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 re-broadcast of Stanley Cup-clinching games from season's 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 2-6:
Monday, August 2
1995: Detroit at New Jersey, Game 4
After 21 seasons and two franchise relocations, the New Jersey Devils
captured their first Stanley Cup title by downing the Detroit Red Wings
. Paced by the stellar goaltending of Martin Brodeur
and the timely scoring of Claude Lemieux
, the Devils upset the favored Red Wings in four straight games, outscoring, outshooting and outplaying Detroit in each encounter.
Both teams took similar routes to the Final. Detroit lost only two games in the opening three rounds, although they did need a trio of overtime victories to subdue Chicago in the Western Conference Final. New Jersey dropped four games in the opening three rounds, including a pair to the Philadelphia Flyers
in a stirring six-game Eastern Conference Final.
New Jersey's Claude Lemieux
, who scored only six times in the regular season, erupted for 13 goals in the playoffs and also won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Neal Broten
, a 14-year veteran acquired by New Jersey late in the season from Dallas, notched four game-winning goals for the champions. Devils coach Jacques Lemaire
, who won eight Stanley Cup rings as a player, became the fourth individual to score a Stanley Cup-winning goal and coach a Stanley Cup-winning team.
Tuesday, August 3
1996: Colorado at Florida, Game 4
The Colorado Avalanche
became Stanley Cup champions in their first season in the Mile High City after moving west from Quebec, sweeping the surprising Florida Panthers
in the Final. Colorado was led by the scoring flash of Joe Sakic
, Valeri Kamensky
and Peter Forsberg
, backed up by a solid defense and the stellar goaltending of Patrick Roy
, but it was Uwe Krupp
who scored the Cup-winning goal at 4:31 of the third overtime period of Game 4, the longest 1-0 game in the history of the Stanley Cup Final.
Goaltending had been the story for Florida, as the Panthers, who had made the playoffs in just their third season, relied on the spectacular work of John Vanbiesbrouck
to knock off the Boston Bruins
, Philadelphia Flyers
and Pittsburgh Penguins
. Colorado advanced with victories against Vancouver and Chicago before defeating Detroit in the Western Conference Final.
Despite the final series sweep, the games were close (with the exception of Colorado's 8-1 win in Game 2), but the Avalanche clearly had the better of the play. Vanbiesbrouck's heroics gave the Panthers a chance, but ultimately Roy and Sakic, who established himself as a major NHL star, proved to be too much. Sakic led all playoff scorers with 18 goals and 34 points and also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Wednesday, August 4
1997: Philadelphia at Detroit, Game 4
The Detroit Red Wings
won their first Stanley Cup title since 1955 with a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers
. The series opened at the CoreStates Center in Philadelphia in front of 20,291 fans, the largest crowd ever to witness a hockey game in the state of Pennsylvania. Goaltender Mike Vernon made 26 saves in a 4–2 Detroit win as unheralded Red Wings Kirk Maltby
and Joe Kocur
gave Detroit a 2-1 lead after the first period. Sergei Fedorov
tallied the game-winner just after the midway point of the second. Maltby scored again in Game 2, breaking a 2-2 tie in the second period with what would prove to be the game-winning goal. Rod Brind'Amour
scored both of the Flyers' goals in the game, connecting for two power-play markers 1:09 apart late in the first period.
The Red Wings returned home to a vocal and supportive crowd for Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena and responded with a 6-1 win to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. The Flyers opened the scoring on a first-period goal by John LeClair
, but Detroit replied with three unanswered goals before the period ended. The win snapped Detroit's eight-game and 33-year home ice losing streaks in the Stanley Cup Final. Sergei Fedorov
and Martin Lapointe
each tallied twice to pace the Red Wings.
The Red Wings completed the series sweep by defeating the Flyers 2-1 in Game 4. Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom
's goal late in the first period gave Detroit a lead it would not relinquish and Darren McCarty
scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal on a spectacular individual effort at 13:02 of the second period. Goaltender Mike Vernon was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the MVP of the playoffs, finishing the postseason with a 16-4 record and 1.76 goals-against average. He allowed two goals or fewer in 17 of his 20 playoff games.
Thursday, August 5
1998: Detroit at Washington, Game 4
With a four-game sweep of the Washington Capitals
, the Detroit Red Wings
became the first team since the Pittsburgh Penguins
(1991 and 1992) to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. The Red Wings were led by Steve Yzerman
, who became the fifth player to receive the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs while captain of his team. Scotty Bowman equaled Toe Blake
's NHL record of eight Stanley Cup coaching victories.
Despite the four-game sweep in the Final, Detroit did not have a smooth road to the Cup, as they were forced to play six games in each of the three series leading up to the Stanley Cup Final. Overall, the team had equal success at home and on the road, posting identical 8-3 records. A total of ten Red Wing players contributed the 16 game-winning goals scored en route to the Stanley Cup.
Friday, August 6
1999: Dallas at Buffalo, Game 6
It had been five years since the NHL's best regular-season team had also been its playoff champion, but this year the Dallas Stars
won the Stanley Cup after winning the Presidents' Trophy for the second year in a row. The Stars won the first Cup title in franchise history by beating the Buffalo Sabres
in a hard-fought series that marked the first time since 1994 that the Stanley Cup Final had not ended in a sweep. Dallas took the series in six games, with Brett Hull
scoring the winning goal at 14:51 of the third overtime. The second-longest game in the history of the Stanley Cup Final ended at 1:30 a.m. local time in Buffalo.
The Stars were led by Joe Nieuwendyk
, who paced all playoff performers with 11 goals and also won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Mike Modano
's 18 assists were tops in the playoffs, while Ed Belfour
provided stellar goaltending, outperforming Buffalo's Dominik Hasek
in the Stanley Cup Final after besting Colorado's Patrick Roy
in the Western Conference Final. The Stars had opened the playoffs with a four-game sweep over Edmonton before downing St. Louis in a tight six-game series that saw four games decided in OT.