Marc-Andre Fleury

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Posted by bender 05/01/2009 @ 16:07

Tags : marc-andre fleury, hockey players, hockey, sports

News headlines
Teammates still believe in Marc-Andre Fleury - The Detroit News
Detroit -- This wasn't Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at this best. But, his teammates certainly didn't help him out. A string of Red Wings power plays in the secod period made life especially miserable for Fleury in the second period,...
More Marc-Andre Fleury 'Stix Burgh' Shirts Being Printed -
PITTSBURGH -- A Pittsburgh print shop will begin making more Marc-Andre Fleury "Stix Burgh" T-shirts. First there was “Blitz Burgh.” Then there was “Six Burgh.” Now, Penguins fans can show their civic sports pride with the "Stix Burgh" shirt....
Series rests with play of Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury - Detroit Free Press
If the Pittsburgh Penguins want to climb back in this series, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury needs to perform at a higher level. Although a NHL championship series is never decided by a single player, Fleury's sub-.900 save percentage in the first two...
Penguins' confidence in 'Flower' blossoms -
DETROIT -- Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins wouldn't mind seeing history repeating itself in Saturday's Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 pm ET, NBC, CBC, RDS). At the same juncture of last spring's Stanley Cup Final,...
Red Wings-Penguins post-Game 4 presser transcripts: Penguins coach ... -
And Sid and Jordan can you both talk about what Marc-Andre's done for you this series? MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: I think just two great ones, you know. It's tough to start a series down by two wins. It was great to see the character in the room to be able to...
History Indicates Fleury Will Rebound - FanHouse
Saturday night, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma put goalie Marc-Andre Fleury out of his misery in the second period of a 5-0 Detroit win. With Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals looming Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, everyone will want to know if...
Pens' young stars will stick around - Washington Observer Reporter
Marc-Andre Fleury also put on a show in goal that allowed the Penguins to come back from a 2-1 deficit to win 4-2. Fleury is 23. Tyler Kennedy scored the Penguins' fourth goal. Kennedy is 23. Chris Letang assisted on the first goal by Malkin....
JAMIE SAMUELSEN'S BLOG Penguins make series interesting - Detroit Free Press
The fact that none of those shots went in and the fact that Marc Andre Fleury was really, really good. Mike Babcock says that he doesn't believe in momentum in a series. For the most part, I think he's right. But when it comes to goaltending,...
Drumming up pressure on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby ... -
Unproven Marc-Andre Fleury over three-time Cup winner Chris Osgood? From my perspective it isn't even close. Osgood is a winner; Fleury is a project. Osgood makes saves when his team needs him most; Fleury allows goals when his team desperately needs a...
Marc-Andre Fleury: Backstops Penguins' Win - Rotowire
Fleury made 32 saves in a 6-2 win over Carolina in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday. Fleury still has trouble with pucks brought out from behind his own goal and he gave up a juicy rebound for another score, but his ability to move...

Marc-André Fleury

Marc-Andre Fleury.jpg

Marc-André Fleury (born November 28, 1984 in Sorel-Tracy, Québec) is a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is sometimes known by the nickname "Flower".

Fleury played major junior in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, beginning in 2000–01. After a strong 2002–03 campaign that included a silver medal with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships and QMJHL Second Team All-Star honours, he was chosen first overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He is only the third goalie to be chosen first overall in the NHL draft, after Michel Plasse and Rick DiPietro. Playing four seasons total with Cape Breton, Fleury's jersey number 29 was later retired by the club in his fourth NHL season on January 25, 2008.

Fleury immediately made his NHL debut in 2003–04 as the youngest goaltender in the league at 18-years-old (three years less than the second-youngest, Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders). He appeared in his first NHL game on October 10, 2003, against the Los Angeles Kings, recording an impressive 46-save performance, which included a penalty shot save, in a 3-0 loss. Fleury recorded his first NHL win in his very next start, on October 18, with 31 saves in a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. His first NHL shutout came on October 30, in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Fleury shared time with goaltenders Jean-Sébastien Aubin and Sebastien Caron and lived up to first-overall-pick expectations early, earning Rookie of the Month honours in October with a 2-2-2 record, 1.96 goals against average (GAA) and .943 save percentage. However, as the season progressed, his performance began to sink, partly due to Pittsburgh's poor defense. The team regularly gave up over 30 shots per game, and rarely managed to become an offensive threat. He was loaned to Team Canada for the 2004 World Junior Championships in December and, upon returning with a second consecutive silver medal, he was sent back to the QMJHL on January 29, 2004. In light of financial difficulties for the franchise, it is believed Fleury's $3 million contract bonus, which he would have potentially received if he stayed and met several performance goals, was a factor in the decision to return him to Cape Breton. To no avail, Fleury offered to forfeit his bonus in order to remain with the club. Fleury finished the QMJHL season with Cape Breton in a first round elimination and was subsequently assigned to Pittsburgh's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and appeared in 2 post-season games.

As NHL play was postponed on account of the labour dispute, Fleury continued to play with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2004–05, where he posted a 26-19-4 record, a 2.52 GAA and a .901 save percentage. When NHL play resumed in 2005–06, Fleury started the season once more in the minors, but was quickly called up by Pittsburgh for a game against the Buffalo Sabres on October 10 to replace an injured Jocelyn Thibault. He continued to play between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Pittsburgh until November 28, after which he remained with Pittsburgh. With the Penguins finishing last in the Eastern Conference and allowing a league-worst 316 goals, Fleury recorded a 3.25 GAA and a .898 save percentage. Competing for time with Sebastien Caron and Jocelyn Thibault, Fleury emerged as the Penguins' starting goalie.

Despite playing behind a shaky defense, Fleury was able to impress the team management with his technique and performance and signed a two-year contract extension worth $2.59 million in the off-season. In the proceeding campaign, Fleury's stats improved significantly. Playing behind a better Penguins team, which featured rising superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, he recorded 5 shutouts and a 2.83 GAA. He earned his 40th win in a 2–1 victory over the New York Rangers in the season finale, joining Tom Barrasso as the only Penguins goaltenders to record 40 wins in a season. He also broke Johan Hedberg's single season franchise record for most games and minutes played. Fleury made his NHL playoff debut against the Ottawa Senators, the eventual Stanley Cup finalists, in the first round and recorded his first playoff win in Game 2, recording 34 saves in a 4–3 win at Scotiabank Place. Fleury was credited with strong performances in the series, but the Penguins were eliminated in five games.

Fleury started the 2007–08 season slowly, then won four straight games before suffering a high-ankle sprain against the Calgary Flames on December 6. He returned as a starter on March 2, after a brief conditioning stint in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. While sidelined, he decided to change the colour of his goaltending equipment from the bright yellow that had become his signature to plain white, in order to gain an optical advantage over shooters. He was also influenced and challenged by the very strong play of Ty Conklin, who took the team's starting job after being promoted from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Fleury's absence. Upon his return from injury, Fleury helped the Penguins win the Atlantic Division, going 10–2–1 with a 1.45 GAA en route to a 12–2 playoff run to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings. He recorded possibly the best performance of his career in Game 5 of the Finals at Detroit, where he stopped 55 of 58 shots in a triple overtime win for the Penguins to stave off elimination. Despite his strong play, the Penguins lost the series in six games. Fleury completed the playoffs with 3 shutouts and a 12–2 record. In the off-season, Fleury signed a seven-year $35 million contract with the Penguins on July 3. It includes a no-movement clause and a limited no-trade clause that triggers in the 2010–2011 NHL season.

Marc-André Fleury has won two silver medals with Team Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championships. He made his first appearance in 2003 in Halifax. Despite playing in front of a home crowd, Canada was defeated by Russia 3-2 in the gold medal game. Fleury posted a 1.57 GAA and was named the Top Goaltender and tournament MVP.

Although Fleury was playing in the NHL the next year leading up to the tournament, the Pittsburgh Penguins lent him to Team Canada. Fleury expressed desire to remain with his NHL club, but Penguins management decided the high-profile tournament would be good for his development. He led Team Canada to the gold medal game for the second consecutive year, but fell victim to a bounce that cost his team the championship. With the game tied 3-3 and less than five minutes remaining in regulation, Fleury left his net to play the puck and avert a breakaway opportunity for the oncoming Patrick O'Sullivan of Team USA. However, Fleury's clearing attempt hit his own defenceman, Braydon Coburn, and trickled into the net. This proved to be the margin of victory, as the United States held on for a 4-3 win and the gold medal.

Marc-André Fleury was born to André and France Fleury in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, a small town near Montreal. He has one sibling, his younger sister Marylene. Fleury has been linked to his longtime girlfriend and childhood neighbour Véronique Larose since the age of 16. When he was first drafted, he lived with Mario Lemieux for a brief period of time as he searched for more permanent living arrangements.

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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.

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2008–09 Pittsburgh Penguins season

Kristopher Letang prior to a game

The 2008–09 Pittsburgh Penguins season is the 41st season of Pittsburgh Penguins in the National Hockey League (NHL). The regular season began with two games against the Ottawa Senators in Stockholm, Sweden on October 4 and October 5, 2008. Between December 27 and January 5, 2009 the team lost five consecutive games, the most since 2006. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were both selected to play in the 57th National Hockey League All-Star Game. Crosby broke the All-Star vote record set Jaromir Jagr in 2000, but did not play due to injury. Sergei Gonchar played for the first time in the season on on February 14 after undergoing shoulder surgery.

On February 15, the team had a record of 27–25–5 and was five points out of playoff position. The organization fired head coach Michel Therrien and replaced him with Dan Bylsma, head coach of the organization's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre. On February 26, the team traded defenseman Ryan Whitney to the Anaheim Ducks in return for Chris Kunitz. Before the trade deadline on March 4, they acquired Bill Guerin from the New York Islanders. Under Bylsma, the team went 18–3–4, including 10–1–2 in March, and lost only one home game.

The Penguins qualified for the playoffs in the third consecutive season. They did not repeat as champions of the Atlantic Division, but earned the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with 99 points. They began the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs on April 15 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Due to their appearance in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, the Penguins had less than three weeks before free agency began to settle numerous contract decisions. The Penguins added nine free agents and lost ten to other teams. Head coach Michel Therrien also signed a new three-year contract that replaced the last year of his existing contract, with an increase in salary. The new contract will keep him with the Penguins through the 2010-11 season.

The Penguins renewed 99% of their season ticket sales from the 2007–08 season; having sold out 67 consecutive games at Mellon Arena dating back to the 2006-07 season. In July, ESPN named Pittsburgh the top team in the Eastern Conference, and the Sporting News predicted the team would finish in the league's fifth position. Therrien began preparing for training camp in August. He stated that the team's goal will be to use experience gained throughout the past two seasons, in which Pittsburgh made the playoffs, to win the Stanley Cup. The team commenced training camp on September 16, 2008 in Pittsburgh. The Penguins played five pre-season games in preparation for the season, finishing with a 4–0–1 record. The team concluded its preparation for the season with practices in Stockholm. Defensemen Sergei Gonchar, will miss "four to six months" due to a shoulder injury suffered in the pre-season opener. With Gonchar out of the lineup and last season's rotating alternate captains Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts departed, the season began with no returning alternate captains in the lineup. Therrian selected two alternate captains each month; Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik served the role throughout the opening month.

On September 27, the Penguins embarked on a trip for Sweden where they opened the season against the Ottawa Senators, at the Stockholm Globe Arena. The Penguins were one of four teams to participate in NHL Premiere which began the season with games in Prague and Stockholm. Pittsburgh won the opening game of the season in overtime, getting two goals from Tyler Kennedy, including the game-winner. The game was broadcast on Mellon Arena's JumboTron where 2,300 spectators watched the game. The team returned to Pittsburgh after ten days in Europe and a 1–1–0 record. The Penguins hosted the Trib Total Media Faceoff Festival 2008 prior to their first four home games, allowing fans to watch the games on 9-by-12 foot LED screen outside of Mellon Arena. On October 18, Sidney Crosby scored one goal in addition to three assists to surpass benchmarks of 100 goals, 200 assists, and 300 total points for his career. In the same game Evgeni Malkin assisted on four goals giving him 200 total career points.

The Penguins received continued fan support from their previous season. In addition to extending a home sellout streak to 72 games on October 23, the Penguins rank 113% above the national average for male television viewers aged 18 to 34. The franchise ranks as the 18th most valuable in the league at US$195 million, making a 26% increase in the past season. According to Forbes, the franchise's revenue will likely put the Penguins into the top ten after their new arena, Consol Energy Center, opens in 2010. The Penguins finished October with a 3–1–1 record in Pittsburgh and concluded the month with three consecutive road losses.

The Penguins won their first six games in November before losing in a shootout on November 18. Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill were selected by Therrien to be November's alternate captains, taking over for Brooks Orpik and Malkin who served in October. On November 11, the Penguins returned to Detroit for the first time since the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals. The third goal of Jordan Staal's second career hat-trick came with 22.8 seconds remaining in regulation, sending the game into overtime where the Penguins achieved a 7–6 victory. On November 15, the Penguins wore alternate blue jerseys, similar to those worn by the franchise in the 1970s and worn in the 2008 NHL Winter Classic. Malkin's 13-game point streak ended on November 18, during the streak he scored 27 points. Through November 19, the Penguins led the league in overtime games with nine of 18 games taking extra time to decide. Through the first 20 games of the season Mike Zigomanis led the league in faceoff percentage and Alex Goligoski led rookie defensemen in points. After an injury to Marc-Andre Fleury, Dany Sabourin and rookie John Curry split goaltending duties in his multi-game absence in which the team was 5–6–2. On November 26, Malkin scored three goals for his third career hat trick, three days later Sidney Crosby also achieved a hat trick—the second of his career. After the teams' final game of the month Malkin and Crosby ranked first and second in league scoring with 39 and 34 points respectively. Malkin also ranked first in the league with 29 assists, and was named the NHL's second Star of the Month.

The Penguins began 2009 with three consecutive losses, extending their losing streak to five games—the most consecutive since 2006. During the streak the Penguins fell from second to ninth place in the Eastern Conference and failed to score on 32 consecutive power plays. The alternate captains for the month of January were Petr Sykora and Ryan Whitney, who was returning from off-season foot surgery. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin led all players in voting for the All-Star Game. However, Crosby did not play due to a knee injury. The top vote-getter for the second year in a row, Crosby also missed the 2008 All-Star Game. On January 8 the team announced that they had agreed to a four-year contract extension with Jordan Staal worth $16 million. Staal's rookie contract was set to expire at the end of the season. He was the Penguins first round pick, second overall in 2006. The team suffered from injuries, culminating in January where at one point they had eight starters injured. Mike Zigomanis had been inactive since December 3 and Ruslan Fedotenko was ruled out for four to six weeks after breaking his hand on January 6. Sergei Gonchar practiced with the team for the first time on January 16 after suffering a separated shoulder in September 2008. By that time, the Penguins had lost 173 man-games due to injury, after losing 239 in the entire 2007–08 season. With a 3–0 victory over the New York Rangers on January 18, the Penguins won a second consecutive game for the first time since November 15. However, the team was unable to capitalize and lost their last game before the All-Star break to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Penguins entered the break with a 23–21–4 record. The team's 50 points put them in tenth place in the Eastern Conference, two spots out of the playoffs. Matt Cooke was suspended for the first two games after the All-Star break due to "a blow to the head" against the Carolina Hurricanes on January 20.

Entering February, Evgeni Malkin was named an alternate captain for the remainder of the season; Brooks Orpik will hold the position until the return of Sergei Gonchar. On February 14, Gonchar made his season debut and Ruslan Fedotenko returned to the line-up after missing over a month due to a hand injury. On February 15—with the Penguins five points out of the playoffs—Therrien was replaced by Dan Bylsma, the coach of the Penguins' AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre, on an interim basis. Tom Fitzgerald was promoted from Director of Player Development to assistant coach for forwards, while Mike Yeo, already with the team, became assistant for the defenceman. Assistant Andre Savard was reassigned within the organization. On February 21, Crosby acquired his 250th career assist in a 2 goal, 2 assist victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. On February 25, Fleury recorded his third shutout of the season, as the Penguins defeated the Islanders 1–0; the team remained two points out of the playoffs after the win. The day after the shutout, Ryan Whitney was traded to the Anaheim Ducks for Chris Kunitz and signing rights to prospect Eric Tangradi. In his first game after being traded to Pittsburgh, Kunitz recorded a goal and an assist as the Penguins defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime.

The Penguins began March with five of six games on the road, before a homestand of eight consecutive games. Upon the Penguins' win on March 1, the team moved into eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 70 points. The NHL trade deadline was on March 4. On March 3, the Penguins placed Miroslav Satan on waivers to clear roster space for a trade. Before the deadline, the Penguins acquired New York Islanders' captain Bill Guerin in exchange for a conditional draft pick in the 2009 draft. The Penguins also exchanged minor league defenceman, sending Danny Richmond to the St. Louis Blues organization for Andy Wozniewski. They also claimed winger Craig Adams of the Chicago Blackhawks off waivers. Dan Blysma surpassed Herb Brooks' record for the best record in the first ten games as a Penguins' coach. The team went a franchise first 5–0–0 on a road trip at the beginning of March. The Penguins lost in a shootout against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 23. The loss snapped a seven game winning streak before a Columbus-record crowd—an estimated 2,500 fans were rooting for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury started 19 consecutive games between February 3 and March 15, with a record of 12–4–3 before Mathieu Garon started his second game since being traded on January 17. On March 15, the Penguins soldout their 100th consecutive game at the Mellon Arena. Evgeni Malkin recorded his 100th point of the season while tieing a career-high five point game against the Atlanta Thrashers on March 17. On March 20, Penguins and Pittsburgh Pirates organist of 33 years, Vince Lascheid. died. Vice president of communications Tom McMillan said, " probably is the only organist in the history of professional sports to be inducted into a team Hall of Fame." The Penguins concluded March with eight consecutive games at the Mellon Arena—their longest homestand of the season.

Pittsburgh finished their homestand with a 6–1–1 record, moving into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The final game of the homestand was the most watched game of the season on Fox Sports Pittsburgh (FSN Pittsburgh), the Penguins regional television coverage network. FSN Pittsburgh was the most-watched regional Fox network in the NHL for the second consecutive season. On April 7, Sidney Crosby scored his 100th point of the season, Evgeni Malkin acquired his 300th career point, and Petr Sykora scored his 300th career goal, while the Penguins qualified for the postseason for the third consecutive season with a 6–4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tickets for Pittsburgh's first two opening round playoff games sold out within a few hours of going on sale. The Penguins finished their home schedule on April 9 with a win over the New York Islanders. The team collected over $100,000 for the families of three Pittsburgh Police officers who were killed days before the game. The Penguins finished their regular season on April 12 with a win over the Montreal Canadiens. Through his first 25 games as Penguins' coach, Dan Blysma's 18–3–4 record amounted to 40 points—the second most of any coach in NHL history through their first 25 games. The Penguins finished with a 45–28–9 record, for 99 points; fourth place in the Eastern Conference and second place in the Atlantic Division. Evgeni Malkin won the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer with 113 points. Malkin followed Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, and Crosby to become the fourth different Penguin to win the award. The award was the thirteenth overall for the Penguins since 1988.

The Penguins advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the third consecutive season. They earned the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage in the opening round match-up with the Philadelphia Flyers, following a loss by the Flyers on the last day of the regular season. For the second consecutive season, the Penguins erected a 12 by 16 foot LED screen on the lawn directly outside Mellon Arena, allowing fans to watch all sold-out playoff games, free of charge.

The Penguins won Game One of the series 4–1, with goals from Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Tyler Kennedy, and defenseman Mark Eaton. "It was a good for me," said Malkin, "it was a good for everybody." Philadelphia took twelve penalties throughout the game. Flyers coach John Stevens was fined $10,000 and forward Daniel Carcillo was suspended by the NHL for the second game of the series for Carcillo's hit to Max Talbot's head immediately following a faceoff with only seven seconds left in game one; he had not been penalized at the time of the hit. In Game Two, Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 38 saves. Bill Guerin scored two goals—including the game winner in overtime—as the Penguins won 3–2. With the Penguins up two games to zero, the series moved to Philadelphia for Game Three. After falling behind 2–0, goals from Malkin and Rob Scuderi tied the game. Malkin added his second goal of the game in the final period; however, Philadelphia won the game 6–3. In Game Four, Fleury stopped 45 shots, giving up one goal as the Penguins won 3–1. Crosby scored his second goal of the playoffs and Tyler Kennedy added the game winner; Matt Cooke assisted on both goals. The Penguins were unable to clinch the series in Game Five in front of their 110th sellout crowd at Mellon Arena. A goal by Malkin was taken away after it was determined that he had kicked the puck into the net; Martin Biron stopped 28 shots for the shutout. Pittsburgh viewers were unable to see about thirty minutes of the second period after a lightning strike at a FSN network facility in Atlanta caused a black-out the station.

In Game Six, the Flyers took a 2–0 lead into the first intermission, and they made 3–0 just four minutes into the second period. However, Max Talbot fought Daniel Carcillo shortly after the Flyers tallied their third goal, and the Penguins, re-energized by Talbot's display, scored three goals in what remained of the second period to tie the game 3–3. Sergei Gonchar scored his first goal of the series, his first in 23 playoff games dating back to Game Two of the Penguins' first-round series against Ottawa in 2008, to break the tie at 2:19 in the third period. Crosby added an empty-net goal and the Penguins eliminated the Flyers and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Three days after the Penguins series-clinching victory of the Flyers, on Tuesday April 28, the Penguins announced that coach Dan Bylsma had signed a multi-year contract with the team.

The Penguins drew a matchup with the Washington Capitals in the second round after the Bruins, Capitals, and Hurricanes each won their respective series. The anticipation for the series was fairly high considering the rivalry between the teams and some of their respective star players, most notably Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins and Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin of the Capitals. As a result, the first three games in the series were scheduled for national television in the United States, game one on NBC and games two and three on Versus.

Updated April 13, 2009.

Paul Bissonnette, John Curry, Dustin Jeffrey, Ben Lovejoy, Janne Pesonen, Luca Caputi, and Tim Wallace made their NHL debuts during the season.

Prior to the teams final home game on April 9 against the New York Islanders, the team announced its annual award winners. Awards were given by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, the Penguins Booster Club, as well as voted amongst the team.

Concerns over future player contracts were raised just days after the 2008 Stanley Cup Final. Approximately a dozen players, including Marian Hossa, Jarkko Ruutu, Ryan Malone, and Brooks Orpik, had fulfilled the final year on their contracts. On June 28, the Penguins traded the contract negotiation rights to Gary Roberts and Ryan Malone to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a conditional draft pick; it became a 3rd round pick when both Malone and Roberts signed with the Lightning on June 30. Evgeni Malkin was offered a contract from a Russian team in the newly-formed Kontinental Hockey League worth approximately $12.5 million, tax exempt, per year, which would make him the highest-paid hockey player in the world. However, Malkin turned down the offer to remain with the Penguins, and the IIHF released a statement saying that it would not honor the offer, as Malkin was already under an existing contract with the Penguins at the time. Malkin agreed to a five year contract extension worth $8.7 million per year—the same value as Sidney Crosby's contract—with the Penguins on July 2. On July 3, the Penguins agreed to a seven year deal with restricted free agent goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in addition to one-year contracts with free agents Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko. On October 8 the Penguins made several roster adjustments, placing Kris Beech, who was already in Europe looking for a new team, on unconditional waivers and sending Janne Pesonen, John Curry, and Jeff Taffe, who first had to clear waivers, to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The next day, on October 9, the Penguins acquired Mike Zigomanis from Phoenix for future considerations. On December 19, the team extended their agreement with Max Talbot for an additional two seasons.

The 2008 NHL Entry Draft was held on June 20–21, 2008, in Ottawa, Ontario. The Penguins did not make their first selection until the fourth round, at 120th overall. Their first-round selection was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers on February 26, 2008. Pittsburgh's second-round selection was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, also on February 26. The third-round pick went to the Phoenix Coyotes with Daniel Carcillo, for Georges Laraque on February 27, 2007.

Pittsburgh's American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, finished the 2008–09 season third in the East Division.

Chris Minard, the AHL's leading goal scorer at time of announcement, was selected as a starter for Team Canada in the 2009 All Star Classic. Jeff Taffe and Ben Lovejoy were selected as reserves for the PlanetUSA team. All three players were under two-way NHL contracts and played games with Pittsburgh during the season. In the game, Taffe scored three goals and recorded two assists. Janne Pesonen, who signed a contract with the Penguins in July 2008, finished the season as the AHL's fourth-leading scorer. His 82 points and 50 assists were both franchise records. Taffe also recorded 50 assists. Minard set the franchise record with 34 goals. John Curry, who made his NHL debut during the season, set the W-B/S record for most goaltending wins in a season (33), and career (57).

The ECHL affiliate Wheeling Nailers finished the season fourth in the Northern Division, and were eliminated in the first round of the 2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

The Nailers had three players selected for the 2009 ECHL All-Star Game, all reserve forwards. Nick Johnson, the only Penguins prospect, was drafted by the team 67th overall in 2004, and signed an entry-level contract with the organization in March 2008. Johnson did not play in the All-Star Game because he finished the season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

WXDX-FM of Pittsburgh was the radio flagship station for the Penguins for the third season. In April, the team and the station agreed to a six-year contract extension. Mike Lange and former Penguin Phil Bourque were the station's broadcasters.

FSN Pittsburgh is the primary television network, broadcasting 71 of the team's 82 games, as well as Inside Penguin's Hockey, a weekly 30-minute program. Paul Steigerwald, Dan Potash, and former Penguins Bob Errey and Jay Caufield were the station's broadcast team.

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2007–08 Pittsburgh Penguins season

Ty Conklin went 17–6–5 in Marc-Andre Fleury's absence.

The 2007–08 Pittsburgh Penguins season was the club's 40th season in the National Hockey League (NHL). Their regular season began on October 5, 2007, against the Carolina Hurricanes and concluded on April 6, 2008, against the rival Philadelphia Flyers. The Penguins looked to improve upon their progress in the 2006–07 season after being eliminated in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs by the Ottawa Senators. During the season, the Penguins wore gold patches with "250" on them, honoring the city of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary in 2008.

Evgeni Malkin scored 106 points in the regular season, helping to offset the gap left while Sidney Crosby was injured. Goaltender Ty Conklin replaced Marc-Andre Fleury, who was also injured, to win 18 games. The team surpassed their record for total attendance, selling out all 41 home games for the first time in franchise history. The Penguins also participated in the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic, which set the NHL single-game attendance record.

During the regular season, the Penguins finished second in the Eastern Conference, behind the Montreal Canadiens. With a 12–2 record in the playoffs, the team eliminated the Senators, the New York Rangers and the Flyers, on their way to the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, the franchise's first in 16 years. The team was defeated in the Stanley Cup Final by the Detroit Red Wings in six games.

The Penguins' offseason activities began in May 2007, with the team naming Sidney Crosby its captain. At just 19 years old, Crosby became the youngest captain in NHL history. Crosby was named the first Penguins captain since the retirement of Mario Lemieux in January 2006; Crosby, Mark Recchi, Sergei Gonchar and John LeClair served as alternate captains after Lemieux's retirement. Veteran Gary Roberts was named as an alternate captain for the new season, joining Recchi and Gonchar. The Penguins also extended head coach Michel Therrien's contract through the 2008–09 season.

On September 17, the NHL announced that on January 1, 2008, the Penguins would travel to Orchard Park, New York to play the Buffalo Sabres outdoors at Ralph Wilson Stadium in the "]". The event marked the first time a regular-season contest was played outdoors in the United States.

The Penguins began the regular season on October 5 visiting the Carolina Hurricanes. The team played their home-opener against the Anaheim Ducks on October 6 in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,132, the first of 41 sellouts over the course of the season. Through November 21, the Penguins acquired a record of 8–11–2, going 2–6–1 against Atlantic Division teams in November including a four-game losing streak, their longest of the season. Following a Thanksgiving Day shootout victory against the Ottawa Senators, the Penguins won seven of the next eight games, including the franchise's first sweep of a Western Canada road trip. Beginning on December 23, the Penguins compiled a point streak of ten games, including eight consecutive victories, the longest winning streak for the Penguins in nearly ten years. In January and February, the team was 16–6–5, climbing the conference standings with the help of goaltender Ty Conklin and center Evgeni Malkin. During the final full month, in March, the team was 10–4–1, and 7–0–0 at home in Mellon Arena. The team concluded the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Philadelphia Flyers, with each team winning a game.

The Penguins suffered from several injuries during the season. Many of the injuries were long-term. By the end of the season, the team had missed a combined total of over 280 man games due to injury. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury sustained a high-ankle sprain against the Calgary Flames on December 6. Following the injury, Fleury was ruled out for six to eight weeks. The Penguins recalled Ty Conklin from the American Hockey League to serve as a back-up to Dany Sabourin on an emergency basis. Conklin started for the first time on December 20, winning the game 5–4 in a shootout. After winning his first nine starts and supplanting Sabourin as the starting goaltender, Conklin lost his first game, a shootout, on January 12 against the Atlanta Thrashers. Before Fleury's eventual return as a starter on March 2, Conklin recorded a mark of 17–6–5, while Sabourin went 4–6–0.

Crosby also sustained a high ankle sprain on January 18 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and was ruled out for six to eight weeks. Crosby returned on March 4, playing in three games before being removed from the lineup again on March 12. After missing the next seven games, Crosby returned against the New York Islanders on March 27, after missing 28 games. The injury forced Crosby to miss the All-Star Game, where he was the leading vote-getter for the second year in a row. Teammate Evgeni Malkin was selected to play for the Eastern Conference team in place of the injured Crosby.

Following the release of Recchi in early December and injuries to Crosby and Roberts (Recchi's replacement), Sergei Gonchar remained the Penguins' only active captain. The team assigned two new alternate captains, with Ryan Malone and Darryl Sydor serving during the injuries.

After the injury to Crosby on January 18, a make-shift line composed of Malkin, Malone, and Petr Sykora, dubbed the “Steel City Line”, helped sustain the Penguins' standing. Malkin scored 46 points during Crosby's absence.

With an attendance of 71,417, the Winter Classic, held on January 1, 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium, surpassed the NHL single-game attendance record set on November 22, 2003, when the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Montreal Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton before 57,167 fans in the Heritage Classic. The New Year's Day game between the Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres was broadcasted nationwide on NBC in the United States, CBC in Canada, all Westwood One affiliates in the US and Canada, and on XM satellite radio. The Penguins defeated the Sabres, 2–1, with a shootout goal from Crosby.

On December 21, 2007, at a game against the New York Islanders, the Penguins tied a franchise record with 30 straight regular-season sellouts, dating to the second half of the 2006–07 season. The record was surpassed at the next home game against the Boston Bruins on December 23, with the 31st consecutive sellout of the regular season. On March 12, against the Buffalo Sabres, with a standing-room-only crowd of 17,132, the Penguins set a franchise record after selling out all 35 games to date, surpassing the record set during the 1988–89 and 1989–90 seasons when the Penguins sold out 34 of 40 home games. For the first time in the franchise's 41-year history, the team sold out all 41 home games, concluding with their Atlantic Division-clinching victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on April 2. At 17,089, the average attendance for a home game was greater than Mellon Arena's seating capacity of 16,940, causing the team's season attendance to exceed 100% capacity. The 67 consecutive sellouts attracted 888,653 total fans, a record for home attendance for the franchise.

The March 27 game against the Islanders received a television rating of 10.7, the second-highest rating all-time for a Penguins game. The only game to draw a higher rating, at 15.9, was the comeback of Mario Lemieux against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 27, 2000. The flagship station for Penguins televion broadcasts, FSN Pittsburgh, had the highest-rated NHL broadcasts of any of the Fox Sports Net regional affiliates for the second year in a row.

Strong support from fans continued into the playoffs, as the Penguins sold out their first two home games in 11 minutes. The team erected a 12 by 16 foot LED screen on the lawn directly outside Mellon Arena, allowing fans to watch all playoff games outside of the stadium, free of charge. A rally scheduled by Allegheny County executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl took place in front of the Allegheny County Courthouse prior to Game Two of the team's first-round series on April 11. The Penguins' third game of the playoffs attracted the third-highest regional viewing audience all-time for a Penguins game. The 4,200 tickets offered for the team's first two home games of Round Two sold out within 10 minutes. As the playoffs advanced into the later rounds, the team had growing support from players and coaches of other teams in Pittsburgh, including the Steelers and Pirates, and many of the players attended games. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin watched Game Six of the finals outside Mellon Arena, along with 3,000 other fans. Prior to the Stanley Cup Final, Mayor Ravenstahl led a rally in the city's Market Square which featured chanting by the several hundred people in attendance; cooked octopus was also served by Wholey's Fish Market, in reference to the Detroit tradition of throwing octopi onto the ice. The team also opened up Mellon Arena for fans to watch away games on the JumboTron during the Stanley Cup Final; over 13,500 people attended Game One. Fans who watched the three games played in Detroit raised over $85,000 for the Mario Lemieux Foundation for cancer research. The Penguins also ranked first in the league in merchandise sales.

In an annual survey of over 80,000 fans conducted by ESPN The Magazine titled "Ultimate Standings: Fan Satisfaction Rankings," the Penguins ranked as the best National Hockey League team in terms of fan relations. The team also ranked third in that category, out of all 122 major sports franchises of the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the NHL. In the overall standings, the Penguins ranked seventh in the NHL, and 24th of the 122 teams in all four leagues. During the 2006–07 season, the team ranked 11th in the NHL, and 35th overall.

During the All-Star break, the league announced that the Penguins would open the 2008–09 season with games on October 4 and 5 against the Ottawa Senators at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. Also, the New York Rangers would open against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Prague, Czech Republic. Later, on March 12, the league and the NHL Players Association announced that the Penguins would play an exhibition game against Jokerit of the SM-liiga, the top professional league in Finland, on October 2, at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki.

Progress was made towards the team's new arena on March 22, when the former St. Francis Hospital, across the street from Mellon Arena, was imploded. Following debris removal and site preparation, groundbreaking for construction began in the summer.

The Penguins clinched their second consecutive playoff berth on March 25 in a 2–0 victory against the New Jersey Devils and earned the second-seed in the Eastern Conference. Two years removed from their last-place Eastern Conference finish in 2006, the Penguins clinched the Atlantic Division for the first time ever, when they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 4–2. The division championship was the first for the Penguins since winning the Northeast Division in 1998. It was the best finish by the team since finishing second in the 1997–98 season. The 102 points the Penguins gained during the season was the team's fifth 100-point season. The Penguins raised banners for their top finishes in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division prior to their first game at Mellon Arena during the 2008–09 season.

The Penguins opened the playoffs against the 7th-seed Ottawa Senators, in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. In the opening game on April 9 in Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena, the Penguins defeated the Senators 4–0. In the game, Evgeni Malkin scored his first career playoff goal, Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his first career playoff shutout, Petr Sykora added a goal, and Gary Roberts scored twice. In Game Two, the Penguins took a lead of 3–0 following a goal from Sergei Gonchar and two from Sykora. The Senators came back to tie the game in the third period, before Ryan Malone scored twice to give the Penguins their second victory in the series. The Pens got four unanswered goals from Max Talbot, Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal and Marian Hossa to defeat the Senators 4–1 in Game Three, the first game in Ottawa's Scotiabank Place. Two days later, the Penguins managed to eliminate the Senators in four games, the only team to do so in the first round. The team got goals from Malkin, Crosby, and the series-winner from Jarkko Ruutu in the second period, to defeat the Senators, 3–1. The Penguins were the first team to advance from the opening round. The series win was the team's first since the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the first sweep of a playoff series in 16 years.

The Penguins began the Eastern Conference Semifinals against their Atlantic Division rival New York Rangers on April 25. The team overcame a 3–0 deficit to defeat the Rangers, 5–4 in Game 1. Hossa tied the game 4:40 into the third period, and Sykora took the lead twenty seconds later. After Scott Gomez tied the game at four, Malkin scored the game-winning goal, deflecting a shot by Crosby with 1:41 left. In Game Two, Staal scored a powerplay goal to take a 1–0 lead. In the last minute, Adam Hall shot the puck down ice, and it drifted into the empty net. Marc-Andre Fleury saved all 26 shots, and the Penguins took a 2–0 lead in the series. The Penguins entered Game Three at Madison Square Gardens after going 0–3–1 in the building during the regular season. They led 3–1 after the first period, before Jaromír Jágr tied the game. Malkin scored on the powerplay with 2:07 left in the second period to take the lead, and Malone added a goal in the third to give the Pens a 5–3 win, and a 3–0 series lead. The Penguins lost their first game of the post-season in Game Four against the Rangers. Jagr scored in the second period, Brandon Dubinsky in the third, and Jagr scored again on an empty net goal in the last minute to force Game Five. In Game Five, the Penguins took a 2–0 lead in the second period after goals from Malkin and Hossa, before the Rangers tied in the third. The game entered overtime, the first of the playoffs for the Penguins, where Hossa scored his second goal of the game 7:10 in. With the goal, the Penguins advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Eastern Conference Finals began between the Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers on May 9. Malkin scored with 7 seconds left in the first period to take a 3–2 lead, and extended the advantage with a shorthanded goal in the second period, giving the Penguins a 1–0 advantage in the series after Game One. In Game Two, Talbot scored to take the lead in the third period, and Staal added an empty-net goal to give the Penguins a 4–2 win, and a 2–0 series lead. The win was the Penguins' seventh consecutive home playoff win, a franchise record, improving on a six-game streak in the 1991–1992 playoffs. The Penguins also became only the fifth team to start the playoffs with a 10–1 record, and the first since the Detroit Red Wings in 1995. Game Three saw the series move across state to Philadelphia; the Penguins struck quickly with goals from Ryan Whitney and Hossa within the first eight minutes. Hossa added his second goal on an empty net to seal the victory. With the win the Penguins become the first team since the 1983 Edmonton Oilers to start the playoffs 11-1. The Penguins failed to close out the Eastern Conference Finals with a sweep of the Flyers in Game Four, losing 4-2. The Flyers jumped out to a 3–0 lead in the first period. The Penguins fought back getting two goals from Jordan Staal in the third period, but Joffrey Lupul's second goal on an empty net sealed the win for the Flyers. The series returned to Pittsburgh for Game Five, where the Penguins won their eighth consecutive home game by a final score of 6–0, the Prince of Wales Trophy, and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Penguins faced the Western Conference Champion Detroit Red Wings for the Stanley Cup. The best-of-seven series began in Detroit on May 24, the first series the Penguins opened on the road. It was the third Stanley Cup Final appearance for the Penguins franchise, the first since consecutive victories during the 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup Finals. The Red Wings made their 23rd appearance, and first since 2002. The series ended on June 4 with the Red Wings winning in six games.

In Game One at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings opened scoring in the second period with a goal from Mikael Samuelsson before finishing with three goals in the third period from Samuelsson, Dan Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg, shutting out the Penguins 4–0. In preparation for Game Two, head coach Michel Therrien revised Pittsburgh's lines; the changes included starting Gary Roberts, who did not play in Game One.

In Game Two, the Penguins were shut out for a second time. Detroit's Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmström scored in the first period and Valtteri Filppula added a third goal in the third period. Pittsburgh struggled, failing to direct a shot on goal for the first twelve minutes of the game. Pittsburgh shuffled their lineup again prior to Game Three, replacing defensman Kris Letang with Darryl Sydor.

Game Three saw the Penguins score their first goal of the Final, when Crosby netted a wrist shot 17:25 into the opening period. Crosby added his second goal of the game early in the second period. In the third, Hall added the game winning goal in the final period with assists from Talbot and Roberts. The Penguins held off a late charge by the Red Wings to win their first game of the Stanley Cup Final by a score of 3–2.

Entering Game Four, Sykora said the game was a must-win for the Penguins, "For us, basically, is a do-or-die game". Despite an early goal from Hossa, the Penguins were unable to hold off the Red Wings, who got goals from Nicklas Lidström and Jiří Hudler. The Penguins inability to capitalize on a 5-on-3 man advantage which lasted for 1:26, sealed the third victory of the series for the Red Wings.

In Game Six, Pittsburgh got goals from Malkin, his first in Stanley Cup Final play, and Hossa. Entering the final minute and trailing by one, Pittsburgh pulled Fleury for the second time that game, hoping to score with circumstances similar to Hossa's earlier goal. A tipped shot which passed in between Chris Osgood and the goal line as time expired did not enter the net, giving Detroit the victory. Pittsburgh's final defeat of the season was by a score of 3-2.

Player in italics scored winning goal.

Tyler Kennedy, Jonathan Filewich, Chris Minard and Alex Goligoski played in their first NHL games. Kennedy, Minard and Connor James scored their first goals, while Goligoski, Ryan Stone and Ty Conklin recorded first points. Evgeni Malkin recorded his first hat trick on January 3.

In addition, Evgeni Malkin, Maxime Talbot and Ryan Malone scored their first playoff goals. Rob Scuderi, Tyler Kennedy and Kris Letang recorded their first playoff points. Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his first playoff shutout.

Evgeni Malkin was added to the All-Star Game on January 22, as a replacement following an injury to Sidney Crosby. In the game, Malkin recorded two assists. On April 29, the league announced that Malkin, along with Alexander Ovechkin and Jarome Iginla, was named as a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player most valuable to his team. With 106 points, Malkin was the Penguins' leader in scoring. He finished second in the league only to Ovechkin. At one point in the season, Malkin recorded a 15-game point streak, the longest by a Russian player in the NHL. In June he was announced as the league's top center and honored on the First All-Star Team alongside Ovechkin and Iginla, defencemen Nicklas Backstrom and Dion Phaneuf, and goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

The Penguins benefited from the success of several players who were called up from the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Forward Tyler Kennedy was first recalled on October 27. Defenceman Kris Letang was recalled on November 13 and immediately contributed to the Penguins shootout, scoring on all of his first five attempts, including during the Winter Classic on January 1. Of his five shots, three won the game for the Penguins. Kennedy and Letang were selected to compete in the YoungStars competition for rookies during the All-Star break.

On April 2, following the final home game against the Philadelphia Flyers, the team announced its award winners for the season. Awards were given by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, the Penguins Booster Club, as well as voted amongst the team.

The free agency period began on July 1. The Penguins saw forward Michel Ouellet and goaltender Jocelyn Thibault leave as free agents to Tampa Bay and Buffalo. To fill openings in the Penguins roster, the team signed goaltender Dany Sabourin, defenceman Darryl Sydor, and forwards Petr Sykora and Adam Hall. The organization also signed forwards Nathan Smith, Chris Minard and Jeff Taffe, as well as goaltender Ty Conklin for their AHL minor league affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

On December 5, following talk of the team's future with Mark Recchi, the team placed the veteran right wing on waivers. After clearing without being claimed, Recchi was assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League the next day. The following day, before playing a game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Recchi was placed on re-entry waivers, where he could again be claimed by another team. On Saturday, December 8, Recchi was claimed by the Atlanta Thrashers, with whom he joined the following Tuesday. The Penguins and the Thrashers would split the remaining cost of his $ 1.75 million contract.

On February 26, just minutes before the trade deadline, the Penguins made a deal with the Atlanta Thrashers to acquire right wings Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis in exchange for wing Colby Armstrong, center Erik Christensen, prospect Angelo Esposito, and a 1st round pick in the 2008 draft. In another trade, the Pens brought in the 6-foot-7 defenceman Hal Gill from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a second-round pick in the 2008 draft, and a fifth-round pick in the 2009 draft.

The 2007 NHL Entry Draft took place on June 22 and 23 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. With the 20th overall pick, the Penguins selected Angelo Esposito of the Quebec Remparts in the first round. The Penguins selected eight players (five forwards and three defensemen) in six of the seven rounds. All of the players remained with their junior league teams in Canada.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins finished first in the AHL East Division during the 2007–08 season. In the Calder Cup Playoffs, the "Baby Penguins" advanced through the Eastern Conference bracket with a record of 12–5. In the Calder Cup Final, they lost to the Chicago Wolves (ATL), four games to two.

In the ECHL, the Wheeling Nailers, a joint affiliate with the Philadelphia Flyers, finished last in the Northern Division, with a final record of 22–43–3–4.

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Ty Conklin

Ty Conklin.jpg

Ty Conklin (born March 30, 1976) is an American professional ice hockey goaltender currently with the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. Raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and a graduate of Shattuck-St. Mary's, he went undrafted but later earned repeated honors in the United States Hockey League as a member of the Green Bay Gamblers, and in the NCAA, while playing for the University of New Hampshire Wildcats.

With the completion of his career at the University of New Hampshire in the spring of 2001, Conklin signed a professional contract as an undrafted free agent with the Edmonton Oilers. He spent the bulk of his first two seasons with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the then-shared American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate for the Oilers and Montreal Canadiens, and led the Bulldogs to within one win of a Calder Cup championship in 2003. He set an AHL record for most saves in a game with 83 (in a quadruple overtime, 134:56 minute 2–1 win over the Houston Aeros in Game 2 of the 2003 Calder Cup Final) in what was then the longest game in AHL history. In the 2003–04 season, he played as back-up to Tommy Salo, effectively becoming the starter when Salo was lost to injury, and then as the joint starter with Jussi Markkanen following Salo's trade to the Colorado Avalanche. During the NHL lockout he played for Wolfsburg in the DEL, the German elite league.

He also played for the United States national team at the IIHF World Championships in the spring of 2004 and 2005. In the 2004 Championships, the US won a surprising bronze medal. Following an upset of the host Czechs and a shutout, 1–0 shootout victory over Slovakia in the bronze-medal game, Conklin was selected as the tournament's best goaltender.

With the conclusion of the lockout, Conklin entered the new season as Edmonton's probable starting goaltender, backed up by Markkanen. Given the prevalent idea that either goaltender could assume the starting job, local media began using the nickname "Conkkanen" to describe Edmonton's starting goaltender. However, during the 2005–06 season, both goaltenders proved to be inconsistent, with Conklin's performance additionally hampered by injury and no longer considered NHL-caliber, prompting the Oilers to waive Conklin in early February and general manager Kevin Lowe to acquire a new starter, Dwayne Roloson, from the Minnesota Wild at the trade deadline.

Despite having played one game for the Oilers between March and June, Conklin was on the bench in Game 1 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final in Raleigh, against the Carolina Hurricanes, and was suddenly called into play late in the third period when Roloson suffered what would prove to be a series-ending knee injury. With the game tied, he and teammate Jason Smith then committed a blunder that allowed Hurricanes forward Rod Brind'Amour to score the winning goal unopposed, into an empty net, with just over 30 seconds of time remaining.

Following the start of free agency on July 1, Conklin was signed as an unrestricted free agent (UFA) by the Columbus Blue Jackets, on July 6. He was expected to compete for the Blue Jackets' backup goaltending position, however coach Gerard Gallant opted to go with internationally-experienced Fredrik Norrena. Conklin was subsequently waived and sent to the Jackets' AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. An injury to Blue Jackets' starter Pascal Leclaire prompted the team to recall him to the NHL on December 11, 2006.

On February 27, 2007, Conklin was acquired by the Buffalo Sabres in a trade for a 5th round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. In his first start with the Sabres, Conklin made a then-career high 42 saves in a win over the Florida Panthers.

On July 19, 2007, Conklin was signed as a UFA by the Pittsburgh Penguins to a $500,000, one-year, two-way contract (that would pay him $100,000 in the AHL, exempting him from re-entry waivers). After being assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL on September 22, he was recalled by Pittsburgh on an emergency basis on December 6, when starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury suffered a high ankle sprain. His first appearance on December 11 in Philadelphia was noted and extremely unprepossessing, as he relieved Dany Sabourin in the third period of an ugly game with the division rival Flyers and promptly earned a 9.00 GAA by allowing the final three goals in an 8–2 blowout loss.

Although initially expected to remain Sabourin's backup, Conklin instead became a sensation as Pittsburgh's de facto starting goaltender, winning his first nine starts from December 20, playing all but one game in the month of January. Coincidentally, he was the first person to wear #35 for the Penguins since franchise goaltender Tom Barrasso, whose twelve-year tenure with the team ended in 2000.

Before Fleury's return as a starter on March 2, 2008, Conklin compiled a record of 17–6–5, earning the nickname "Conkblock" (derived by keeping a person away from a goal, or preventing someone from scoring) by posting career numbers (such as a 50-save win over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on February 26, despite being outshot 52-21) and leading the NHL in save percentage.

He played in 33 games for the Penguins, finishing with a personal record of 18–8–5 and a save percentage of .923, 2nd overall in the NHL, and a single-season franchise record. Though he did not play, he served as Fleury's backup in all twenty of the team's post-season games, as Pittsburgh reached the 2008 Stanley Cup Final.

On July 1, 2008, Conklin signed a one-year, one-way deal as a UFA with the Detroit Red Wings, worth $750,000. In order to meet his new teammates and familiarize himself, he was one of only six Red Wings to participate in the first optional skate before training camp. Conklin made his first start with Detroit on the road, against the Carolina Hurricanes on October 13, where he made 27 saves in a 3–1 Red Wings victory and was named the first star of the game. Detroit coach Mike Babcock expressed a desire to play Conklin in every third game in order to relieve starter Chris Osgood.

On November 17, 2008, Conklin made his debut at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena against Edmonton, posting his fifth career shutout as the Red Wings defeated the Oilers, 4-0.

Although his Phoenix birth makes him the first Arizona-born ice hockey player to play regularly in the NHL, Conklin spent his entire childhood in Alaska, attending West Anchorage High School until he was recruited by Shattuck-St. Mary's, a boarding school in Faribault, Minnesota. He is the first, and so far, only, Alaskan goaltender to reach the NHL. His younger brother Brice used him for shooting practice in their basement (a reversal of the usual positions for siblings) and went on to play defense for Shattuck and the Harvard University Crimson. His brother Sid is also a goaltender, currently at Shattuck.

Conklin and his wife Erika have a young daughter and son, and welcomed their second son, Nash, November 15, 2008. They live in central Maine during the offseason.

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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.

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Source : Wikipedia