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Take a trip down memory lane of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Sunday, 04.12.2009 / 9:57 PM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Occasionally, we all need a refresher course. So, we're offering a look back at the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs at no cost.

When you look back on last year's postseason, what sticks out in your mind? If you can't quite remember all the great moments, maybe the following list will jar a few memories loose.

Considering a team needs 16 wins to lift the Cup, we figured we'd give you our 16 best memories of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the order that they happened:

April 9: Sakic does it again -- Leave it to Joe Sakic to be the overtime hero. Nobody has ever done it better.

Sakic's overtime winner that clinched Colorado's victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against Minnesota was his eighth all time, adding to a playoff record he already owns. This time, he put home a rebound after Wojtek Wolski's initial shot 11:11 into the extra period, giving the Avalanche a 3-2 victory.

April 11: Welcome to 'The Show' -- It didn't take long for Alex Ovechkin to figure out what all the playoff fuss is about.

Ovechkin, arguably the biggest story in the first-round of the 2008 playoffs, gave the Capitals a 5-4 victory against Philadelphia in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal when he ripped home the game-winner with 4:32 left in regulation, capping Washington's three-goal third period.

The Russian sniper, who scored 65 goals during the regular season, went without a shot on goal for the first 52 minutes of the game. But after Mike Green's laser 6:26 into the third period tied the game, Ovechkin went to work. He finished with three shots and eight hits. He also had one very important takeaway when he stripped the puck from Flyers defenseman Lasse Kukkonen and then fired it over a prone Martin Biron to give the Capitals the lead -- and eventual victory.

April 13: The Avery Rule -- Say what you want about Sean Avery, at least his act is memorable.

During Game 3 of the first-round series between the Devils and Rangers, Avery got in front of Martin Brodeur and began frantically waving his stick in the goalie's face. The move worked. After the game, Brodeur said he couldn't see what was going on. To make matters worse, Avery even scored a goal later in the game to throw some extra salt in the wound.

Even though most everyone was in shock at Avery's unique tactic of screening the goalie and the officials warned Avery if he did it again that there would be a penalty, there was no infraction called because there was nothing in the rulebook stating what he did was illegal.

That changed the next day. NHL Executive V.P. and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell issued the following advisory on the interpretation of Rule 75 - Unsportsmanlike Conduct:

"An unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty (Rule 75) will be interpreted and applied, effective immediately, to a situation when an offensive player positions himself facing the opposition goaltender and engages in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltender's face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender as opposed to positioning himself to try to make a play."

Just call it the "Avery Rule."

April 16: Here comes Ozzie -- Dominik Hasek allowed three goals on 14 shots and the Nashville Predators were having their way with the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal. So, like any good coach, the Wings' Mike Babcock tried to shake up things.

Babcock looked down his bench and found a two-time Stanley Cup winning goalie, so he told Chris Osgood to strap on his helmet and head in to replace Hasek. Osgood stopped all 13 shots he faced in the final 32:35 of Game 4, but the Predators still won, 3-2.

Osgood won the starting job off that performance, though, and the Predators didn't win again. Neither did the Colorado Avalanche against Detroit in Round 2, nor did the Dallas Stars in the third round until Game 4 when they were already trailing Osgood and the Wings, 3-0.

Osgood won his first nine starts and finished the playoffs raising the Stanley Cup. He went 14-4 with a 1.55 goals-against average and .930 save percentage as the Wings won their fourth Cup in 11 years and second with Osgood as the No. 1 goalie.

April 20: Robidas' legendary schnozz
-- Stephane Robidas' nose has been through some tough times. You can tell by looking at it.

It hit another rough patch during Game 5 of the first round against Anaheim when a puck ricocheted of Robidas' face, breaking his nose again. But Robidas barely missed any time. The trainers stuffed his nose with cotton and he was back on the ice.

Two days later, playing with that broken nose, Robidas scored his first-ever playoff goal, the game-tying goal 1:18 into the third period, and then assisted on Stu Barnes' series-clinching winner just 52 seconds later. 

April 21: Price figures it out -- Carey Price was making Montreal Canadiens' fans think of Patrick Roy after his first four career playoff games. The 20-year-old netminder stopped 105 of 110 shots and had a shutout as Les Habitants took a 3-1 series lead against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.

Price, though, allowed 10 goals in the next two games and all of a sudden everyone was thinking he was too young for all this, too green. The series was tied at 3-3 and the Canadiens, once the unstoppable top seed, were on the verge of a first-round upset.

Just when his team needed him most, though, Price stepped up and started building his own legacy. He made 25 saves in Game 7 to preserve his second shutout, a 5-0 win, sending the Canadiens into the second round against Philadelphia. Price struggled against the Flyers, but at least he cleared the first hurdle that stands in any young goalie's way. He put his team on his back and led them to a series victory.

April 22: Flyers advance in dramatic fashion -- Just when you thought Alex Ovechkin was going to steal the show again and somehow will the Capitals into the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Philadelphia forward Joffrey Lupul stepped in and took away his mojo.

Lupul's power-play goal 6:06 into overtime in Game 7 sent the Flyers into the next round and left the Capitals wondering what else they had to do?

Ovechkin scored with 4:31 left in the second period to tie the game at 2-2. It remained that way through the third period; but, with nine seconds left on Tom Poti's minor penalty for tripping, Lupul scored his first of the series and the only one he really needed.

Kimmo Timonen sent a shot from the point that Lupul initially tipped. The puck was loose in front, so he used his backhand to swipe it past Caps' goalie Cristobal Huet.

April 22: No quit in J.R. -- Jeremy Roenick came out of a short-lived retirement because the San Jose Sharks -- especially GM Doug Wilson -- still believed he could offer something to a contender.

Roenick proved Wilson's faith by looking like he was 25 again in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal against Calgary. He scored two goals and assisted on two others in only 12:13 of ice time as the Sharks knocked off the Flames, 5-3, to advance to the conference semifinal. 

Roenick's memorable night started when he assisted on the game's first goal 10:57 into the first period. He then scored twice within a span of three minutes during the second period to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead with 10:56 to play. Less than six minutes later he assisted on Devin Setoguchi's goal that gave the Sharks a 5-2 lead.

April 27: Richards goes wild
-- Brad Richards won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2004 when he had 26 points in 23 games to help the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Cup. But he never had a third period like he did in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinal in San Jose.

Richards recorded four points in the third on a goal and three assists. It's only the 13th time in the history of the League that someone has put together a four-point period in the playoffs -- and the first time since Alexander Mogilny did it for New Jersey in 2001.

May 1: The Mule is loose -- Detroit winger Johan Franzen already bested one of Gordie Howe's records in March by scoring six game-winning goals, topping Mr. Hockey's five in one month during 1952. Franzen, though, wasn't done with his assault on Howe's records.

Franzen scored nine goals, including two hat tricks, during the Wings four-game sweep against Colorado. The nine goals in one series tied Howe's 59-year-old team record for goals in a series, but Howe did it in seven games; Franzen needed only four.

The hat trick in Game 4 also gave Franzen 11 playoff goals, setting a new Red Wings record for postseason goals. He needed only 10 games to do it. Brett Hull needed 23 games to score 10 goals back in 2002.

Franzen's nine goals equaled the total Colorado got in the entire series. It had been 23 years since someone had two hat tricks in the same series. Jari Kurri did it three times for Edmonton against Chicago in 1985.

May 4: Morrow sets off celebration
-- The game was nearly halfway through its fourth overtime when Brian Campbell was sitting in the penalty box serving a two-minute minor for tripping Loui Eriksson.

It was time for the Stars to shine.

Stephane Robidas meandered down into the right circle and fed a pass to the slot area. Brenden Morrow, somehow always in the right place at the right time, was there to redirect the pass into the net at 9:03, capping the eighth-longest game in NHL history and setting off a wild celebration.

The goal gave the Stars a 2-1 win and a 4-2 series victory, sending them on to Detroit where they would meet the Red Wings in the Western Conference Final. Morrow finished the night with more than 51 minutes of ice time.

May 9: 'Take that,' Malkin says -- The slap shot was so hard it was surprising that the puck didn't rip through the back of Martin Biron's net. For that matter, the Flyer goalie is lucky he didn't stand in the way of it because Evgeni Malkin's shorthanded blast in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final could have ripped through Biron, too.

What made it even sweeter was everything that happened before Malkin had the puck on his stick and only air between him and Biron.

Like a freight train, Philadelphia's Mike Richards came barreling into Malkin, sending the big Russian flying into the boards behind Biron, back first. With Malkin gingerly -- and somewhat bitterly -- getting back up on his skates, the play was already moving in the other direction.

Vaclav Prospal moved the puck up to Danny Briere, who whiffed on a shot from the top of the left circle before getting run off the puck by Marian Hossa. Sergei Gonchar swooped in, collected the puck and looked up ice. He found Malkin, who hadn't yet skated out of the Flyers' defensive zone.

Gonchar sent a pass all the way up the ice, across the red line, to Malkin at the blue line. Malkin broke in alone and from between the hash marks let loose a canon for a shorthanded goal 4:50 into the second period.

May 28: Brooks Orpik: Hitting machine -- It might go down as the most memorable shift of the playoffs; definitely of the Stanley Cup Final. Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik became a wrecking ball in the third period of Game 3 against Red Wings.

Orpik laid four monster hits on four different Red Wings in a matter of 14 seconds, helping the Penguins preserve a two-goal lead. They eventually won the game, 3-2, to cut their series deficit to 2-1.

Orpik started by hitting Kris Draper hard into the half boards. The puck squirted into the corner, where Orpik crushed Dallas Drake, knocking the veteran to the ice. Drake got up and got the puck back, but Orpik was like a hunter going after his prey.

He followed Drake and hit him again into the corner boards, knocking him down to the ice again. Dan Cleary then got the puck in the same corner, but he couldn't get away from Orpik, who targeted No. 11 and crushed Cleary to the ice.

June 2: Talbot is your unlikely hero -- The Stanley Cup was inside Joe Louis Arena during Game 5 and the home fans were starting to think about the celebration that was sure to be only moments away now. Apparently, they didn't factor Max Talbot into the equation.

A checking-line center with the heart of a lion and the personality of a comedian, Talbot raced onto the ice in exchange for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the final minute of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins were trailing, 3-2.

There was Talbot with giants like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marian Hossa. He whacked and whacked at the puck and, with 34.3 seconds remaining, he scored the biggest goal of the Penguins' season, tying Game 5 at 3-3 and sending it into overtime.

Using pizza as their fuel during intermissions, the Penguins finally brought the series back home for Game 6 when Petr Sykora potted the game-winner 9:57 into the third overtime after promising his teammates he would do just that during the previous intermission.

June 4: Pens nearly celebrated ... -- The puck on his stick and the game on the line, Marian Hossa nearly scored a goal that would have trumped Max Talbot's monster in Game 5. However, it wasn't meant to be as Hossa's last-gasp attempt at beating Chris Osgood to send Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final into overtime missed by a whisker as the buzzer sounded.

Hossa scored with 1:27 left to make it 3-2, but his backhand-to-forehand shot slid right through the goal crease. It may have counted. It may not have. We'll never know.

The buzzer sounded and the Wings became a dynasty with their fourth Cup championship in 11 years.

June 4: The Red Wings celebrate, dynasty becomes official -- After a heartbreaking loss in Game 5 in their own barn -- when the Stanley Cup was shined up and ready to be brought onto the ice -- the Detroit Red Wings had to go to Pittsburgh to try to win it in Mellon Arena instead.

They took a 1-0 lead after the first period and a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. Henrik Zetterberg scored 7:36 into the third period and that proved to be the game-winner and the goal that also clinched the Conn Smythe Trophy for the Swedish center.

Nicklas Lidstrom became the first European captain to lead his team to the Stanley Cup as the Red Wings won their fourth championship in 11 years, this time going wire-to-wire as the NHL's best team in 2007-08.

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com





Quote of the Day

Because of the way they play and their skill set I don't think they're fourth-line players, so in my mind I'm looking at one of those guys I'll have to move over to the wing.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on his four-player battle for second-line center