NHL
Game Date Matchup/Result Breakdown
1 Saturday, May 30, 8pm et Penguins 1 at Red Wings 3 Recap/Highlights | Box
2 Sunday, May 31, 8pm et Penguins 1 at Red Wings 3 Recap/Highlights | Box
3 Tuesday, June 2, 8pm et Red Wings 2 at Penguins 4 Recap/Highlights | Box
4 Thursday, June 4, 8pm et Red Wings 2 at Penguins 4 Recap/Highlights | Box
5 Saturday, June 6, 8pm et Penguins 0 at Red Wings 5 Recap/Highlights | Box
6 Tuesday, June 9, 8pm et Red Wings 1  at Penguins 2 Recap/Highlights | Box
7 Friday, June 12, 8pm et Penguins 2 at Red Wings 1 Recap/Highlights | Box
Penguins win series 4-3
* If Necessary

DETROIT RED WINGS

Team Page | Roster | Stats

Regular Season Record: 51-21-10, 112 pts
Head-to-Head Record: 1-1
Last Stanley Cup Win: 2008
Last Stanley Cup Final Appearance: 2008
Last Postseason Appearance: 2008
Players with Stanley Cup Rings: Pavel Datsyuk (2), Henrik Zetterberg (1), Brian Rafalski (3), Jiri Hudler(1), Johan Franzen (1), Nicklas Lidstrom (4), Nicklas Kronwall (1), Mikael Samuelsson (1), Dan Cleary (1), Valtteri Filppula (1), Tomas Holmstrom (4), Tomas Kopecky (1), Kris Draper (4), Brett Lebda (1), Andreas Lilja (1), Brad Stuart (1), Kirk Maltby (4), Aaron Downey (1), Darren McCarty (4), Darren Helm (1), Chris Chelios (3), Chris Osgood (3)

How They Got Here: Despite their status as a Stanley Cup favourite, the Red Wings took their fans on a roller coaster ride over the last six weeks. They dominated the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, scoring at least four goals in each of their victories en route to a four-game sweep. By contrast, the 2007 Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks were a much more challenging opponent, with forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry spearheading an aggressive attack that pushed the Red Wings to the full seven games and a nail-biting one-goal victory in the final contest. The Central Division rival Chicago Blackhawks came in with plenty of youth and energy, but were no match for the more experienced Wings. Mike Babcock's club capitalized on Chicago's mistakes game after game, despite having Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom out of the lineup for a short stretch. With a convinicing victory over the Hawks, the Red Wings advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the sixth time in 14 years.

A Reason To Cheer For The Red Wings: No team has repeated as Stanley Cup champions since...well, the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. Virtually every member of the team owns a Stanley Cup ring, the exceptions being off-season acquisitions Marian Hossa and Ty Conklin. Ironically, both played for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season and were on hand to watch the Wings celebrate their Stanley Cup title. If the Wings do end up winning it all again, will the ageless Chris Chelios retire? (Doubtful).

What They Bring To The Table: By this point you know what you are going to get with Detroit. They are a disciplined, well coached, fundamentally sound team that can roll four lines. They sacrifice individual glory for what is best for the team, which speaks to the professionalism of those inside the organization. Thanks to their victory last year, the Wings - more than any other team - know what it takes to win. Their veteran core of Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Rafalski, Holmstrom and Osgood all have multiple Stanley Cup rings. Head coach Mike Babcock has done a fantastic job keeping his team focused this season when there could have been a serious Stanley Cup hangover. The Wings’ forwards are as good a group as you will find in the league with no fewer than five 20 goal scorers. That scoring depth was on display in the first round as it was generally the role players who provided the offence against the Blue Jackets. What truly separates Detroit from the pack is their defensive unit. Led by perennial Norris Trophy candidate Nicklas Lidstrom, the Wings blueline is absolutely stacked with a nice mix of puck movers and bangers. They are also battle tested thanks to last year’s championship run. Heading into the playoffs it appeared as goaltending was the Wings’ one weak link; however Chris Osgood answered his critics by out dueling star rookie Steve Mason in Round 1. There has to be a great deal of personal satisfaction for Osgood who repaid Babcock’s loyalty to him. If Ozzie is back to championship form than the Wings are an odds-on bet to repeat.


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Team Page | Roster | Stats

Regular Season Record: 45-28-9, 99 pts
Head-to-Head Record: 1-1
Last Stanley Cup Win: 1992
Last Stanley Cup Final Appearance: 2008
Last Postseason Appearance: 2008
Players with Stanley Cup Rings: Chris Kunitz (1), Bill Guerin (1), Petr Sykora (1), Ruslan Fedotenko (1), Craig Adams (1)

How They Got Here: In the first round, the Penguins captured home-ice advantage over the cross-state rival Flyers on the final day of the regular season and it proved to be a crucial result. For the second straight season, Pittsburgh ended the playoff hopes of their hated rivals and with relative ease. The next series was the NHL's dream match-up - a star-studded battle between Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin and Semin as the Penguins took on the Capitals. After a see-saw battle that saw the series go the distance, Pittsburgh came out victorious with a stunning Game 7 rout. The high-flying series had at least five goals scored in all seven games and the young guns from both up-and-coming clubs making big contributions. The duo of Crosby and Malkin stepped their play up again in the conference final, making short work of the Carolina Hurricanes to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the second straight season.

A Reason To Cheer For The Penguins: The Penguins were just shy of capturing their third Stanley Cup in franchise history last year and nothing short of finishing the job this spring will be acceptable. Those high hopes are remarkable considering that just a couple of months ago, pundits were wondering if this team would even make the playoffs. With new coach Dan Bylsma at the helm and Evgeni Malkin making his case for the Hart Trophy (finishing first in league scoring and leading all Penguins players in scoring for the second consecutive season), Pittsburgh is back in the contenders' conversation.

What They Bring To The Table: While trade deadline acquisitions Chris Kunitz and veteran winger Bill Guerin don't have the same level of talent that Marian Hossa brought last year, they do add plenty of grit and experience while filling the scoring void on the wing that the club needed most of the season. The Penguins also have solid character players like Pascal Dupuis and Maxime Talbot, who are always ready to provide energy and support for the blueliners. The club had to give up a good offensive defenceman in Ryan Whitney, but have enough depth with the return of power play specialist Sergei Gonchar and the emergence of young Kris Letang. Goaltending is everything in the postseason, and Marc-Andre Fleury should be solid in goal if he builds on last spring's postseason run.


 

Statistical keys to the series

- Detroit ranked first in the league on the power play, with a 25.5% success rate. Pittsburgh ranked 20th at 17.2%.

- Detroit's power play ranks third in the playoffs, with a 25.7% success rate. Pittsburgh ranks seventh at 19.3%.

- Detroit ranked 25th in the league in penalty killing, with a 78.3% success rate. Pittsburgh ranked eighth, at 86.7%.

- Detroit's penalty killing ranks 14th in the playoffs, with a 73.7% success rate. Pittsburgh ranks fifth at 83.6%.

- Brad Stuart (157), Tomas Kopecky (109) and Daniel Cleary (107) were the Red Wings' leading hitters in the regular season.

- Darren Helm (78), Daniel Cleary (47), Niklas Kronwall (41) and Brad Stuart (41) were the Red Wings' leading hitters through the Western Conference Final.

Brooks Orpik (309), Matt Cooke (262) and Chris Kunitz (207) were the Penguins' leading hitters in the regular season. Kunitz's totals include games with Anaheim.

Brooks Orpik (77), Matt Cooke (56) and Chris Kunitz (48) were the Penguins' leading hitters through the Eastern Conference Finals.

- Kris Draper was the Red Wings' top face-off man in the regular season -- 60.3%. Henrik Zetterberg has been best in the playoffs -- 55.1%.

Sidney Crosby is the Penguins' top face-off man -- 51.3% in the regular season and 54.0% in the playoffs.

- Detroit's Marian Hossa tied for fifth in the league with 40 goals.

- Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby ranked first and second in the league with 78 and 70 assists, respectively. Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk ranked fifth with 65 assists.

- Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby ranked first and third in the league with 113 and 103 points, respectively. Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk ranked fourth in the league with 97 points.

- Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk ranked third in the league at plus-34. Nicklas Lidstrom ranked seventh at plus-31.

- Detroit's Marian Hossa and Johan Franzen tied for seventh in the league with eight game-winning goals.

- Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are tied for the playoff lead with 28 points.

- Marian Hossa, Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Jiri Hudler led the Red Wings with three points in two games against Pittsburgh this year.

- Jordan Staal led the Penguins with four points in two games against the Red Wings this year.

- Detroit's leaders in power play ice time (per game in the playoffs):
Nicklas Lidstrom 3:49
Brian Rafalski 3:44
Johan Franzen 3:29
Henrik Zetterberg 3:24
Marian Hossa 3:23
Niklas Kronwall 3:16

- Pittsburgh's leaders in power play ice time (per game in the playoffs):
Sergei Gonchar 6:31
Evgeni Malkin 5:59
Sidney Crosby 5:48
Kris Letang 5:47
Bill Guerin 4:24
Chris Kunitz 3:07

- Detroit's leaders in penalty killing ice time (per game in the playoffs):
Nicklas Lidstrom 3:11
Brad Stuart 3:02
Henrik Zetterberg 2:14
Dan Cleary 2:07
Niklas Kronwall 1:59
Jonathan Ericsson 1:57

- Pittsburgh's leaders in penalty killing ice time (per game in the playoffs):
Rob Scuderi 2:49
Jordan Staal 2:39
Hal Gill 2:33
Craig Adams 2:31
Maxime Talbot 2:26
Brooks Orpik 1:52
Matt Cooke 1:52

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