Every weekday throughout July and August, the NHL Network-U.S. will air a special series, "35 Years of Stanley Cup Clinchers, 1975-2010." Fans can watch a rebroadcast of Stanley Cup-clinching games from seasons past with a chance to vote for their top five contests. Those top five games -- Fans' Choice Encores -- will air from Aug. 23-27.
Here is the schedule for August 16-20:
Monday, August 16
2006: Edmonton at Carolina, Game 7
The Carolina Hurricanes
were surprise contenders for the top spot in the NHL throughout the 2005-06 season. By season's end, they had finished atop the Southeast Division with 112 points, 20 ahead of the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning
and just one point behind the Ottawa Senators
for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Offensively, Carolina was led by 21-year-old Eric Staal
, who had 100 points (45 goals, 55 assists). Goaltender Martin Gerber
set a Hurricanes record with 38 wins, but the playoff hero was rookie netminder Cam Ward
The Hurricanes opened the playoffs with two straight losses to the Montreal Canadiens
before rallying behind Ward to win four in a row.
After three straight victories to open their second-round series against New Jersey, the Hurricanes eliminated the Devils in five games. The Eastern Conference Final pitted Carolina against the equally surprising Buffalo Sabres
. The result was a tense, seven-game victory for the Hurricanes.
The Edmonton Oilers
faced Carolina for the Stanley Cup. The Oilers had squeaked into the playoffs in eighth place before upsetting the top-ranked Detroit Red Wings
, then knocked off San Jose and Anaheim to make their first Final since 1990. In the Stanley Cup Final, the Oilers rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to force a seventh game, but their Cinderella run ended there when Carolina won 3-1 in Game 7. Staal set up Justin Williams
for the clinching goal with 1:01 remaining to give the Hurricanes the first Stanley Cup victory in franchise history.
Tuesday, August 17
2007: Ottawa at Anaheim, Game 5
Following up on what had been a record-breaking season the year before, the Anaheim Ducks
set team records with 48 wins, 110 points and 258 goals scored in capturing their first Pacific Division title in 2006-07. Offensively, Teemu Selanne
led the way with 48 goals as he became the oldest player in NHL history to top 40 goals in back-to-back seasons. Dustin Penner
scored 29 in his first full season, while Andy McDonald
, Chris Kunitz
and Ryan Getzlaf
also topped 20. Scott Niedermayer
, who had helped to defeat the Ducks in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final as a member of the New Jersey Devils
, anchored the defense along with newly acquired Chris Pronger
The Ducks opened the playoffs with a five-game victory against the Minnesota Wild
, then defeated the Vancouver Canucks
in five games (with overtime victories in the last two). After dropping a 2-1 decision to Detroit in the first game of the Western Conference Final, the Ducks evened the series on Niedermayer's overtime goal in Game 2 and went on to eliminate the Red Wings in six games.
The Ottawa Senators
faced the Ducks in the Stanley Cup Final. Led by a top line of Daniel Alfredsson
, Dany Heatley
and Jason Spezza
(who finished 1-2-3 in playoff scoring), Ottawa lost just three times in the first three rounds of the playoffs, but dropped the first two games in Anaheim. The Senators won the third game in the series but lost the next two as the Ducks became the first West Coast team to win the Stanley Cup since the 1925 Victoria Cougars.
Wednesday, August 18
2008: Detroit at Pittsburgh, Game 6
Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom
became the first European captain to lead his team to the Stanley Cup as the Wings won their fourth title since 1997. This edition could both attack and defend. Pavel Datsyuk
led the team with 97 points and won the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward, while Henrik Zetterberg
, who topped the team with 43 goals, finished third in the voting. Zetterberg tied with teammate Johan Franzen
for the playoff lead with 13 goals and equaled Sidney Crosby
with 27 playoff points.
Injuries prevented Crosby from duplicating his MVP performance of 2006-07, but teammate Evgeni Malkin
picked up the slack. Malkin had 106 points to finish second in the NHL scoring race as the Penguins recorded 102 points to finish first in the Atlantic Division. With Crosby and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury
back in form for the playoffs, the Penguins advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Final where they were defeated by Detroit in six games.
, who started the playoffs on the bench, took over during Game 4 of Detroit's opening-round series with Nashville and went on to lead all goalies with a 1.55 goals-against average. He opened the Final with back-to-back shutouts before the Penguins won Game 3. Detroit had a chance to wrap up the series at home in Game 5 but lost a thrilling triple-overtime decision. The Red Wings hoisted the Cup in Pittsburgh two nights later with a 3-2 win.
Thursday, August 19
2009: Pittsburgh at Detroit, Game 7
With a pair of superstars leading the way, the Pittsburgh Penguins
won the Stanley Cup for the first time since current owner and former superstar Mario Lemieux
led them to back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992. Sidney Crosby
became the youngest captain in to hoist the Cup, while Evgeni Malkin
won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Malkin joined Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky
, Guy Lafleur
and Phil Esposito
as the only players since NHL expansion in 1967 to lead the League in scoring in the regular-season and the playoffs. Dan Bylsma
took over a slumping team late in the season and coached them to a championship.
scored 56 goals to lead the regular season for the second straight season and also won his second straight Hart Trophy as regular-season MVP. His Capitals had 50 wins and a club-record 108 points. They eliminated the Rangers in seven games to open the playoffs and then put the Penguins in a hole with two straight wins to open their second-round series. Pittsburgh recovered to win the series in seven games, and then swept Carolina in the Eastern Conference Final to set up a Stanley Cup rematch with Detroit.
The Red Wings had won their eighth consecutive Central Division title and knocked off Columbus (in its first playoff appearance), Anaheim and a much-improved Chicago team in the playoffs. As in 2008, Detroit won two games at home to open the Final but Pittsburgh rallied to take the series. Maxime Talbot
scored both goals in the Penguins' 2-1 victory in Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena.
Friday, August 20
2010: Chicago at Philadelphia, Game 6
Chicago's Patrick Kane
scored at 4:06 of overtime as the Blackhawks beat the Flyers 4-3 in Philadelphia in Game 6 of the Final to win the 2010 Stanley Cup and give Chicago its first championship in 49 years. At 21, Kane became the youngest player ever to score a Stanley Cup game-winning goal (breaking 22-year-old Bobby Orr
's record in 1970.)
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews
, who set a team playoff record with 22 assists and tied a team postseason mark with 29 points as the Hawks beat Nashville, Vancouver and San Jose before defeating the Flyers, was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Philadelphia's Ville Leino
tied a Stanley Cup rookie record when his 2 assists in Game 6 gave him 21 points for the playoff year; he equaled the mark set by Dino Ciccarelli
of the Minnesota North Stars in 1981.
The Stanley Cup Final pitted the eventual champion Blackhawks against the surprising Eastern Conference Champion Philadelphia Flyers
-- who had to win a shootout on the final day of the regular season to earn the last playoff berth, then became only the third team to overcome a 3-0 series deficit by rallying to beat Boston in the conference semifinals. The Flyers then beat Montreal to make the Final for the first time since 1997.
The teams split the first four games of the Final series, with each winning twice at home. Game 5 saw the Blackhawks jump out to an early 3-0 lead and though the Flyers battled to get back into the game, it was the Hawks who took the pivotal contest by a score of 7-4, putting them one victory away from the Cup. Kane won it with a bad-angled shot that went past Michael Leighton
so quickly that almost no one saw it; a video review confirmed that the puck had gone into the net, and the celebration was on.