|NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Preview Capsule|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 21 May 2008 12:58|
No. 1 (West) DETROIT RED WINGS (54-21-7) vs. No. 2 (East) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (47-27-8)
2007-08 series record: First meeting. Last met: Red Wings 2-0 victory at Pittsburgh on Oct. 7, 2006.
How they got here: Detroit defeated No. 8 Nashville 4-2; No. 6 Colorado 4-0; No. 5 Dallas 4-2. Pittsburgh defeated No. 7 Ottawa 4-0; No. 5 New York Rangers 4-1; No. 6 Philadelphia 4-1.
Playoff History: First meeting.
Last Stanley Cup finals appearance: Detroit beat Carolina 4-1 in 2002. Pittsburgh beat Chicago 4-0 in 1992.
s have earned Presidents' Trophy six times since its inception in 1985, and reached finals in three of those seasons. They are last Presidents' Trophy winners to capture Cup (2002). ... Ten current Red Wings have won the Stanley Cup a total of 23 times. ... Coach Mike Babcock is in the finals for the second times in five seasons in NHL. He lost with Anaheim as a rookie head coach in 2003. ... Red Wings were last Cup repeat champions (1997 and 1998). ... Of the 20 Red Wings who dressed for previous meeting with Penguins nearly two years ago, 15 remain with team. Just 10 Penguins are still with Pittsburgh. ... Detroit was only team with three defensemen who scored at least 30 points during regular season - Nicklas Lidstrom (70), Brian Rafalski (55) and Niklas Kronwall (35). They have combined for 32 in the playoffs.
PITTSBURGH: Captain Sidney Crosby has an NHL-best 17 assists in 14 games. Of the 10 playoff games in which he recorded a point, Crosby netted at least two nine times. ... Penguins are 8-0 at home in playoffs and have won 16 straight at Mellon Arena, dating to shootout loss to San Jose on Feb. 24. It is their longest home postseason winning streak in one year since a six-game run in 1992 - the last time they reached the finals. ... Marc-Andre Fleury has a 1.70 goals-against average in the playoffs. In his past 33 games, he is 26-4-1 with a 1.54 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and six shutouts, dating to Nov. 22 - the day after his most recent home loss. ... Penguins have trailed for 115 minutes, 37 seconds of the 847:10 played during their 14 postseason games. ... 19-year-old C Jordan Staal, who scored twice in the Game 4 loss at Philadelphia, will be first teenager to play in finals since Philadelphia's Dainius Zubrus in 1997. Staal is tied for third on Penguins with six playoff goals. ... Penguins have led 3-0 in all three series. ... Pittsburgh is 11th team since 1980 to enter finals with fewer than three postseason losses (12-2). In those 12 victories, the Penguins have had eight players record game-winning goals. ... LW Gary Roberts was sidelined for much of Philadelphia series due to pneumonia. He turns 42 this week.
OUTLOOK: Crosby fulfills promise in year No. 3, offsets experience of Red Wings. Penguins in 6.