner scored the game winner late in the third. Game 2 was another close game, but the Ducks pulled out a 3–2 win to take a 2–0 series lead at home.

The series shifted to the Xcel Energy Centre for Game 3. Once again, the Ducks proved to be the more superior team as they netted goals from Andy McDonald and Rob Niedermayer. Petteri Nummelin gave the Wild a goal in the last minute of play, but the Ducks held on for a 2–1 win. In Game 4, Chris Pronger opened the scoring for the Ducks. However the Wild took over the game halfway through the second period and managed a 4–1 win to keep the series going. Going back to Honda Centre for Game 5, Giguere returned to the net and crushed the Wild's hopes by allowing one shot passed him. The Ducks won the game 4–1 and eliminated the Wild.

The Vancouver Canucks returned to the playoffs after a disappointing 2005–06 season. They had been considered underdogs from the start of the season but ended the season with 105 points, the best in franchise history. This gave them the division championship and a top seed against their first round opponent the Dallas Stars, who had finished with one more point than the Canucks.

Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo made his first playoff appearance in Game 1 at General Motors Place. After giving up the lead three times in regulation, Henrik Sedin won the game when he converted a pass from his brother Daniel at the 18:06 mark of the fourth overtime. It was the longest game the Canucks ever played, and the sixth longest playoff game in NHL history. Luongo stopped 72 of 76 shots in the 5–4 victory. The Stars opened Game 2 with a goal just 24 seconds in, and the Canucks were not able to recover as Dallas goaltender Marty Turco shut them out 2–0. After earning a split in Vancouver, the Stars returned home to American Airlines Arena for Game 3. Once again, the Stars came out with the opening goal scored by Stu Barnes. The Canucks tied the game on a Jan Bulis goal in the third period to send the game to overtime. The Canucks finished the Stars quickly this time as Taylor Pyatt scored the game winner 7:47 into the first overtime for a 2–1 win.

Game 4 remained scoreless into the third period. In the end, the Canucks pulled out another 2–1 victory thanks to goals from Mattias Ohlund and Trevor Linden. Back at General Motors Place for Game 5, both Luongo and Turco pushed aside every shot in regulation, and for the third time in the series, an overtime was needed. At 6:22 mark of the first overtime, Stars captain Brenden Morrow tipped the winner in off a Sergei Zubov shot for a 1–0 victory to send the series back to Dallas. In Game 6, the Stars pulled out a 2–0 win to force a seventh game in Vancouver. Marty Turco recorded his third shutout of the series.

Back in Vancouver for Game 7, the Stars dominated the first period and came out with a 1–0 lead. In the second period, Henrik Sedin put the Canucks on the board. It was the Canucks first goal in three games and their first at home since Game 1. From there on, the Canucks took over the game. Trevor Linden scored the game winner 7:00 into the third. Two empty net goals gave the Canucks a 4–1 win as well as a series win.

The Nashville Predators made the playoffs for the third straight year. Their first round opponent was the San Jose Sharks who had eliminated the Predators in five games the year before. The seedings for both teams were the same as the year before, and once again Nashville received home ice advantage.

Game 1 was an evenly matched game. Both Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov and Predators goalie Tomas Vokoun were well matched. A goal by Matt Carle put the Sharks on the board in the first period. Nashville netted goals from Alexander Radulov and Jean-Pierre Dumont early in the second, but the Sharks responded with three goals to take a 4–2 lead into the third. The Predators tied the game late in the third as Radulov and Dumont each scored a second goal. Patrick Rissmiller won the game for the Sharks 8:14 into the second overtime.

In Game 2, after the Sharks opened the scoring, the Predators went on a scoring spree and ended up winning the game 5–2. At San Jose's HP Pavilion for Game 3, the Predators were considered a big underdog. In five road playoff games in the past, they had yet to win one. The Sharks came out with the greater energy and took the game 3–1. Game 4 was a "must win" for the Predators. However the Sharks once again came out with the greater energy. Even though the Predators capitalized on a late rush, the Sharks held on for 3–2 win and took a commanding 3–1 series lead back to Nashville. In Game 5, the Predators and Sharks exchanged two goals. Late in the third, Sharks captain Patrick Marleau scored the winner to eliminate the Predators for the second year in a row.

The high-scoring Buffalo Sabres met the surprising New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals with the two teams coming off first round victories. The Rangers defeated the higher seeded Atlanta Thrashers in stunning fashion, sweeping the third seed on the heels of strong play from Michael Nylander and solid goaltending by Henrik Lundqvist. The Sabres, who were forced to work harder than they expected, still dominated a New York Islanders team that earned a playoff berth in a shootout victory on the last day of the regular season, and defeated the eighth seed in 5 games. The Sabres had won all four games in the season series against the Rangers, leading many to believe this series may have a quick ending.

After a scoreless first period in Game 1, Thomas Vanek opened the series scoring with a goal late in the second. Ales Kotalik added another Buffalo tally two minutes later and Vanek chipped in another with 1:36 left in the second. It seemed that Buffalo was showing their stride from the regular season, as the Sabres cruised to a 5-2 victory.

The Rangers opened the scoring in Game 2, as Martin Straka scored a powerplay goal halfway through the first. However, the Sabres answered less than a minute later on a Brian Campbell powerplay tally. Although New York would take back the lead late in the second on a Paul Mara goal, Buffalo showed their scoring prowess in the third. Chris Drury tipped in a Toni Lydman pass less than a minute into the period and Thomas Vanek scored the game winner halfway through the period off a nifty no-look pass from Drew Stafford and Buffalo seemed well on their way to the Conference Finals as the series shifted to Madison Square Garden.

However, the Blueshirts proved that they too can win on home ice, winning the game 2-1 on a Michal Rozsival double overtime goal. After a game marked by great goaltending from Lundqvist and Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, Rozsival's point shot finally found the back of the net 16:43 into the second sudden death period. The goal was huge for Rozsival, as he missed time in Game 1 and gritted through Game 2 with a leg injury. The game was not without controversy however, as a Karel Rachunek goal early in the second was overruled after review, with the officials in Toronto determining the puck had been kicked into the net.

More controversy arose in Game 4, a 2-1 Rangers victory. Danny Briere appeared to beat Lundqvist with 17 seconds left in the game, but the goal was disallowed after a lengthy review. Briere appeared to have Lundqvist beat on the short side after a nifty deke, but the overhead camera angle did not provide indisputable evidence that the puck had crossed the line. Another note from Game 4 was the scratch of Sabres winger Maxim Afinogenov. Buffalo's sixth leading scorer in the regular season had been underwhelming in the playoffs, and coach Lindy Ruff was looking to send a message.

Game 5 shifted back to Buffalo, and the strong goaltending from the two young keepers continued. Miller turned away 14 shots through the first two periods until an innocent looking shot by Martin Straka snuck over Miller's shoulder and hit the goal cam in the back of the net with just over 3 minutes left in regulation. Lundqvist again seemed unbeatable, having stopped the first 36 shots he faced. However, the 37th Buffalo shot was one that Sabres fans will always remember. The Sabres pulled their goaltender for a 6 on 5 advantage with the faceoff in the Rangers zone and less than 15 seconds remaining in the game. Buffalo co-captain Chris Drury won the draw and with 8 seconds left found the back of the net on a Tim Connolly rebound and through a Thomas Vanek screen. The game was not over however, and still another hero would be crowned on this Friday night in the Queen City. With Blair Betts off for hooking less than 5 minutes into overtime, Lindy Ruff gave Maxim Afinogenov a chance to redeem himself for his poor play. Afinogenov came through, getting off a quick slapshot from the point that beat Lundqvist five hole. Afinogenov took several strides before diving across center ice, and his jubilant teammates joined him in celebration.

Buffalo would carry this momentum back to New York, where the Rangers had yet to lose in the playoffs. While the Rangers took the lead late in the first, Buffalo exploded for 4 goals in the second and another in the third, including two by forward Jochen Hecht. The Rangers would not go down easily however, with Michael Nylander drawing the Blueshirts within 1 with less than 3 minutes to play. The Sabres however were able to hold on and win the game 5-4, taking the series in 6 games. A lasting effect from the series may have been Chris Drury's strong play, as the Rangers signed the pivot to a free agent contract after the season.

The Ottawa Senators, having eliminated the young Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening round, had to face the team that had stopped them one game short of the Stanley Cup Final in 2003. The New Jersey Devils were a huge favourite to win the series.

Game 1 of the series began at Continental Airlines Arena. The Senators came out with all the energy and capitalized on every Devils mistake to jump out to a 4–0 lead. From the second period on, the Devils stole the momentum, and the Senators needed to hold on for a 5–4 victory.

Both teams were ready for Game 2, but it was the Devils who held a 2–1 lead in the third period. The Senators tied the game late in the third, but Jamie Langenbrunner scored the winning goal for the Devils 1:55 into the second overtime. Game 3 at Scotiabank Place turned out to be a defensive battle. The game remained scoreless into the third period before Tom Preissing put the Senators on the board. An empty net goal was added for a 2–0 Senators win. The teams were evenly matched once again in Game 4, but the Senators won 3–2.

The Senators returned to Continental Airlines Arena for Game 5 with a chance to finish the series. Scott Gomez scored for the Devils first, but the Senators responded with three straight goals. Gomez gave the Devils a late third period goal, but the Senators hung on to win 3–2 in the final game ever played at Continental Airlines Arena. The Senators advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the second time in their history.

The Red Wings and Sharks met in the postseason for the first time since 1995, when the Red Wings swept the Sharks in four games. Evgeni Nabakov and the Sharks shut out Detroit in Game 1 in Detroit by a score of 2-0, taking a 1-0 series lead. The Red Wings drew even with a come-from-behind victory in Game 2, with Pavel Datyuk scoring the go-ahead goal with 1:24 remaining in the third period.

The series then shifted to San Jose for Games 3 and 4. The Sharks won Game 3 with Jonathan Cheechoo scoring the game winner, taking a 2-1 series lead. After being down 2–1 with less than a minute left in Game 4, the Red Wings tied the game thanks to Robert Lang, and later won in overtime on a powerplay goal from Mathieu Schneider to draw the series at 2–2. Detroit then dominated the Sharks back in Detroit in Game 5, winning 4-1, taking a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 back in San Jose. Two goals from Red Wings winger Mikael Samuelsson and a Dominik Hasek shutout won the series for the Red Wings, moving them to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2002.

After a thrilling seven game series against the Dallas Stars, the Canucks then had to face the Anaheim Ducks. This series featured teams that each had two brothers playing on the same team (the Sedins for Vancouver and the Niedermayers for Anaheim).

After Canucks player Jeff Cowan opened the scoring in Game 1 within the first eleven minutes, Anaheim answered back with three goals (two by Andy McDonald and one by Teemu Selanne) in the first period, plus two additional goals later in the game for a 5–1 win. Game 2 was a much closer game as Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo came back with a better performance than the first game. The game proceeded into double overtime until Vancouver's Jeff Cowan managed to score from a very tight angle to tie the series 1–1 going into Vancouver.

Despite receiving nine penalties (including four straight during the first period) in Game 3, Anaheim managed to win the game 3–2 in regulation in Vancouver thanks to a game winning slap shot by Corey Perry. Game 4 was a different story, however, as Vancouver jumped ahead in scoring 2–0 after two periods in an effort to tie the series. But during the third period, Anaheim came back with goals from Pronger and Selanne to tie the game, plus a goal by Travis Moen shortly into overtime extended the series lead to 3–1.

In Game 5, Luongo stopped 47 shots and helped keep the score tied at 1 after three periods (in the end, the Ducks had 65 shots on goal). At the start of overtime, Vancouver unexpectedly switched goalies, later revealing Luongo had an untimely case of diarrhea. After Dany Sabourin successfully stopped Anaheim shots, Luongo returned to the net and kept the game tied going into double overtime. Shortly into the second overtime period, Rob Niedermayer delivered a huge body check on Jannik Hansen. The puck came to Scott Niedermayer, who fired a wrist shot that found the back of the net, giving the Ducks the overtime and series victory, moving them to the Western Conference Finals.

Replays showed that Luongo's glove hand was up trying to signal to referees that he thought the hit was an elbow, and the puck went through where his glove should have been. When Luongo was announced as the second star of the game, many at the Honda Center cheered.

The Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres had been at each other's throats throughout the season. On February 22, 2007, Ottawa enforcer Chris Neil delivered a controversial late blindsided hit to Buffalo's Chris Drury, seriously injuring Drury and sparking an in-game brawl between the two teams, which featured a fight between Buffalo player Andrew Peters and Ottawa goalie Ray Emery plus a heated argument between coaches Brian Murray and Lindy Ruff.

In Game 1 at Buffalo, Ottawa opened the series with goals by Mike Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson respectively to start with a 2–0 lead in the first period of Game 1. The Sabres answered later in the first and midway through the second period with goals by Maxim Afinogenov and Toni Lydman to tie the game 2–2. The Senators then took control of the third period and scored three more goals to win 5–2 and take the series lead.

In Game 2 the Sabres jumped ahead in scoring during the first period with two goals. But Ottawa later caught up and tied the game 2–2 by the second period. Ottawa defenceman Wade Redden gave the Senators the lead by the end of the second period with a power play goal. Buffalo did not answer until late in the third period on a power play goal by Danny Briere with only 6 seconds left to tie the game. Senators defenceman Joe Corvo scored just off a faceoff to give Ottawa the double overtime win and a 2–0 lead in the series.

Game 3 in Ottawa was kept to no scoring until the second period when Senator Captain Daniel Alfredsson shot a puck that somehow riccocheted off Sabre goalie Ryan Miller towards Alfredsson who had an open net. Ottawa took a 3–0 lead in the series.

In Game 4 Buffalo started with a goal nine seconds into the game. Buffalo jumped ahead 3–0 in scoring before the Senators came back with two goals. Ottawa could not score a third goal and tie the game, and the Sabres fought back into the series with a 3–2 win.

Game 5 in Buffalo opened with a Sabre goal. But Ottawa came back and took a 2–1 lead. Afinogenov tied the game for the Sabres midway through the third period to eventually send the game into overtime. However, Daniel Alfredsson eliminated the Sabres by skating and shooting through three Buffalo players and scoring the overtime goal to send the Senators into the Stanley Cup Final.

The Western Conference Finals featured the number 1 and 2 Western Conference teams, the Red Wings and Ducks respectively, competing for a berth in the Finals. This would be the Red Wings' first trip to the Conference Finals since their last Cup win in 2002 (they failed to make it past the second round for three straight seasons afterward despite having terrific regular season records), while the Ducks made it for the second time since their 2003 Stanley Cup run in which they lost to New Jersey in 7 games.

Detroit opened the series at home in Game 1 with a 2–1 victory, with both goals deflecting off Ducks defensemen. Game 2 was a different story as the scoring lead shifting between the teams. With the Wings leading 3–2 in the third period, a goal was ruled when the puck somehow crossed the goal line while settling over Hasek's knee as he slid backwards into the net, thus tying the game and sending it into overtime. Scott Niedermayer sealed victory for Game 2 as he scored in overtime to tie the series.

Game 3 at Honda Center featured one of the most one-sided games witnessed in the playoffs, as the Red Wings blanked the Ducks 5–0 to take a 2–1 series lead. Chris Pronger was suspended by the NHL for Game 4. His suspension was a result of the same hit on Tomas Holmstrom that Rob Niedermayer was penalized for. While Pronger received no penalty for the hit during the game, Pronger was later suspended after NHL officials reviewed the replays, which showed Holmstrom being boarded from behind as a result of a Pronger elbow, drawing blood from a cut on his forehead. In Game 4, without Pronger, the Ducks had to step up their efforts. They dominated the first period with 3 goals, including a power play goal by Ric Jackman, Pronger's "stand in" for Game 4 in his first game of the playoffs. Detroit would came back after trailing 3–1 to tie the game 3–3 in the second period, only to have the Ducks respond with a stunning wrist shot goal from the blue line by Ryan Getzlaf and an empty net goal Rob Niedermayer that gave Anaheim the 5–3 win and tie the series at 2 games.

The tied series returned to Detroit for Game 5. A goal from Detroit defenceman Andreas Lilja early in the second period put Detroit up 1–0. Throughout the game, the Red Wings dominated the play. Despite their controlling of the play, Detroit was only able to score once because of the strong play of Ducks goaltender J. S. Giguere. Finally, after over 59 minutes of play, the Ducks found the inside of net via a power play goal by Scott Niedermayer with just only 47 seconds left in the game. Niedermayer appeared to be attempting a pass to a Ducks player in front of the net, but his pass deflected off Detroit defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom's stick and over Dominik Hasek's glove. Halfway into overtime, Andreas Lilja was making a routine breakout play behind his net when fore checking pressure by Andy McDonald caused Lilja to turn the puck over to Teemu Selanne, who lifted a backhander above a sprawled Hasek to give the Ducks a stunning 2–1 overtime victory and a 3–2 series lead going back to Anaheim.

Game 6 almost seemed to be anti-climatic of Game 5, starting with a short handed goal by Rob Niedermayer. The Ducks extended the lead to three in the second period. Early in the third period, Detroit scored a goal by Henrik Zetterberg. Samuel Pahlsson again extended the Ducks lead by three goals shortly after. Two powerplay goals from Pavel Datsyuk cut the Ducks' lead to only one late in the game. But despite the late period pressure, the Anaheim Ducks were able to hold on and win the game and the series to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in their history.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia