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Pens, Wings Finally facing each other

Friday, 05.23.2008 / 9:54 AM / Columns

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist


Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk had his first three-goal NHL game during the Western Final. Pavel Datsyuk highlights
The Stanley Cup Final gets under way Saturday night in Detroit (8 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio), with the Red Wings facing Pittsburgh in a matchup of the NHL's two best (and hottest) teams. Here's a look at some numbers pertaining to the Wings and Penguins, the Final and this year's Playoffs.

0 -- Times the Red Wings and Penguins played each other this season -- and the number of times they've met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's the third year in a row that the Cup finalists haven't met during the regular season. The teams last met on Oct. 7, 2006, when Detroit beat Pittsburgh 2-0 on the first weekend of the season.

1 -- Number of times a team has come from more than two games down in the Final to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto lost the first three games in 1942, then won the next four.

2 -- Teams that have won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on the road. The 1971 Montreal Canadiens were the last ones to do it, winning 3-2 at Chicago Stadium. The 1945 Toronto Maple Leafs also won Game 7 away from home, beating Detroit 2-1 at the Olympia.

3 -- Three-goal games in the Playoffs this season, all of which have been accomplished by Red Wings. Johan Franzen did it twice in the Western Semifinals against Colorado, and Pavel Datsyuk had his first three-goal game in the NHL in Game 3 of the Western Finals against Dallas.

4 -- Times the Penguins have shut out the Red Wings since entering the NHL in 1967. The last one came on April 11, 1999, a 3-0 victory at Detroit. The Wings have shut out the Penguins six times, including 2-0 in their last meeting on Oct. 7, 2006.

5.43 -- Goals per game through three rounds of this year's playoffs, a microscopic change from the 5.44 per game during the regular season. There were 4.96 goals (about a half-goal less) per game in last year's Playoffs, when scoring was down more than 14 percent from the regular season.

6 -- Teams that have won the Cup after trailing 3-2 in the Final. The most recent was the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning, who won Game 6 in overtime at Calgary and took Game 7 at the St. Pete Times Forum to win their only championship.

7 -- All-time goal differential between the Penguins and Red Wings. Though the Penguins trail the all-time series 57-59-16, they've outscored the Wings 460-453.
   
8 -- Goals allowed by both the Penguins and Red Wings in the first period through three rounds of this year's Playoffs. If this pattern holds, don't expect a lot of scoring in the opening 20 minutes.

9 -- Consecutive playoff goals scored on the road by Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk in this year's playoffs, matching the mark set by St. Louis' Doug Gilmour in 1986. Overall, Datsyuk has scored his last 11 postseason goals away from home, an NHL record.

10 -- Times in this year's Playoffs that both Pittsburgh and Detroit have scored the game's first goal. Pittsburgh is 10-0; Detroit is 10-1. No other team scored first more than seven times.

11 -- Combined goals by the New York Rangers (5) and Montreal Maroons (6), in the 1928 Final, the fewest ever in a five-game series. The Rangers won the Cup despite being outscored; their wins were 2-1, 1-0 and 2-1.

12 -- Consecutive times the Red Wings have won Game 6 of a series when leading 3-2, including twice in this year's playoffs (Nashville and Dallas). It's the longest such streak in NHL history. The last time the Wings had a chance to close out a series in Game 6 and didn't do it was 1991, when they lost the last three games of their first-round series to St. Louis, becoming one of only 20 teams to lose after winning three of the first four games of a series.

Wayne Gretzky tallied 13 points in the 1988 Stanley Cup Final, the most scored by any player to date.
13 -- Points in the 1988 Final by Wayne Gretzky, the most in any Stanley Cup Final. Gretzky got his points in just five games, including one that was suspended due to a power failure.

14 --
Times through three rounds in this year's playoffs that Detroit has outshot its opponents. The Wings were outshot 29-26 in Game 3 of the opening round against Nashville and matched Dallas with 29 shots in Game 6 of the Western Finals. They outshot everyone else.

15 -- Overtime games through three rounds of this year's Playoffs -- though there were none in the conference finals. Home teams have won 10 of the 15, including one each by the Red Wings and Penguins.

16 -- Years since the Penguins have been in the Stanley Cup Final. They haven't gotten this far since winning the second of back-to-back championships in 1992.

21 --
Points, through three rounds, by this year's playoff scoring leaders, Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh and Henrik Zetterberg of Detroit. That's just one point less than last year's leaders for all four rounds -- Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza of Ottawa.

34 -- Goals by Maurice Richard in the Stanley Cup Final, the most by any player. Canadiens rank 1-6 in goals scored in the Final.
   
37 -- Years since the last time a team won the Stanley Cup after losing the first two games of the Final. Montreal dropped the first two games to Chicago in 1971 but won in seven games.

50 -- Points scored in the Stanley Cup Final by Gordie Howe, the most by a Red Wing and third all-time behind Jean Beliveau (63) and Wayne Gretzky (53).

57 -- Years since the only all-overtime Final. Toronto beat Montreal in five games, with all five decided after regulation. Bill Barilko got the Cup-winner at 2:53 of OT in Game 5.

397 -- Miles (by car) between Detroit and Pittsburgh. It's the closest the Stanley Cup finalists have been since 1980, when the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders -- who are just 100 miles apart -- met for the Cup.



Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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