= 2001 = 2002 = 2003 = 2004 = 2006 = 2007 = 2008 = 2009 = 2010 =

Round One - Conference Quarterfinals

Western Conference

#1 Dallas Stars vs. #8 Edmonton Oilers

The Stars seem to have made it a policy to eliminate the Oilers from the playoffs and with Dallas having the first seed and the hapless Oilers having the eighth, it looked like that trend would likely continue.

GAME ONE: EDMONTON 2 at DALLAS 1 -April 9
Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff score for the Oilers to spoil Game One for the number-one seeded Stars. Dallas' Mike Modano scored first on a power play goal in the first.

GAME TWO: EDMONTON 1 at DALLAS 6 -April 11
Scott Young scored twice, and Mike Modano had a goal and two assists as the Stars spank the Oilers 6-1. This tilt featured numerous fights, penalties, and ejections of both captains. Ah, good ol' hockey! Edmonton's Marty Reasoner scored first, but Stars poured it on with the aforementioned goals by Young and Modano and tallies by Jason Arnott and Sergei Zubov.

GAME THREE: DALLAS 2 at EDMONTON 3 -April 13
Dallas lead 1-0 until the third, but Edmonton prevailed to take a 2-1 series lead. Georges Laraque and Fernando Pisani scored for Edmonton and Radek Dvorak scored late in the third period to give them the victory. Arnott and Jere Lehtinen scored for Dallas.

GAME FOUR: DALLAS 3 at EDMONTON 1 -April 15
Stu Barnes and the Stars tie the series up. Barnes had the game-winning goal along with goals by Sergei Zubov and Niko Kapanen. Shawn Horcoff scored an unassisted goal for the Oilers.

GAME FIVE: EDMONTON 2 at DALLAS 5 -April 17
Midway through the first, Scott Young and Sergei Zubov potted power-play goals a mere 53 seconds apart. Zubov added another in the third following Modano's second period goal and Manny Malhotra added an empty netter to put Dallas one win away from taking the series. Mike Comrie and Eric Brewer scored in the third for the Oilers.

GAME SIX: DALLAS 3 at EDMONTON 2 - April 19
Modano scored the game-winner in the third and Dallas sends the Oilers to clean out their lockers. Scott Young and Philippe Boucher also scored for Dallas and the final two goals of Edmonton's season belonged to Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff.

Stars win series 4 games to 2.

#2 Detroit Red Wings vs. #7 Disneyland Ducks*

Surely the Stanley Cup Champion juggernaut that is the Detroit Red Wings can easily defeat the #7-seeded Ducks. Surely. Wait...what?

GAME ONE: DISNEYLAND 2 at DETROIT 1 (3OT) -April 10
In a Game One shocker, 3:18 into the sixth period of the game, Ducks' Paul Kariya put the tightly played game away and Disneyland takes a 1-0 series lead. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped a whopping 63 shots in his playoff debut. Detroit's Brendan Shanahan opened up the scoring on a power play tally but Adam Oates tied it up later in the first.

GAME TWO: DISNEYLAND 3 at DETROIT 2 -April 12
The Ducks decided to stun the Wings again; when it looked another overtime game was looming, Steve Thomas scored the game-winner with 4:14 left. It was a come from behind victory for Disneyland also featuring goals by Stanislav Chistov and Jason Krog. Jason Woolley and Luc Robitaille scored for Detroit. avalyn points out that Robitaille scored TWICE but his second goal (midway through the third) was disallowed after 10 minutes of reviews; the puck hit the upper right (Giguere's left) crossbar junction, but according to avalyn did go past Jiggy by a few centimeters (across the goal line but up in the air - the review could have gone either way. I add that it is extremely difficult to call such a thing a goal since it is nearly impossible to determine if a puck crossed the goal line if it did it only when it is in the air. A similar non-goal was scored/not scored by the Blackhawks against the Blues in the 2002 playoffs).

GAME THREE: DETROIT 1 at DISNEYLAND 2 -April 14
Samuel Pahlsson, Stanislav Chistov and the Ducks take an unlikely stranglehold on the series. Tomas Holmstrom scored the lone goal for the Wings.

GAME FOUR: DETROIT 2 at DISNEYLAND 3 -April 16
6:53 into overtime, Steve Rucchin scores the game and series winner on a great from-behind-the-net feed by Keith Carney. Jean-Sebastian Giguere made 32 saves and Jason Krog and Paul Kariya also scored for the Ducks. Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg opened up the scoring and Sergei Fedorov scored an unassisted tally late in the third to force OT, but the Detroit Red Wings become just the second defending Cup winner to be swept the following season in a four-game opening series and Red Wing-haters everywhere laugh their asses off. Curtis Joseph continues his quest to never win a Stanley Cup.

Ducks win series 4 games to 0.

#3 Colorado Avalanche vs. #6 Minnesota Wild

It was a "Wild" series, which at one point was controlled by the Stanley-experienced Avalanche. But Minnesota had other plans for their first-ever playoff round.

GAME ONE: MINNESOTA 4 at COLORADO 2 -April 10
In just over four minutes in the second the Wild scored three goals to stun Colorado and take a 1-0 series lead and win their fist-ever playoff game. Wild's Dwayne Roloson stopped 39 shots and Filip Kuba, Marian Gaborik, Wes Walz and Andrew Brunette scored for Minnesota and Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk scored for the Avalanche. The record four-in-a-row Division Champions can't believe it.

GAME TWO: MINNESOTA 2 at COLORADO 3 -April 12
Now this is more like it. Colorado's Brian Willsie scores his first-ever playoff goal, Patrick Roy made 24 saves, and the 'Lanche even things up. Milan Hejduk and Greg De Vries also score for Colorado and Minnesota got tallies from Wes Walz (shorthanded) and Andrew Brunette (power play).

GAME THREE: COLORADO 3 at MINNESOTA 0 -April 14
Peter Forsberg, Joe Sakic, Alex Tanguay and the Avalanche take Game Three. Roy had to stop just 18 shots to earn the shutout.

GAME FOUR: COLORADO 3 at MINNESOTA 1 -April 16
Joe Sakic scored two goals and added assisted on Dan Hinote's third period tally and the 'Lance go up 3-1 in the series. Marian Gaborik scored for Minnesota.

GAME FIVE: MINNESOTA 3 at COLORADO 2 -April 19
Wild stay alive on goals by Willie Mitchell, Filip Kuba, and Pascal Dupuis and Manny Fernandez made 26 saves in his first start in the series. Steven Reinprecht and Rob Blake scored third period goals for the 'Lanche in an unsuccessful comeback attempt.

GAME SIX: COLORADO 2 at MINNESOTA 3 (OT) -April 21
4:22 into overtime Richard Park (who's that?) keeps Minnesota alive yet again and forces a decisive Game Seven. Park, with his first goal, and Marian Gaborik stoked Minnesota to a 2-0 lead but Joe Sakic and defenseman Greg de Vries evened things up.

GAME SEVEN: MINNESOTA 3 at COLORADO 2 (OT) -April 22
Andrew Brunette got the OT winner and Manny Fernandez stopped 43 to get Minnesota their first, and highly unlikely, playoff series win. Colorado fans go home dazed and confused. The last time the Avalanche blew a 3-1 series lead was also the last time they were eliminated in the first round: 1998 against the Oilers. Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic scored for Colorado and the Wild also got tallies from Pascal Dupuis and Marian Gaborik.

This was Patrick Roy's final NHL game.

Wild win series 4 games to 3.

#4 Vancouver Canucks vs. #5 St. Louis Blues

These two teams didn't like each other very much. In December 1996 the Canucks handed the Blues their asses in front of their home fans 8-0 and after that the Blues won the next 18 games between the two, spanning several seasons. A hard-fought, roller coaster 7 game series was nothing less than anybody had expected.

GAME ONE: ST. LOUIS 6 at VANCOUVER 0 -April 10
Blues crush the Canucks in the opening game of the series, soundly defeating them 6-0 on goals by Cory Stillman, Tyson Nash (those two in the opening two minutes), Khavanov (2), Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight. Steady and experienced Chris Osgood makes 20 saves and becomes the first Blues goalie to record a shutout in a playoff debut game while spastic Dan Cloutier shits his pants while stopping just 22 shots.

GAME TWO: ST. LOUIS 1 at VANCOUVER 2 -April 12
Canucks win a postseason game on home ice for the first time in seven years. Trent Klatt and Ed Jovanovski scored power-play goals for the 'Nucks. Pavol Demitra spoiled Cloutier's shutout bid by scoring with only 54.1 seconds remaining.

GAME THREE: VANCOUVER 1 at ST. LOUIS 3 -April 14
Two goals and an assist by Doug Weight put the Blues up two games to one in the series.

GAME FOUR: VANCOUVER 1 at ST. LOUIS 4 -April 16
Despite outshooting the Blues 33-20 and scoring an early goal (Markus Naslund), the Canucks lose to Martin Rucinsky (2G, 1A) and the Blues and find themselves on the brink.

GAME FIVE: ST. LOUIS 3 at VANCOUVER 5 - April 18
Vancouver's top line of Todd Bertuzzi, Brendan Morrison and Markus Naslund, which only combined for one goal the first four games of the series, finally come to life. Each scored second period goals to stave off elimination. Brent Sopel got things started for the 'Nucks in the first and Stillman, Nash, and Rucinsky tallied for the Blues, all in the third.

GAME FIVE: VANCOUVER 4 at ST. LOUIS 3 - April 20
Markus Nasland strikes again with a goal and two assists and the Canucks force a Game Seven. The flu bug continues to bite the Blues and despite Doug Weight scoring again and fighting very hard to tie it in the final minutes St. Louis cannot wrap it up for their home fans and go to Round Two.

GAME FIVE: ST. LOUIS 1 at VANCOUVER 4 - April 22
Martin Rucinsky scored early right out of the gates, but Dan Cloutier stopped the Blues' other 33 shots and goals by Vancouver's Henrik Sedin, Brendan Morrison, Markus Naslud and Trevor Linden send St. Louis packing. For the first time in club history, the Blues lose a series after leading three games to one and the 'Nucks head to Round Two.

Canucks win series 4 games to 3.

Eastern Conference

#1 Ottawa Senators vs. #8 New York Islanders

The Islanders get back into the playoff swing, barely squeaking in to face the dominating first seeded Ottawa Senators.

GAME ONE: NEW YORK ISLANDERS 3 at OTTAWA 0 -April 9
The underdog Islanders take Game One, blanking the Senators and getting goals by Dave Scatchard, Alexei Yashin and Shawn Bates.

GAME TWO: NEW YORK ISLANDERS 0 at OTTAWA 3 -April 12
Turnabout is fair play and this time Patrick Lalime and the Senators blank the Isles 3-0. The Sens got tallies by Marian Hossa (2) and Vaclav Varada.

GAME THREE: OTTAWA 3 at NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2 (2OT) -April 14
On his second tally of the night, Todd White tips in the overtime goal that wins the game and gives Ottawa a 2-1 series lead. Alexei Yashin and Randy Robitaille scored first period goals for New York; Chris Phillips also scored for the Sens.

GAME FOUR: OTTAWA 3 at NEW YORK ISLANDERS 1 -April 16
The Senators take a commanding 3-1 series lead on a Game Four 3-1 victory. Ottawa came charging out of the gate with Mike Fisher scoring just 28 seconds into the first period. Anton Volchenkov tallied less than four minutes later. Marian Hossa tallied for the Sens in the third and Adrian Aucoin was New York's lone scorer.

GAME FIVE: NEW YORK ISLANDERS 1 at OTTAWA 4 -April 17
Radek Bonk scored twice as the Ottawa Senators sent the Islanders home, pleasing the raucous Ottawa home crowd. Martin Havlat and Todd White also scored for the Senators. The Islanders' final goal of the season came from a power play tally by Mark Parrish in the second.

Senators win series 4 games to 1.

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #7 Boston Bruins

The #2 seeded Devils once again find themselves in good position to go all the way to the Finals and possibly take the Cup again. Boston has a devil of a time trying to keep up with New Jersey.

GAME ONE: BOSTON 1 at NEW JERSEY 2 -April 9
Jamie Langenbrunner scored twice to lift his Devils to a Game One win. Martin Brodeur made 26 saves, only allowing the lone Bruins goal by Bryan Berard in the third (wow, I guess he can see pretty good!) .

GAME TWO: BOSTON 2 at NEW JERSEY 4 -April 11
Jamie Langenbrunner strikes again! His one goal and two assists help stoke New Jersey to a 2-0 series lead. Jeff Friesen, Brian Rafalski and Joe Nieuwendyk also scored for the Devils and they become the only first round team in 2003 to win the first two home games. Boston got on the board first, though, with a tally by Glen Murray. Dan Mcgillis also scored for the Bruins.

GAME THREE: NEW JERSEY 3 at BOSTON 0 -April 13
Martin Brodeur stops 29 shots for his 14th shutout in 70 playoff victories as New Jersey puts itself in a commanding 3-0 series lead. The three scoring Devils: Scott Stevens, Jay Pandolfo, and John Madden (empty net).

GAME FOUR: NEW JERSEY 1 at BOSTON 5 -April 15
The Bruins wake up and score no less than five times to stay alive in the series! Goals by Dan McGillis (2), Joe Thornton, Martin Lapointe and Marty McInnis surprise New Jersey, who only answers with an unassisted tally by Scott Niedermayer.

GAME FIVE: BOSTON 0 at NEW JERSEY 3 -April 17
Brodeur shuts the bears out again and sends Boston packing. Jamie Langenbrunner scored two goals and John Madden had a goal and two assists to launch the Devils into Round Two.

Devils win series 4 games to 1.

#3 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. #6 Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals had not won a playoff series since 1998 when they coasted to the Finals. Tampa Bay, however, had never won a playoff series. So both were very hungry for a series win.

GAME ONE: WASHINGTON 3 at TAMPA BAY 0 -April 10
Robert Lang scored twice and Olaf Kolzig stopped all 28 shots as the Washington Capitals take Game One with a shutout. Michael Nylander also tallied for the Caps.

GAME TWO: WASHINGTON 6 at TAMPA BAY 3 -April 12
Washington makes a capitol gain here by spanking Tampa in a 6-3 win and taking a 2-0 series lead (on the road no less!) Jaromir Jagr scored twice, so did Peter Bondra, and Michael Nylander and Mike Grier also had tallies. Tampa got goals by Vaclav Prospal, Fredrik Modin, and Dave Andreychuk.

GAME THREE: TAMPA BAY 4 at WASHINGTON 3 (OT) -April 15
2:29 into overtime Vincent Lecavalier scored on a two-man advantage to give the Bolts their first win in the series. It also snapped an 11-game losing streak at the MCI Center that dated back to 1998. Lecavalier also scored in the first. Vaclav Prospal and little Martin St. Louis also netted goals for Tampa. The Caps got goals by Dainius Zubrus (2) and Brendan Witt.

GAME FOUR: TAMPA BAY 3 at WASHINGTON 1 -April 16
Tampa wins again on two goals by Martin St Louis (one short-handed), and one by Vincent Lecavalier. Bondra scored for Washington.

GAME FIVE: WASHINGTON 1 at TAMPA BAY 2 -April 18
And the Bolts win yet again to take a 3-2 series lead on tallies by Vaclav Prospal and Martin St Louis. Michael Nylander potted one for the Caps.

GAME SIX: TAMPA BAY 2 at WASHINGTON 1 (3OT) -April 20
Little Martin St. Louis is the hero, finally scoring into the third overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning their first-ever playoff series victory. 4:03 into the third extra period after the Caps were whistled for too many men on the ice (Jason Doig jumped the gun and found himself with the puck too soon) St. Louis found the back of the net. Washington scored first with Bondra in the first and Tampa's Dave Andreychuk tied it up in the third with a power play goal. It was the longest game of the MCI Center's history.

Lightning win series 4 games to 2.

#4 Philadelphia Flyers vs. #5 Toronto Maple Leafs

The season series between these two teams was tied at two games a piece, so a seven-game, hard-fought series between these two nearly-evenly-matched teams had been expected.

GAME ONE: TORONTO 5 at PHILADELPHIA 3 -April 9
Alexander Mogilny got the first playoff hat trick of his career and the Leafs down the Flyers in Game One, despite Philly dominating the game with more shots on goal (31 to the Leafs' 15). But Roman Cechmanek allowed 4 goals on Toronto's first 13 shots. Tie Domi and Mikael Renberg also tallied for the Leafs and Philly got goals by Eric Weinrich, Donald Brashear, and Eric Desjardins.

GAME TWO: TORONTO 1 at PHILADELPHIA 4 -April 11
Simon Gagne and Jeremy Roenick scored in the first and Mark Recchi and John LeClair added tallies in the second to pull the series even. This time outshooting the Leafs paid off. Alexander Mogilny scores again for Toronto.

GAME THREE: PHILADELPHIA 3 at TORONTO 4 (2OT) -April 14
Tomas Kaberle, scoring for the second time, put this one away 7:20 into double overtime to give the Leafs a 2-1 series lead. Robert Reichel and Alexander Mogilny also scored for Toronto. Mogilny suffered an injury, though; a stick to the chin from Jeremy Roenick in the second OT sent him to the lockers. Eric Weinrich and Eric Desjardin both score again for Philly. Mark Recchi sent the game to overtime in the third.

GAME FOUR: PHILADELPHIA 3 at TORONTO 2 (3OT) -April 16
It took three overtimes to decide this tilt and this time Philadelphia wins it on Mark Recchi's second goal of the game. Ed Belfour made 72 saves but it was all over when Recchi's wrist shot from the faceoff circle hit Ed's stick and barely trickled over the line. Roenick also scored for Philly and the Leafs got tallies from Travis Green (shorthanded) and Mats Sundin.

GAME FIVE: TORONTO 1 at PHILADELPHIA 4 -April 19
Sami Kapanen tallied twice and Tony Amonte assisted twice to lift the Flyers to a 3-2 series lead. It was a huge lift for Kapanen who had been suffering quite a scoring drought. Other goals: Philly - Dmitry Yushkevich, Simon Gagne; Toronto: Aki Berg.

GAME SIX: PHILADELPHIA 1 at TORONTO 2 (2OT) -April 21
It's overtime again! Travis Green scored 10:51 into the second extra period to send the series to Game Seven. Jeremy Roenick scored for the Flyers and Toronto's other goal belonged to Robert Reichel.

GAME SEVEN: TORONTO 1 at PHILADELPHIA 6 -April 22
Philly finally comes out and kicks some ass, whoopin on the Leafs on goals by Mark Recchi (2), Justin Williams (who also had two assists), Simon Gagne and Keith Primeau. Toronto's lone goal was from Gary Roberts in the second.

Flyers win series 4 games to 3.


Round Two - Conference Semifinals

Western Conference

#1 Dallas Stars vs. #7 Disneyland Ducks

After the Ducks' unlikely first round sweep of the Red Wings, they were ready for more. Dallas was hoping the Ducks' first round was just a fluke.

GAME ONE: DISNEYLAND 4 at DALLAS 3 (5OT) -April 24
It took the fourth-longest game in playoff history (yes, FIVE overtimes, that was not a typo) to decide this Game One tilt. Petr Sykora finally put this one away 48 seconds into the fifth extra period to give the Ducks a 1-0 series lead. It was almost over in the third overtime when Steve Thomas scored, but it was ruled that the net had come loose. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made sixty saves. Jason Krog, Rob Niedermayer, and Steve Rucchin also scored for Disneyland and Derian Hatcher, Jason Arnott, and Brenden Morrow tallied for Dallas.

GAME TWO: DISNEYLAND 3 at DALLAS 2 (OT) -April 26
This one didn't last quite as long as the first one, but the result was the same. The Ducks took a 2-0 series lead Mike Leclerc's 2OT goal. The Stars had the game in their hands in the third, but Rob Niedermayer's attempted pass with 69 seconds left deflected off a Dallas skate and past goalie Marty Turco. Adam Oates also scored for the Ducks and Brenden Morrow and Mike Modano scored for Dallas.

GAME THREE: DALLAS 2 at DISNEYLAND 1 -April 28
Dallas finally gets a win in the series on two goals by Jere Lehtinen. Steve Rucchin scored a power play goal for the Ducks in the first.

GAME FOUR: DALLAS 0 at DISNEYLAND 1 -April 30
The Ducks stake a stranglehold on the series on a power play goal by Mike Leclerc with 1:47 left in the third. Jean-Sebastien Giguere recorded his first career playoff shutout.

GAME FIVE: DISNEYLAND 1 at DALLAS 4 -May 3
Rookie Niko Kapanen scored twice to keep his team alive. Jean-Sebastien Giguere, in rare form, surrendered three goals on 19 shots in the first two periods, then actually sat out in the third. Rob DiMaio and Stu Barnes scored in the first for Dallas. Paul Kariya scored for the Ducks.

GAME SIX: DALLAS 3 at DISNEYLAND 4 - May 5
It looked like it was headed into another overtime, but with only 1:06 left Sandis Ozolinsh put the game, and the top-seeded Stars, away. Steve Thomas, Stanislav Chistov, and Ruslan Salei also scored for Disneyland; Kirk Muller, Niko Kapanen, and Brenden Morrow scored for the Stars.

Ducks win series 4 games to 2.

#4 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 Minnesota Wild

It was truly a "Wild" series. Again the Canucks were taken to task by a lower-seeded team, but this time the result did not go their way.

GAME ONE: MINNESOTA 3 at VANCOUVER 4 (OT)-April 22
It looked like the Wild were going to take Game One...until the final two seconds of the game. Matt Cooke knotted it up with a mere 1.2 seconds left (to rally from being down 3-1) then Trent Klatt on a power play tally made his effort worth it 3:42 into overtime. Ed Jovanovski and Markus Naslund got the other goals for the 'Nucks; Mini soda got a power play goal from Sergei Zholtok in the first and then two by Wes Walz in the third, Marian Gaborik helping on both of those.

GAME TWO: MINNESOTA 3 at VANCOUVER 2 -April 24
Sergei Zholtok and Wes Walz made their goals count this time, scoring in the first two minutes of the third to even the series up. Down 3-1 again, Vancouver tried another amazing comeback, Mattias Naslund potting one with Dan Cloutier on the bench, but this time they fell short. Vancouver's other goal belonged to Ed Jovanovski and Marian Gaborik had the other Wild goal and an assist.

GAME THREE: VANCOUVER 3 at MINNESOTA 2 -April 26
This was a powerful game. Brendan Morrison, Ed Jovanovski and Daniel Sedin each scored power play goals to even up the series for the 'Nucks. The two goals by the Wild were also power play goals (Filip Kuba and Marian Gaborik). Oh yeah, and right after the opening faceoff Matt Johnson and Brad May dropped the gloves.

GAME FOUR: VANCOUVER 3 at MINNESOTA 2 (OT) -April 28
Brent Sopel scored in overtime to give the Canucks a commanding 3-1 series lead. Defenseman Jovanovski tied it with 2:06 remaining to force OT. The other Vancouver goal belonged to Matt Cooke and Marian Gaborik scored both goals for Minnesota. The Wild again find themselves down 3-1 in a series.

GAME FIVE: MINNESOTA 7 at VANCOUVER 2 -May 1
Offense was never something the Wild were known for, but they scored a shocking 7 goals in this rout of the 'Nuckleheads. Cliff Ronning scores twice in a five-goal second period as Minnesota stays alive. The other give Wild goals were from Richard Park, Jason Marshall, Andrew Brunette and Wes Walz. Vancouver got two from Brendan Morrison and Henrik Sedin.

GAME SIX: VANCOUVER 1 at MINNESOTA 5 -May 4
The Wild blow the 'Nucks away again on goals by Andrew Brunette (2), Darby Hendrickson, Antti Laaksonen and Lubomir Sekeras. Dwayne Roloson made 30 saves, only giving up a power play goal to Ed Jovanovski in the third.

GAME SEVEN: MINNESOTA 4 at VANCOUVER 2 -May 1
The Wild become the first team ever to overcome two 3-1 series deficits in one playoff season and take a trip to the West Finals. Vancouver stoked themselves to a 2-0 lead in the second on tallies by Mattias Ohlund and Todd Bertuzzi, but the Wild scored four unanswered goals (Pascal Dupuis (2), Wes Walz, Darby Hendrickson) to take the game and the series.

Wild win series 4 games to 3.

Eastern Conference

#1 Ottawa Senators vs. #4 Philadelphia Flyers

The Senators were flying high from their first round win, and apparently flying higher than the Flyers.

GAME ONE: PHILADELPHIA 2 at OTTAWA 4 -April 25
The Senators scored four unanswered goals to come back from a 2-0 deficit to take Game One. Philly scored two goals on their first two shots (Tony Amonte and Sami Kapanen); Ottawa's goals belonged to Martin Havlat, Marian Hossa, Daniel Alfredsson, and Zdeno Chara.

GAME TWO: PHILADELPHIA 2 at OTTAWA 0 -April 27
Roman Cechmanek snuffed 33 shots for his second career shutout as Philly even things up. Their two goals belonged to Simon Gagne and Mark Recchi.

GAME THREE: OTTAWA 3 at PHILADELPHIA 2 (OT) -April 29
Wade Redden scored at 6:43 into overtime to give his Senators another lead in the series. It was on a shot from near the left circle that somehow traveled through several players - and Roman Cechmanek. Philly had a 2-1 lead but Ottawa broke their 0-22 streak of losing playoff games after trailing for 40 minutes on a goal by Marian Hossa to tie it and Redden's OT tally. Daniel Alfredsson scored a power play goal in the second for the Sens and Philly's two goals belonged to John Leclair and Sami Kapanen.

GAME FOUR: OTTAWA 0 at PHILADELPHIA 1 -May 1
Michal Handzus scores his first career playoff goal and Cechmanek stops all 28 Senator shots as Philly evens things up again.

GAME FIVE: PHILADELPHIA 2 at OTTAWA 5 -May 3
The Senators explode with offense and take a 3-2 series lead. They kicked ass on tallies by Bryan Smolinski, Daniel Alfredsson, Martin Havlat, Radek Bonk, and Peter Schaefer. Philly got on the board a mere 21 seconds into the game from Claude Lapoint and Radovan Somik scored an oh-by-the-way goal in the third.

GAME SIX: OTTAWA 5 at PHILADELPHIA 1 -May 5
The Senators rout again to send the Flyers packing. They scored two in the first seven minutes (Peter Schaefer and Mike Fisher) and never looked back. Daniel Alfredsson, Bryan Smolinski and Martin Havlat also scored for the Senators and the lone Flyers goal belonged to Michal Handzus.

Senators win series 4 games to 2.

#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #3 Tampa Bay Lightning

The Devils have to deal with some pesky lightning bolts on their way to the Conference Finals.

GAME ONE: TAMPA BAY 0 at NEW JERSEY 3 -April 24
Martin Brodeur only had to make 15 saves to earn his third 2003 playoff shutout. New Jersey takes Game One on Brodeur's easy blanking and goals from Jamie Langenbrunner, John Madden and Turner Stevenson.

GAME TWO: TAMPA BAY 2 at NEW JERSEY 3 (OT)-April 26
Jamie Langenbrunner scored 2:09 into overtime to give his Devils as 2-0 series lead. Jersey also got goals from Grant Marshall (who had tied the game and sent it into overtime) and Brian Rafalski. The two lightning strikes were from Chris Dingman and Martin St. Louis.

GAME THREE: NEW JERSEY 3 at TAMPA BAY 4 -April 28
77 seconds in the game Devils captain Scott Stevens got dinged in the ear by a Pavel Kubina shot, a cut that required stitches. He did not return and his team lost, despite erasing a Tampa three-goal lead. Scoring: Tampa Bay: Vinny Prospal, Martin St. Louis, Fredrik Modin, Dave Andreychuk; New Jersey: John Madden, Grant Marshall and Jeff Friesen.

GAME FOUR: NEW JERSEY 3 at TAMPA BAY 1 -April 30
Scott Stevens returns, scores a third period power play goal, and New Jersey takes a 3-1 series lead. Scott Gomez and Patrik Elias also scored for the Devils and Tampa's lone goal belonged to Jassen Cullimore.

GAME FIVE: TAMPA BAY 1 at NEW JERSEY 2 (3OT)-May 2
The Bolts would not go quickly or quietly and it took 3 overtimes for New Jersey to send them home. Grant Marshall scored at 11:12 of the third overtime to lift the Devils to their third trip to the Conference Finals in four years. Scott Niedermayer, the set up man for that goal, scored earlier in the game. Tampa got a tally from Nikita Alexeev, the first one of the night.

Devils win series 4 games to 1.


Round Three - Conference Finals (Stanley Cup Semifinals)

Western Conference

#6 Minnesota Wild vs. #7 Disneyland Ducks

For their first playoff run ever, getting to the third round was impressive. But after coming out like "wild" beasts in the first two rounds, the Ducks reduced them to tame kittens in this lopsided series where Minnesota didn't even find the back of the net until the fourth game! Also, one important question: who in the hell thought that the Western Conference Finals would be between these two?

GAME ONE: DISNEYLAND 1 at MINNESOTA 0 (2OT) -May 10
It was all goose eggs until the scoreless tie was finally broken by Petr Sykora scored 8:06 into the second overtime. Minnesota defenseman Filip Kuba practically handed the puck to Mike Leclerc and him and Skyora went 2-on-1 to end the game. Giguere extended his playoff overtime shutout streak to 159 minutes, 5 seconds, 2nd-longest in NHL history.

GAME TWO: DISNEYLAND 2 at MINNESOTA 0 -May 12
There's just two words to describe Minnesota's effort in Game Two: Puh Thetic. Ducks scored two shorthanded goals (Kurt Sauer and Rob Niedermayer) and Giguere extends his streak further.

"If the Detroit Red Wings can't skate the puck in there, the Minnesota Wild certainly can't," Wild left wing Andrew Brunette said. And that about says it all.

GAME THREE: MINNESOTA 0 at DISNEYLAND 4 -May 14
Giguere made 35 saves for his third straight shutout and the Ducks turn Minnesota from Wild to Mild again. Paul Kariya had two goals and Steve Rucchin and Sandis Ozolinsh each scored for the rubber duckies. "Jiggy" gets closer to the playoff shutout record: 248:32 set by Detroit's Normie Smith in 1936.

GAME FOUR: MINNESOTA 1 at DISNEYLAND 2 -May 16
Finally, finally, the Wild solve Jean-Sebastien Giguere and end his incredible playoff shutout streak, but it's too little, too late. The Ducks become the first team in 11 years to complete a sweep of the Conference Finals. Giguere's playoff shutout streak ends at 217 minutes, 54 seconds, only good enough for fifth-longest in playoff history. The goal to end it was Andrew Brunette's power play goal at 4:37 of the first, the first goal of the game, in fact. But the Ducks answered with two goals by Adam Oates, the second a power play tally.

Ducks win series 4 games to 0.

Eastern Conference

#1 Ottawa Senators vs. #2 New Jersey Devils

Unlike in the West, this series was the way it was supposed to be: no overachieving underdogs, just the top two seeded teams in the East. It was a battle royale but in the end New Jersey was the victor.

GAME ONE: NEW JERSEY 2 at OTTAWA 3 (OT)-May 10
The Senators take Game One on an overtime goal by Shaun Van Allen. Chris Neil and Todd White had stoked them to a 2-0 lead but New Jersey came back and forced overtime in the third on goals by Joe Nieuwendyk and Jay Pandalfo.

GAME TWO: NEW JERSEY 4 at OTTAWA 1 -May 13
John Madden, Tommy Albelin, Jeff Friesen and Jay Pandolfo all score for the Devils as they even the series up. Their penalty-killing unit came up big, killing all seven Ottawa power play opportunities. Ottawa got a goal from Radek Bonk. You know, I really like to say that name.

GAME THREE: OTTAWA 0 at NEW JERSEY 1 -May 15
New Jersey takes a 2-1 series lead on a goal by Sergei Brylin (his first in playoff goal in 16 games) and a shutout by Brodeur. The score should have been 2-0, actually. Jay Pandolfo netted one in the first but it went in and bounced out so quickly that he wasn't sure if he had really gotten it in. The video replay official did not notify the on-ice officials in time and the puck was dropped on the next play. NHL rules state that no reviews can be made after play resumes.

"There was no indication from anyone on the ice that the puck had gone in, and there was no indication from any of the initial camera angles viewed that the puck had crossed the goal line," said Colin Campbell, the NHL's director of hockey operations. "The in-net camera was the only angle that showed the puck had crossed the goal line, and when that angle finally was available, the puck had been dropped and play had resumed."

GAME FOUR: OTTAWA 2 at NEW JERSEY 5 -May 17
Karel Rachunek and Vaclav Varada scored for Ottawa and Grant Marshall and Pandolfo goals by the Devils had the game knotted up at 2. But New Jersey got third period goals by Jeff Friesen, Patrik Elias and John Madden to give them a 3-1 series lead.

GAME FIVE: NEW JERSEY 1 at OTTAWA 3 -May 19
Jason Spezza, playing in his first playoff game ever, had a goal and assisted on Martin Havlat's game-winner to kep the Senators alive. Todd White had a shorthanded goal for the Sens and New Jersey got a goal from Scott Stevens in the second.

GAME SIX: OTTAWA 2 at NEW JERSEY 1 (OT) -May 21
Senators tie things up in overtime. Chris Phillips scored at 15:51 of the extra period to force a deciding Game Seven. It was the Devils' first loss at home in the playoffs after an 8-0 start. Radek Bonk also had a goal (power play) for the Sens and the Devils got a power play tally from Joe Nieuwendyk.

GAME SEVEN: NEW JERSEY 3 at OTTAWA 2 -May 23
With another overtime looming, Jeff Friesen scored with 2:14 remaining in the third period to send the Senators to clean out their lockers. Jamie Langenbrunner had the other two devilish goals and the Senators got their final two goals from Magnus Arvedson and Radek Bonk. It was the end of their best playoff run in club history.

Devils win series 4 games to 3.


Round Four - Stanley Cup Finals

New Jersey Devils vs. Disneyland Ducks

It was a series that Disney-owned ABC and ESPN must have just loved, their darling Disney-corp. marketing vehicle making a serious run at the Cup in front of millions of prime-time hockey viewers. But New Jersey made sure things went the way they were supposed to.

GAME ONE: DISNEYLAND 0 at NEW JERSEY 3 -May 27
Jeff Friesen, a former Duck, scored two goals and finally the Ducks are actually the team that is shutout. A rusty Disneyland team, playing for the first time in 11 days, only managed eight shots in the first two periods and allowed many odd-man rushes. Brodeur, with five playoff shutouts, is one short of the record set by Dominik Hasek in 2002. The other New Jersey goal came from Grant Marshall in the third.

GAME TWO: DISNEYLAND 0 at NEW JERSEY 3 -May 29
Martin Brodeur became the first goalie since 1945 to start the Stanley Cup Finals with back-to-back shutouts and he ties Hasek's record. Ducks are blanked again! Touché, pussycat! The New Jersey goals belonged to Patrik Elias, Scott Gomez and Jeff Friesen.Giguere broke his stick in half in frustration after Jeff Friesen scored his third goal in two games.

GAME THREE: NEW JERSEY 2 at DISNEYLAND 3 (OT)-May 31
The Ducks avoid a perilous 0-3 series start and come up big in overtime. Ruslan Salei scored at 6:59 of the extra period and trim the Devils' lead to 2-1. There was a rare mistake by Brodeur less than a minute after the Devils had tied it up 1-1 in the second: he skated to play a slow shot from the red line when he dropped his stick and accidentally kicked the puck in his own net. Ooops. Sandis Ozolinsh got credited with that goal and, hey, Giguere gets an assist on it. Marc Chouinard scored the other real goal for the Ducks and the Devils got goals from Patrik Elias and Scott Gomez.

GAME FOUR: NEW JERSEY 0 at DISNEYLAND 1 (OT)-June 2
Steve Thomas scored just 39 seconds into overtime and the series is evened up. "Jiggy" gets yet another playoff shutout. Ducks improved to 7-0 in overtime in the postseason and Giguere became the first goalie to win his first seven career overtime playoff games. The Ducks become the first team in history to win games 3 and 4 after being shut out the first two.

GAME FIVE: DISNEYLAND 3 at NEW JERSEY 6 -June 5
New Jersey cooks up some duck in this rout. For once the game isn't about spectacular goalies and it's more about lucky bounces and fluke goals. Jamie Langenbrunner scored twice for the Devils, who also got goals by Pascal Rheaume, Patrik Elias, Brian Gionta, and Jay Pandolfo. The Ducks got goals from Petr Sykora (the first goal of the game), Steve Rucchin, and Samuel Pahlsson.

GAME SIX: NEW JERSEY 2 at DISNEYLAND 5 -June 7
This time it's the Ducks who beat up on the Devils to force a deciding Game Seven. Merely minutes after being leveled on a huge hit by Scott Stevens, Paul Kariya pleased his team and his home crowd by scoring a goal at 17:15 of the second. That was the highlight of the night for the Ducks and Kariya, who also assisted on two first period goals by Steve Rucchin and Steve Thomas. Rucchin got another goal in the first and the other goal scorer for the Ducks was Petr Sykora on a power play in the third. The Devils got a second period goal by Jay Pandolfo and a third period power play goal by Grant Marshall.

GAME SEVEN: DISNEYLAND 0 at NEW JERSEY 3 -June 9
To win the Cup, the Ducks had to win at least one game in New Jersey. Well, being outscored by 15-3 and losing ten straight there meant that it just wasn't in the numbers, or the stars. Home ice advantage ended up being key to winning the championship in 2003. Martin Brodeur bounced back from an embarrassing Game Six and earned his third shutout of the Finals and record seventh of the playoffs. The Devils were 12-1 in home playoff games and became the first team since the 1974 Philadelphia Flyers to win the Cup with a losing road record (4-8). Even though Jersey got two insurance tallies from former Duck Jeff Friesen, it was rookie Michael Rupp, in only his fourth playoff game, who scored the game-winning...and, more importantly, the Cup winning goal.

Devils win series 4 games to 3.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS WIN THE STANLEY CUP

Conn Smythe Trophy
most valuable player in the 2004 playoffs:
Jean-Sebastien Giguere (DIS); 1.56 goals-against average and .948 save percentage. 15 -6 record.
(Only the fifth player on the losing team to win the Conn Smythe)


Sources:
http://www.hockeynut.com/0203/playoffs2003/xf060903.html
http://nhl.com/cupcrazy2003/index.html


*Yes, I am aware of what the Ducks' real name is, as you can see from the pipe link. I call them the Disneyland Ducks because they are more for Disney than Anaheim, more of a shameless marketing vehicle for the Disney corporation than a hockey team. And they are NOT mighty!!

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