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Conference semifinals feature Pens-Rangers

Wednesday, 04.23.2008 / 12:54 AM / 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs

By NHL.com Staff

Long time rivals, the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche will collide in what will surely be an extremely entertaining Western Conference semifinal series.  The action kicks off on Thursday night (7:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN) when the Wings host the Avs in Game 1.

Philadelphia’s overtime victory over Washington on Tuesday night means the Flyers will play top-seeded Montreal and second-seeded Pittsburgh will meet the New York Rangers in the in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

In the Western Conference, San Jose’s Game 7 victory over Calgary earned the Sharks a second-round meeting with Pacific Division rival Dallas, which dethroned the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in six games. In the other series, Detroit, a 4-2 winner over Nashville in the first round, will play Colorado, which ousted Minnesota in six games.

The Penguins, who swept Ottawa in the first round, and Rangers, who beat New Jersey 4-1, will begin their best-of-seven series Friday night in Pittsburgh, where the Pens were 3-0-1 during the regular season. The Rangers won all four meetings at Madison Square Garden, with the Penguins earning only one point in the four games — a 2-1 overtime loss on March 31.

The teams have met three times in the playoffs, with the Penguins winning all three series. The last meeting was in 1996, when the Penguins won their Eastern semifinal series against New York in five games.

The Canadiens beat Boston in Game 7 of their Eastern quarterfinal series on Monday, one night before the Flyers topped the Caps in OT of their seventh and deciding game. The top-seeded Canadiens will host Game 1 on Thursday night.

Montreal swept all four regular-season meetings with the Flyers, outscoring Philadelphia 15-6. The teams haven’t played since the weekend of Feb. 16-17, when the Canadiens won both ends of a home-and-home series.

The teams haven’t met in the postseason since 1989, when the Canadiens beat the Flyers 4-2 in the Eastern Conference finals. That avenged a six-game loss to the Flyers in the same round two years earlier. Montreal also beat Philadelphia in the 1973 semifinals and the 1976 Stanley Cup Final, when the Canadiens swept the Flyers to end their two-year reign as champions.

San Jose won the first Game 7 ever played at the Shark Tank and will have the home-ice edge against Dallas when the series begins Friday night. The teams split eight regular-season meetings, with one of the Stars’ losses coming in overtime and another in a shootout. Each team won three games away from home.

The Stars have won both of their playoff meetings against the Sharks, beating San Jose 4-2 in the 1998 Western quarterfinals and 4-1 in the 2000 conference semifinals. The Stars have won all six playoff meetings between the teams in Dallas.

Detroit and Colorado, who begin their series Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena, were heated rivals in the late 1990s, when the two teams, along with Dallas, dominated the Western Conference.

The Red Wings completely dominated the season series between the teams, winning all four games and allowing just two goals. The Wings won the last three games 1-0, 2-0 and 4-0. Detroit is 10-1-1 against the Avalanche since the start of the 2005-06 season, and 12-1-1 in their last 14 meetings overall.

The teams have met five times in the postseason, all between 1996 and 2002, with Detroit beating Colorado in the Western finals in 1997 and 2002 — going on to win the Stanley Cup both times. In 2002, the Avs led the series 3-2, but Detroit won 2-0 at Denver in Game 6 and 7-0 at home in Game 7. The Avs beat Detroit in six games in the 1996 Western Conference final before beating Florida to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Colorado also beat Detroit in six games in the 1999 Western semifinals and in five games in the Western semis in 2000. On both occasions, the Avs lost to Dallas in the Western finals.


2008 EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
   
SERIES I TIME
#1 vs. #6
Network
Thursday, April 24, 2008 7:00 PM Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, RDS
Saturday, April 26, 2008 7:00 PM Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, VERSUS, RDS
Monday, April 28, 2008    7:00 PM Montreal at Philadelphia VERSUS, CBC, RD
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 7:00 PM Montreal at Philadelphia VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Saturday, May 3, 2008    7:00 PM Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, VERSUS, RDS
*Sunday, May 4, 2008    7:00 PM Montreal at Philadelphia VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Tuesday, May 6, 2008    7:00 PM Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, RDS
           
SERIES J TIME
#2 vs. #5
Network
Friday, April 25, 2008 7:00 PM NY Rangers at Pittsburgh    VERSUS, CBC
Sunday, April 27, 2008 2:00 PM NY Rangers at Pittsburgh    NBC, CBC
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7:00 PM Pittsburgh at NY Rangers    VERSUS, CBC
Thursday, May 1, 2008    7:00 PM Pittsburgh at NY Rangers    VERSUS, CBC
*Sunday, May 4, 2008    2:00 PM  NY Rangers at Pittsburgh    NBC, CBC
*Monday, May 5, 2008    7:00 PM Pittsburgh at NY Rangers    VERSUS, CBC
*Wednesday, May 7, 2008    TBD NY Rangers at Pittsburgh    CBC
           
2008 WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

 
SERIES K TIME
#1 vs. #6
Network
Thursday, April 24, 2008 7:30 PM Colorado at Detroit VERSUS, TSN
Saturday, April 26, 2008    3:00 PM Colorado at Detroit NBC, TSN
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 10:00 PM Detroit at Colorado VERSUS, TSN
Thursday, May 1, 2008 10:00 PM Detroit at Colorado VERSUS, TSN
*Saturday, May 3, 2008 1:00 PM Colorado at Detroit NBC, TSN
*Monday, May 5, 2008 10:00 PM Detroit at Colorado VERSUS, TSN
*Wednesday, May 7, 2008    TBD Colorado at Detroit  TSN
           
SERIES L TIME
#2 vs. #5
Network
Friday, April 25, 2008 10:00 PM Dallas at San Jose VERSUS, TSN
Sunday, April 27, 2008 9:00 PM Dallas at San Jose VERSUS, TSN
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7:30 PM San Jose at Dallas TSN
Wednesday, April 30, 2008    9:00 PM San Jose at Dallas VERSUS, TSN (JIP)
*Friday, May 2, 2008 10:00 PM Dallas at San Jose VERSUS, TSN
*Sunday, May 4, 2008 9:00 PM San Jose at Dallas VERSUS, TSN
*Tuesday May 6, 2008 10:00 PM Dallas at San Jose TSN
* if necessary
 
    VERSUS denotes exclusive telecast      


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