It's déjà vu all over again in the Stanley Cup Final. The Detroit Red Wings
, who beat Pittsburgh in six games to win the Cup last spring, will have to get past the Penguins again to retain the Cup.
Here's a look at some of more intriguing numbers pertaining in this year's Quest for the Cup:
Regular-season goals by Detroit rookie Darren Helm
, who got the series-winner in overtime to win Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against Chicago. It was his third goal of this spring's playoffs and the fifth postseason goal of his career. He has yet to score in 23 regular-season games over two seasons.
Wins apiece for Pittsburgh and Detroit in their two regular-season meetings in 2008-09. Pittsburgh overcame a three-goal deficit for a 7-6 overtime win at Detroit on Nov. 11; the Wings returned the favor with a 3-0 victory at Pittsburgh on Feb. 8
Teams that have lost three consecutive Finals. St. Louis lost to Montreal in 1968 and 1969, and to Boston in 1970 -- the first three seasons after expansion. Toronto lost to Chicago in 1938, Boston in 1939 and the New York Rangers
Times in this year's playoffs that both Detroit and Pittsburgh have trailed after two periods. Detroit has lost all three such games; Pittsburgh is 1-2.
Stanley Cup Finals made by Pittsburgh since entering the NHL in 1967. The appearances have come it pairs -- the Penguins won in 1991 and 1992, then didn't make it again until the past two years.
Most overtime games in one Final series. It happened in 1951, when Toronto beat Montreal 4-1 in a series that saw all five games decided in OT. Maurice Richard
's goal won Game 2 for Montreal; Toronto got OT winners from Sid Smith
, Ted Kennedy
and Harry Watson
before Bill Barilko
scored the Cup-winner in OT.
Years since a team advanced to the Stanley Cup Final via a sweep in the conference final. The Anaheim Ducks
took care of Minnesota in four games to win the West in 2003 before losing to New Jersey in seven games in the Final.
Times that the Red Wings have shut out the Penguins in the regular season, including two of the last three meetings. Detroit also blanked Pittsburgh in Games 1 and 2 of last year's Final.
Years since a defending champion has made the Stanley Cup Final. New Jersey, which won in 2000 by beating the defending champion Dallas Stars
, was beaten in 2001 by the Colorado Avalanche
in seven games.
Game-winning goals in the Stanley Cup Final by Montreal Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau
, the most of any player in NHL history. Another Canadiens legend, Maurice Richard
, is second with eight.
Consecutive Finals involving the Montreal Canadiens
, the longest streak in NHL history (and one not likely to be broken). Montreal made the Final every year from 1951-60, in the Original Six Era.
Years since a team has successfully defended the Stanley Cup. The 2009 Detroit Red Wings
will be trying to match the accomplishment of the 1998 Wings, the last team to repeat as champions. Prior to that, the last repeat winners were the 1992 Penguins.
Most appearances by a player in the Finals. Four players have been in a dozen Finals -- Jean Beliveau
and Maurice and Henri Richard
played in 12 Finals with Montreal; Red Kelly
played in seven with Detroit and five with Toronto.
Points in the 1988 Final by Wayne Gretzky
, the most in any Stanley Cup Final. Gretzky earned his points in just five games, including one that was suspended due to a power failure.
Points through three rounds (7-7 in 17 games) by Pittsburgh forward Bill Guerin
, who's having the best postseason of his long career. Guerin, now 38, is trying to win a second Stanley Cup ring 14 years after he earned one when with 1995 New Jersey Devils
, who also beat Detroit. Guerin hasn't been back to the Final since then.
Overtime games in this year's playoffs, one more than through three rounds last year. Detroit has split its four OT games this year; Pittsburgh is 3-1. Two of Detroit's victories -- including the series-clincher -- came against Chicago in the Western Conference Finals.
Years since the Penguins advanced to the Stanley Cup Final with a sweep in the semifinal round, as they did this year by winning all four games against Carolina. The Penguins swept Boston in the 1992 Eastern Conference Finals on the way to repeating as Stanley Cup champs by sweeping Chicago.
Consecutive playoff series won by the New York Islanders
, who won four each in 1980, '81, '82 and '83, then captured the first three rounds in 1984 before losing to Edmonton. For perspective, the Wings will have won eight in a row if they beat Pittsburgh in this year's Final.
Appearances in the Stanley Cup Final by the Red Wings, the second-highest total of any team behind Montreal's 33 (as an NHL member). The Wings have won 11, second to Montreal (23 as an NHL member) and Toronto (13). Detroit's 12 losses in the Final are the most by any team.
Years since we've had a rematch in the Stanley Cup Final. The last time there was a repeat Final was 1984, when the Edmonton Oilers
avenged a loss to the New York Islanders
the previous spring by ending the Isles' dynasty with a five-game series victory.
Points through the first three rounds by Pittsburgh centers Evgeni Malkin
and Sidney Crosby
, tied for the most by any players in this year's playoffs. Crosby and Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg
tied for the lead in 2008 with 27.
Years since a team has beaten another in consecutive Finals. The 1977 and 1978 Montreal Canadiens
both won the Cup by beating the Boston Bruins
. The 1977 series was a sweep; the 1978 Final took six games.
Games in this year's playoffs in which the team leading after two periods has won. Detroit is 9-0 and Pittsburgh is 8-0. Teams leading after 40 minutes have lost just three times in 56 games.
Years since the Final was decided in overtime of a seventh game. Tony Leswick
's goal 4:29 into overtime of Game 7 in 1954 gave Detroit a 2-1 win and the Cup. The only other time it happened was 1950, when Pete Babando
scored at 28:31 of OT to give the Wings a 4-3 win against the New York Rangers
Miles (by car) between Detroit and Pittsburgh. Neither city has moved since last year, when the Red Wings and Penguins were the closest the Stanley Cup finalists since 1980. That's when the Philadelphia Flyers
and New York Islanders
-- who are just 100 miles apart -- met for the Cup.
Contact John Kreiser at email@example.com