NHL Wiki

2008 stanley cup finals.png

The 2008 Stanley Cup Finals was the best-of-seven NHL championship series of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs contested between the Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings and the Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

This was Detroit's 23rd appearance in the Final & its first since winning the Cup in 2002. This was Pittsburgh's third appearance in the Final & its first since winning consecutive Cup championships in 1991 and 1992.

The Red Wings defeated the Penguins four games to two, and were awarded the Stanley Cup. Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the playoffs.

This was Detroit's 11th Stanley Cup title and was also the first Cup Final between two United States-based NHL teams since 2003. The 1993 Montreal Canadiens remain the last Canadian team to have won the Cup.

In the United States, Versus televised games one & two and NBC broadcast the rest of the series. It was broadcast in Canada on CBC in English and on RDS in French.

In the United Kingdom, all games were aired live on Five and on the cable sports channel NASN. The series was also broadcast by NHL Radio via Westwood One.

Road to the Final[]

The Detroit Red Wings entered the Final after winning the Presidents' Trophy as the team that had the best record during the regular season. Led by forwards Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen, Detroit scored 55 goals in the first three rounds of the playoffs.

With struggling goaltender Dominik Hasek being replaced mid-series by Chris Osgood, the Red Wings defeated their division rival Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Quarterfinals in six games.

The team swept the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Semifinal round in which Franzen scored nine goals (besting the entire Avalanche squad, who scored eight goals in the series).

The Red Wings then defeated the Dallas Stars in six games to win their fifth Clarence S. Campbell Bowl in franchise history.

The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the championship series after winning the Atlantic Division and earning the second-best regular season record in the Eastern Conference.

The team was led by Sidney Crosby; missing 29 games throughout the regular season because of an ankle injury, the captain returned to lead the first three rounds of the playoffs in assists and to tie for the lead in points heading into the Stanley Cup Final.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury recorded three shutouts throughout the playoffs, to lead the league in that category. Evgeni Malkin and Marian Hossa each recorded nine goals and ten assists throughout the playoffs.

The Penguins swept the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a reversal of the series of the previous season when Ottawa beat Pittsburgh 4–1.

In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Penguins defeated division rival, the New York Rangers in five games.

The team won the Prince of Wales Trophy by defeating another division rival, their in-state rivals and another fierce rival of the Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers also in five games.


The 2008 Stanley Cup Final marked the first time that the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins met in postseason play and the first time since the 1909 World Series that professional sports teams from Detroit and Pittsburgh met in a postseason series or game.

The Red Wings and Penguins did not play each other during the 2007–08 regular season.

Game one[]

Pittsburgh's Gary Roberts and Detroit's Chris Chelios were both healthy scratches for game one.

Prior to the game, a ceremonial faceoff featuring former Pittsburgh captain and current team chairman Mario Lemieux and former Detroit captain and team vice president at the time Steve Yzerman. Each dropped a puck to their current captains Sidney Crosby and Nicklas Lidstrom, respectively.

At 15:20 into the first period, a goal scored by Lidstrom was waved off after Tomas Holmstrom was called for goaltender interference.

The remainder of the first period went scoreless, as Pittsburgh failed to capitalize on four consecutive power plays. At 13:01 into the second period, Mikael Samuelsson gave the Red Wings the unassisted game-winning goal, on a wrap-around.

Just over two minutes into the third period, Samuelsson added his second unassisted goal of the game. At 17:18 into the third period, Dan Cleary scored shorthanded to give the Red Wings a 3–0 lead.

Henrik Zetterberg scored on the power-play with 13 seconds remaining. Chris Osgood recorded his second shutout of the playoffs, to give the Red Wings a 4–0 victory in game one. The Red Wings outshot the Penguins 36–19.

Game two[]

In preparation for game two, head coach Michel Therrien revised Pittsburgh's lines; the revision included Gary Roberts who did not play in game one. Johan Franzen (the leading goal-scorer in the playoffs) returned to the line-up for Detroit.

Detroit's Brad Stuart scored the first goal of the game 6:55 into the first period, on a slap shot, with an assist from Valtteri Filppula.

Tomas Holmstrom added a goal at 11:18 into the first period, to put Detroit up 2–0. Pittsburgh struggled throughout the period, failing to get a shot on goal for the game's first twelve minutes. Detroit outshot the Penguins 11–6 in the second period, but both teams failed to score.

At 8:48 into the third period, Valtteri Filppula scored his first goal of the series, beating goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with a wrist-shot. Chris Osgood recorded his second consecutive shutout, stopping all 22 shots faced.

Game three[]

Game three was held in Pittsburgh, where going into the matchup the Penguins had won sixteen consecutive home games.

Pittsburgh continued to shuffle their lineup by replacing defenseman Kris Letang with veteran Darryl Sydor, but going back to the top line combinations from game one. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored the team's first goal of the series late in the first period, with an assist from Marian Hossa.

The Penguins went up 2-0 after Crosby scored a second time, his second coming on the power-play, just 2:34 into the second period.

Johan Franzen pulled the Red Wings within one, when he scored on the power-play at 14:48 of the second period.

Adam Hall scored his second goal of the post season, when the Penguins winger scored at 7:18 of the third period, putting his team up 3-1.

Mikael Samuelsson scored a second goal for the Red Wings, with assists from Brad Stuart and Valtteri Filppula.

However, Pittsburgh's 3-2 lead held, giving the team their first victory of the series. Despite winning the game, Pittsburgh was outshot by the Red Wings for the third consecutive game by at least 10 shots.

Game four[]

Entering Game Four, Petr Sykora said the game was a must-win for the Penguins, "For us, basically, [game four] is a do-or-die game".

Jiri Hudler's game-winning goal at 2:26 of the third period broke a 1–1 tie, and the Red Wings killed off a Penguins 1:26 5-on-3 advantage midway through the final period to help preserve the victory, thanks in large part to a terrific defensive play by Henrik Zetterberg on Sidney Crosby, preventing what would have been a tap-in goal when he tied up Crosby's stick at the front of the net.

Pittsburgh scored first on Marian Hossa's power play goal 2:51 into the game before Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game at 7:06 of the first period.

Game five[]

Pittsburgh's Marian Hossa scored the first goal of the game at 8:37 into the first period.

Teammate Adam Hall added his second goal of the series at 14:41 of the first period, giving the Penguins a 2–0 lead. Detroit then scored three consecutive goals (by Darren Helm, Pavel Datsyuk and Brian Rafalski]]) to gain the lead.

After Pittsburgh pulled its goalie with less than one minute remaining in regulation, Maxime Talbot scored with 34.3 seconds remaining to tie the game and force overtime. The goal marked only the second time in NHL history that a team avoided elimination in the Final by scoring in the last minute of the third period.

The first two overtime periods were scoreless, and the game went into the third overtime with Detroit killing two consecutive penalties, and Pittsburgh killing one.

At the 9:21 mark, Pittsburgh's Petr Sykora scored the game-winning goal on another power-play, forcing the series back to Pittsburgh for game six.

The goal was assisted by defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who was playing his first shift in forty minutes as a result of an injury and Evgeni Malkin, who got his first point of the Final. Pittsburgh became the first team in modern NHL history to have three overtime power-plays in the Final.

Goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Chris Osgood stopped 55 and 28 shots, respectively. The triple overtime game was the fifth-longest in Stanley Cup Final history.

Game six[]

Pittsburgh's Ryan Malone was scheduled to have X-rays on June 3, 2008 after being hit in the face with the puck in game five, but was expected to play.

The Red Wings took a 2–0 lead in the second period in game six en route to a 3–2 victory to clinch the Stanley Cup.

Brian Rafalski scored a power play goal at 5:03 in the first period before Valtteri Filppula extended the lead with a goal at 8:07 in the second.

The Penguins had an opportunity to get their first goal later in the first period, with a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:33, but could not convert.

Pittsburgh finally cut the lead at 15:26 of the second period with Evgeni Malkin's power play goal. However, a third period shot by Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg squeezed through the legs of Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who, after noticing he was not covering the puck, fell backwards and accidentally knocked the puck across the goal line for the Red Wings' third goal.

Marian Hossa scored a power play goal (in addition to the Penguins pulling Fleury for an extra attacker and the Red Wings' Andreas Lilja having lost his stick as a result of Malone knocking it out of his hands) at 18:33 of the third period to cut the lead to 3–2, but the Penguins, despite a shot by Sidney Crosby and shot off rebound by Hossa in the final seconds, could not tie the game before time ran out. Lidstrom became the first European-born Stanley Cup captain.

The Wings' victory also saw the Triple Gold Club, made up of individuals who have won the Stanley Cup plus gold medals at the Olympics and World Championships, gain three new members.

Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson and Zetterberg had previously won the other two components with the Sweden national team in 2006 at that year's Olympics and World Championships.

Television Ratings[]

Game one of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals had a 1.8 rating in the United States, drawing 2.3 million viewers. The rating was a 157% increase over the previous Playoff Finals opener, and a 100% rise from two years previous.

Game two had a 1.9 rating, drawing 2.5 million viewers.

It was the highest-rated and most-watched cable telecast of the finals in six years in the United States. The rating was the highest for an NHL game on Versus and the second highest rating for a Versus broadcast ever only to Lance Armstrong's seventh straight Tour de France victory in 2005 (2.1).

Game three drew a 2.8 rating, representing an 87% increase over the previous year's game three. In Detroit, game three drew higher ratings (18.2) than game five of the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Detroit Pistons and the Boston Celtics (15.9).

Game four earned a 2.3 rating, up 21% over the previous year's game four.

Game five drew a 4.3 rating, representing a 79% increase from the previous year's game five. It drew the highest ratings for a game five since 2002.

Game six had a 4.4 rating, the best performance in a game six since 2000. It was a 100% increase over game six of 2006 and was the highest rated game for NBC since they reacquired the NHL broadcasting rights in 2004.

On the CBC, this was the last Stanley Cup Final that Bob Cole would serve as the play-by-play announcer for, as Jim Hughson would take over the following year.


The following year, both the Red Wings and Penguins met again in the Stanley Cup Finals. This time, the Penguins won the Stanley Cup which marks the most recent time that a Detroit-based team has won a major league championship.


Pittsburgh Penguins[]

# Player Catches Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
29 Marc-Andre Fleury L 2003 Canada Sorel, Quebec, Canada first
35 Ty Conklin L 2007 United States Phoenix, Arizona second (2006)
# Player Shoots Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
2 Hal Gill L 2008 United States Concord, Massachusetts first
4 Rob Scuderi L 1998 United States Syosset, New York first
5 Darryl Sydor L 2007 Canada Edmonton, Alberta fifth (1993, 1999, 2000, 2004)
19 Ryan Whitney L 2002 United States Boston, Massachusetts first
44 Brooks Orpik L 2001 United States San Francisco, California first
55 Sergei GoncharA L 2005 Template:Country data RUS Chelyabinsk, Russia second (1998)
58 Kris Letang R 2005 Canada Montreal, Quebec, Canada first
# Player Position Shoots Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
9 Pascal Dupuis LW/RW L 2008 Canada Laval, Quebec, Canada first
10 Gary RobertsA LW L 2007 Canada North York, Ontario, Canada second (1989)
11 Jordan Staal C L 2006 Canada Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada first
12 Ryan Malone LW L 1999 United States Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania first
17 Petr Sykora RW L 2007 Czech Republic Plzeň, Czech Republic fourth (2000, 2001, 2003)
18 Marian Hossa RW L 2008 Template:Country data SVK Stara Lubovna, Slovakia first
25 Maxime Talbot C/LW L 2002 Canada LeMoyne, Quebec, Canada first
27 Georges Laraque RW R 2007 Canada Montreal, Quebec, Canada second (2006)
28 Adam Hall RW/C R 2007 United States Kalamazoo, Michigan first
37 Jarkko Ruutu LW L 2006 Template:Country data FIN Helsinki, Finland first
38 Jeff Taffe C/LW L 2007 United States Hastings, Minnesota first (did not play)
48 Tyler Kennedy C/RW R 2004 Canada Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada first
71 Evgeni Malkin C L 2004 Template:Country data RUS Magnitogorsk, Russia first
87 Sidney CrosbyC C L 2005 Canada Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada first

Detroit Red Wings[]

# Player Catches Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
30 Chris Osgood L 2005 Canada Peace River, Alberta, Canada fourth (1995, 1997, 1998)
39 Dominik Hasek L 2006 Czech Republic Pardubice, Czech Republic fourth (1992, 1999, 2002)
# Player Shoots Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
3 Andreas Lilja L 2005 Template:Country data SWE Helsingborg, Sweden first
5 Nicklas LidstromC L 1989 Template:Country data SWE Vasteras, Sweden fifth (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002)
14 Derek Meech L 2002 Canada Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
22 Brett Lebda L 2004 United States Buffalo Grove, Illinois first
23 Brad Stuart L 2008 Canada Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada first
24 Chris Chelios R 1999 United States Chicago, Illinois fifth (1986, 1989, 1992, 2002;
(did not play)
28 Brian Rafalski R 2007 United States Dearborn, Michigan fourth (2000, 2001, 2003)
55 Niklas Kronwall L 2000 Template:Country data SWE Stockholm, Sweden first
# Player Position Shoots Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
11 Daniel Cleary LW/RW L 2005 Canada Carbonear, Newfoundland, Canada first
13 Pavel DatsyukA C/LW L 1998 Template:Country data RUS Yekaterinburg, Russia second (2002)
17 Dallas Drake RW/LW L 2007 Canada Trail, British Columbia, Canada first
18 Kirk Maltby RW/LW R 1996 Canada Guelph, Ontario, Canada fourth (1997, 1998, 2002)
20 Aaron Downey RW R 2007 Canada Shelburne, Ontario, Canada first (did not play)
25 Darren McCarty RW R 2008 Canada Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada fifth (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002)
26 Jiri Hudler RW/LW/C L 2002 Czech Republic Olomouc, Czech Republic first
33 Kris DraperA C L 1993 Canada Toronto, Ontario, Canada fifth (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002)
37 Mikael Samuelsson RW R 2005 Template:Country data SWE Mariefred, Sweden first
40 Henrik ZetterbergA C L 1999 Template:Country data SWE Njurunda, Sweden first
43 Darren Helm LW/C L 2005 Canada St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada first
51 Valtteri Filppula C L 2002 Template:Country data FIN Vantaa, Finland first
82 Tomas Kopecky LW L 2000 Template:Country data SVK Dubnica nad Váhom, Slovakia first (did not play)
93 Johan Franzen LW L 2004 Template:Country data SWE Vetlanda, Sweden first
96 Tomas Holmstrom RW L 1994 Template:Country data SWE Pitea, Sweden fourth (1997, 1998, 2002)

Stanley Cup Engraving[]


  • 3 Andreas Lilja
  • 5 Nicklas Lidstrom (Captain)
  • 14 Derek Meech(did not play)
  • 22 Brett Lebda
  • 23 Brad Stuart
  • 24 Chris Chelios (played 14 playoff games, but not in finals)
  • 28 Brian Rafalski
  • 55 Niklas Kronwall



  • 11 Daniel Cleary
  • 17 Dallas Drake
  • 18 Kirk Maltby
  • 20 Aaron Downey
  • 25 Darren McCarty
  • 37 Mikael Samuelsson
  • 82 Tomas Kopecky
  • 93 Johan Franzen
  • 96 Tomas Holmstrom



  • Mike Ilitch Sr. (Owner/President/Governor), Marian Ilitch (Owner/Secretary-Treasurer), *Christopher Ilitch (Vice President Red Wings/President-Chief Executive Officer Ilitch Holdings/Alt. Governor)
  • Denise Ilitch, Ronald Ilitch, Michael Ilitch Jr. (Minority Owners)
  • Lisa Ilitch Murray, Atanas Ilitch, Carole Ilitch (Minority Owners), Jim Devellano (Sr. Vice President/Alt. Governor)
  • Ken Holland (Executive Vice President/General Manager/Alt. Governor), Steve Yzerman (Vice President/Alt. Governor), Jim Nill (Vice President/Asst. General Manager), Ryan Martin (Director-Hockey Administration)
  • Scotty Bowman (Consultant), Mike Babcock (Head Coach), Todd McLellan (Associate Coach), *Paul MacLean (Asst. Coach)
  • Jim Bedard (Goaltending Coach), Jay Woodcroft (Video Coach), Mark Howe (Director of Pro Scouting), Joe McDonnell (Director of Amateur Scouting)
  • Hakan Andersson (Director of European Scouting), Piet Van Zant (Athletic Therapist), *Paul Boyer (Equipment Manager)
  • Russ Baumann (Ass't Athletic Therapist), Christopher Scoppetto (Assistant Equipment Manager)

Stanley Cup Engraving

  • † Detroit petitioned to have Derek Meech's name added to the Stanley Cup. The NHL agreed to have his name added. He only played 32 regular season and did not play in the playoffs; Meech spent the entire season with Detroit.
  • Chris Chelios became the oldest player to win the Stanley Cup at age 46
  • Five players won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008: Kris Draper, Tomas Holmstrom, Nicklas Lidstrom, Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty (Chris Osgood only missed the 2002 title).
  • A record number of 12 European born players won the Stanley Cup: Dominik Hasek, Jiri Hudler (CZE), Tomas Kopecky (SVK), Valtteri Filppula (FIN), Pavel Datsyuk (RUS), Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Andreas Lilja, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mikael Samuelsson, Henrik Zetterberg (Swe).

Included on team picture, but left off the Stanley Cup

  • 44 Mark Hartigan (C – played 23 games, 4 playoff games of Detroit, 48 games in the minors) – was left off for the 2nd year in row for not playing in the last 2 rounds of the playoffs.
  • 52 Jonathan Ericsson (D – played 8 games for Detroit, 69 games in the minors),
  • 4 Kyle Quincey (D – played 6 games for Detroit, 66 games in the minors),
  • 35 Jimmy Howard (G – played 4 games for Detroit, 54 games in the minors),
  • 8 Justin Abdelkader (LW – 2 games for Detroit, 48 games for Michigan State University.),
  • 43 Mattias Ritola (LW – played 2 games for Detroit and 72 games in minors),
  • 46 Jakub Kindl (D – played 76 in minors, no games for Detroit),
  • Sergie Tchekmarev (Team Masseur), Lynn Newman (Massage Therapist) – All 9 members were left off the Stanley Cup, but received Stanley Cup Rings.