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The 2008 Stanley Cup Final was a best-of-seven playoff series that determined the National Hockey League (NHL) champion 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, and were awarded the Stanley Cup. Henrik Zetterberg was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.

This was Detroit's 23rd appearance in the championship series, and its first since winning the Cup in 2002. This was Detroit's 11th Stanley Cup title and 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. This was Pittsburgh's third appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, and its first since winning consecutive championships in 1991 and 1992.

In the United Statesmarker, Versus televised games one and two, and NBC broadcast the rest of the series. It was broadcast in Canadamarker on CBC in English and on RDS in French. In the United Kingdommarker, 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.

Paths to the Final

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 series

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.

Game one

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.

Game one summary






  • Goalie Statistics:


  • Shots by Period:
{| style="width:20em; text-align:right;"


Game two

In preparation for game two, head coach Michel Therrienrevised Pittsburgh's lines; the revision included Gary Robertswho 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 Stuartscored the first goal of the game 6:55 into the first period, on a slap shot, with an assist from Valtteri Filppula. Tomas Holmstromadded 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 Fleurywith a wrist-shot. Chris Osgood recorded his second consecutive shutout, stopping all 22 shots faced.

Game two summary


  • First period:
Team
1
2
3
T
Pittsburgh 12 4 3 19
Detroit 11 16 9 36






  • Goalie statistics:


  • Shots by period:
{| style="width:20em; text-align:right;"


Game three

Game three was held in Pittsburghmarker, where going into the matchup the Penguins had won sixteen consecutive home games.Pittsburgh continued to shuffle their lineup by replacing defenseman Kris Letangwith veteran Darryl Sydor, but going back to the top line combinations from game one. Penguins captain Sidney Crosbyscored 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 Franzenpulled the Red Wings within one, when he scored on the power-play at 14:48 of the second period. Adam Hallscored 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 Samuelssonscored a second goal for the Red Wings, with assists from Brad Stuartand 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.

Game three summary
  • First period:
Team
1
2
3
T
Pittsburgh 6 6 10 22
Detroit 12 11 11 34








  • Shots by period:
{| style="width:20em; text-align:right;"


Game four

Entering Game Four, Petr Sykorasaid the game was a must-win for the Penguins, "For us, basically, [game four] 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 Lidstromtied the game at 7:06 of the first period.

Game four summary


  • First period:
Team
1
2
3
T
Pittsburgh 6 13 5 24
Detroit 9 9 16 34








  • Shots by period:
{| style="width:20em; text-align:right;"


Game five

Pittsburgh's Marian Hossascored the first goal of the game at 8:37 into the first period. Teammate Adam Halladded 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 Talbotscored 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 Sykorascored 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 Fleuryand Chris Osgoodstopped 55 and 28 shots, respectively. The triple overtime game was the fifth-longestin Stanley Cup Final history.

Game five summary


  • First period
Team
1
2
3
T
Pittsburgh 9 8 6 23
Detroit 14 7 9 30






  • First overtime


  • Second overtime






  • Shots by period:
{| style="width:29em; text-align:right;"


Game six

Pittsburgh's Ryan Malonewas scheduled to have X-rayson 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 Rafalskiscored a power play goal at 5:03 in the first period before Valtteri Filppulaextended 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 Zetterbergsqueezed 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 Hossascored 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 six summary
  • First period
Team
1
2
3
OT1
OT2
OT3
T
Pittsburgh 7 7 4 2 8 4 32
Detroit 8 12 14 13 7 4 58








  • Shots by period:
{| style="width:20em; text-align:right;"


Television ratings

Game one of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals had a 1.8 ratingin the United States, drawing 2.3 million viewers. The rating was a 157% increase over the previous Playoff Finalsopener, 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 Francevictory 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 Finalsbetween the Detroit Pistonsand 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.

On the CBC, this was the last Stanley Cup Final that Bob Colewould serve as the play-by-play announcer for, as Jim Hughsonwould take over the following year.

Rosters

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

Pittsburgh Penguins







Detroit Red Wings







2007–08 Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Champions

See also



Notes



Team
1
2
3
T
Detroit 9 9 12 30
Pittsburgh 8 8 6 22
Goaltenders
#
Player
Catches
Acquired
Place of birth
Finals appearance
29
Marc-Andre Fleury
L
2003
Sorelmarker, Quebecmarker
first
35
Ty Conklin
L
2007
Phoenixmarker, Arizonamarker
second (2006)
30
Dany Sabourin
L
2007
Val-d'Ormarker, Quebecmarker
first (did not play)
Defensemen
#
Player
Shoots
Acquired
Place of birth
Finals appearance
2
Hal Gill
L
2008
Concordmarker, Massachusettsmarker
first
3
Mark Eaton (IR)
L
2006
Wilmingtonmarker, Delawaremarker
first (did not play)
4
Rob Scuderi
L
1998
Syossetmarker, New Yorkmarker
first
5
Darryl Sydor
L
2007
Edmontonmarker, Albertamarker
fifth (1993, 1999, 2000, 2004)
19
Ryan Whitney
L
2002
Bostonmarker, Massachusettsmarker
first
44
Brooks Orpik
L
2001
San Franciscomarker, Californiamarker
first
55
Sergei GoncharA
L
2005
Chelyabinskmarker, U.S.S.R.marker
second (1998)
58
Kris Letang
R
2005
Montrealmarker, Quebecmarker
first
Forwards
#
Player
Position
Shoots
Acquired
Place of birth
Finals appearance
9
Pascal Dupuis
LW/RW
L
2008
Laval, Quebecmarker
first
10
Gary RobertsA
LW
L
2007
North York, Ontariomarker
second (1989)
11
Jordan Staal
C
L
2006
Thunder Baymarker, Ontariomarker
first
12
Ryan Malone
LW
L
1999
Pittsburghmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker
first
17
Petr Sykora
RW
L
2007
Pilsenmarker, Czechoslovakiamarker
fourth (2000, 2001, 2003)
18
Marian Hossa
RW
L
2008
Stara Lubovnamarker, Czechoslovakiamarker
first
24
Kris Beech
C
L
2008
Salmon Armmarker, British Columbiamarker
first (did not play)
25
Maxime Talbot
C/LW
L
2002
LeMoynemarker, Quebecmarker
first
27
Georges Laraque
RW
R
2007
Montrealmarker, Quebecmarker
second (2006)
28
Adam Hall
RW/C
R
2007
Kalamazoomarker, Michiganmarker
first
37
Jarkko Ruutu
LW
L
2006
Helsinkimarker, Finlandmarker
first
38
Jeff Taffe
C/LW
L
2007
Hastingsmarker, Minnesotamarker
first (did not play)
48
Tyler Kennedy
C/RW
R
2004
Sault Ste.marker Mariemarker, Ontariomarker
first
71
Evgeni Malkin
C
L
2004
Magnitogorskmarker, U.S.S.R.marker
first
87
Sidney CrosbyC
C
L
2005
Cole Harbourmarker, Nova Scotiamarker
first
Goaltenders
#
Player
Catches
Acquired
Place of birth
Finals appearance
30
Chris Osgood
L
2005
Peace Rivermarker, Albertamarker
fourth (1995, 1997, 1998)
35
Jimmy Howard
L
2003
Ogdensburgmarker, New Yorkmarker
first (did not play)
39
Dominik Hasek
L
2006
Pardubicemarker, Czechoslovakiamarker
fourth (1992, 1999, 2002)
Defensemen
#
Player
Shoots
Acquired
Place of birth
Finals appearance
3
Andreas Lilja
L
2005
Helsingborgmarker, Swedenmarker
first
4
Kyle Quincey
L
2003
Kitchenermarker, Ontariomarker
first (did not play)
5
Nicklas LidstromC
L
1989
Vasterasmarker, Swedenmarker
fifth (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002)
14
Derek Meech
L
2002
Winnipegmarker, Manitobamarker
first (did not play)
22
Brett Lebda
L
2004
Buffalo Grovemarker, Illinoismarker
first
23
Brad Stuart
L
2008
Rocky Mountain Housemarker, Albertamarker
first
24
Chris Chelios
R
1999
Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker
fifth (1986, 1989, 1992, 2002;
did not play)
28
Brian Rafalski
R
2007
Dearbornmarker, Michiganmarker
fourth (2000, 2001, 2003)
36
Garrett Stafford
R
2007
Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker
first (did not play)
52
Jonathan Ericsson
L
2002
Karlskronamarker, Swedenmarker
first (did not play)
55
Niklas Kronwall
L
2000
Stockholmmarker, Swedenmarker
first
Forwards
#
Player
Position
Shoots
Acquired
Place of birth
Finals appearance
8
Justin Abdelkader
C
L
2005
Muskegonmarker, Michiganmarker
first (did not play)
11
Daniel Cleary
LW/RW
L
2005
Carbonearmarker, Newfoundlandmarker
first
13
Pavel DatsyukA
C/LW
L
1998
Sverdlovskmarker, U.S.S.R.marker
second (2002)
17
Dallas Drake
RW/LW
L
2007
Trailmarker, British Columbiamarker
first
18
Kirk Maltby
RW/LW
R
1996
Guelphmarker, Ontariomarker
fourth (1997, 1998, 2002)
20
Aaron Downey
RW
R
2007
Shelburnemarker, Ontariomarker
first (did not play)
25
Darren McCarty
RW
R
2008
Burnabymarker, British Columbiamarker
fifth (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002)
26
Jiri Hudler
RW/LW
L
2002
Olomoucmarker, Czechoslovakiamarker
first
33
Kris DraperA
C
L
1993
Torontomarker, Ontariomarker
fifth (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002)
37
Mikael Samuelsson
RW
R
2005
Mariefredmarker, Swedenmarker
first
40
Henrik ZetterbergA
C
L
1999
Njurunda, Swedenmarker
first
42
Mattias Ritola
C
L
2005
Borlangemarker, Swedenmarker
first (did not play)
43
Darren Helm
LW
L
2005
St. Andrews, Manitobamarker
first
44
Mark Hartigan
C
L
2007
Fort St. Johnmarker, British Columbiamarker
first
51
Valtteri Filppula
C
L
2002
Vantaamarker, Finlandmarker
first
82
Tomas Kopecky
LW
L
2000
Dubnica nad Vahommarker, Czechoslovakiamarker
first (did not play)
93
Johan Franzen
C/LW
L
2004
Vetlandamarker, Swedenmarker
first
96
Tomas Holmstrom
RW
L
1994
Piteamarker, Swedenmarker
fourth (1997, 1998, 2002)

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