The 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs began on April 16, 2014.
For the first time since 1973, only one Canadian team qualified for the playoffs: the Montreal Canadiens.
The Detroit Red Wings increased their consecutive playoff appearance streak to 23 seasons, the longest current streak and the fourth longest streak in NHL history.
The Dallas Stars ended the league's third longest active playoff appearance drought, qualifying for the postseason for the first time in six years.
For the third time in four years, all three California teams again made the playoffs.
The Columbus Blue Jackets won their first franchise playoff game on April 19, 2014 and their first ever franchise playoff home game at Nationwide Arena on April 23, 2014 (both against the Pittsburgh Penguins).
Three Original Six teams reached the Conference Finals which is the first time this has occurred since 1979.
The 2013–14 playoffs opening round featured leads changing hands more so than any other year.
After the Anaheim Ducks rallied from a 4–2 deficit to defeat the Dallas Stars in game 6 of their opening round series on April 27, 2014, an NHL record was broken for most multi-goal comebacks by all teams in the opening round, with ten.
In all four rounds combined in the previous year's playoffs, there were only eight such victories.
It also marked just the fourth time in NHL playoff history that a team who led a series 3–0 in a seven game series failed to advance when the San Jose Sharks lost to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of the opening round on April 30, 2014.
On May 29, 2014, the New York Rangers became the first team to ever advance past the Conference Finals after playing two seven-game series in the opening two rounds
The Rangers also became the first captainless team to reach the finals since the Chicago Black Hawks in 1973.
On June 1, 2014, the Los Angeles Kings became the first team to ever reach the Stanley Cup Finals having played three consecutive seven-game series. Los Angeles played all three of their game sevens on the road.
- Boston Bruins: Atlantic Division champions, Eastern Conference regular season champions & Presidents' Trophy winners (117 points)
- Tampa Bay Lightning (101 points)
- Montreal Canadiens (100 points)
- Pittsburgh Penguins: Metropolitan Division champions (109 points)
- New York Rangers (96 points)
- Philadelphia Flyers (94 points)
- Colorado Avalanche: Central Division champions (112 points)
- St. Louis Blues (111 points)
- Chicago Blackhawks (107 points)
- Anaheim Ducks: Pacific Division champions & Western Conference regular season (116 points)
- San Jose Sharks (111 points)
- Los Angeles Kings (100 points)
Eastern Conference QuarterfinalsEdit
Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings
The Boston Bruins won the Presidents' Trophy for earning the league's best record, with 117 points.
The Detroit Red Wings earned 93 points during the regular season, and entered the playoffs as the Eastern Conference's second wild card.
This was the eighth playoff meeting for these Original Six teams, with Boston having won four of the seven previous series.
They last met in the 1957 Stanley Cup Semifinals in which Boston won in five games. The Red Wings won three of the four games in this year's regular season series.
In Game 1, Pavel Datsyuk scored the only goal with 3:01 left in Detroit's 1–0 victory, but Boston went on to win four straight contests to capture the series.
Four different Bruins players scored goals in Boston's 4–1 win in Game 2.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask then stopped all 23 Detroit shots in a 3–0 victory in Game 3.
In Game 4, Boston overcame a two-goal, second-period deficit, scoring three unanswered goals (including Jarome Iginla's game-winner at 13:32 of overtime) to win 3–2.
The Bruins clinched the series with a 4–2 win in Game 5 as Torey Krug recorded two assists and Rask made 31 saves on 33 shots.
The Bruins eliminated the Red Wings in five games. Boston won the series 4-1.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens
The Tampa Bay Lightning finished second overall in the Atlantic Division, earning 101 points.
The Montreal Canadiens earned 100 points during the regular season to finish third overall in the Atlantic Division.
This was the second playoff meeting for these two teams.
Their only previous meeting was in the 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals in which Tampa Bay swept Montreal out of the playoffs en route to their Stanley Cup victory.
The Lightning won three of the four games in this year's regular season series.
The Canadiens swept the Lightning who were without their starting goalie Ben Bishop after he suffered an injury during the last few weeks of the regular season.
At 15:38 of the second period of Game 3, Tampa Bay's Ryan Callahan appeared to give his team a 2–1 lead, but his goal was waived off as the officials ruled that there was contact between Alexander Killorn and Price.
Then, Montreal's Brendan Gallagher scored minutes later, and the Canadiens went on to win 3–2.
Max Pacioretty then scored a power play goal at 19:17 of the third period of Game 4 to give Montreal the 4–3 win and the series.
Montreal won series 4–0.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Pittsburgh Penguins finished first overall in the Metropolitan Division, earning 109 points.
The Columbus Blue Jackets earned 93 points during the regular season, and entered the playoffs as the Eastern Conference's first wild card, making the post-season for the first time since 2009 and only the second time in the franchise's history.
This is the first playoff meeting for these two teams. The Penguins won all five games in this year's regular season series.
The Blue Jackets recorded their first ever playoff victories in team history, but the Penguins still managed to win the series in six games.
The first five games in the series featured comebacks, including 3–1 leads evaporating into 4–3 losses in the first four games.
In Game 1, Pittsburgh scored three unanswered goals, including Brandon Sutter's game winner 8:18 in the third period, to overcome a two-goal deficit to win, 4–3.
Columbus then overcame a two-goal deficit in Game 2 after Pittsburgh built their lead with Brian Gibbons scoring his first two playoff goals, including a short-handed one.
Matt Calvert then scored both a short-handed goal and then the game-winner 1:10 into double overtime to give the Blue Jackets their first playoff victory in franchise history.
Game 3 saw Brooks Orpik score his second ever playoff goal with less than 2 seconds remaining in the second period.
The Blue Jackets would jump back up to a two goal lead at the start of the third period, thanks to Cam Atkinson’s first ever playoff goal, but the Penguins scored three goals within a span of 2:13 in the third period including Jussi Jokinen's game-winner at 8:06 for another 4–3 win.
The Blue Jackets then overcame a three-goal deficit in Game 4 to record a fourth 4–3 contest in this series with Brandon Dubinsky tying the game with 24 seconds left in regulation after Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury mishandled the puck from behind his own net which allowed Ryan Johansen to fling the puck to a wide open Dubinsky.
Then, Nick Foligno scored the game winner at 2:49 into overtime, which gave the Blue Jackets their first home playoff victory in team history, but Fleury rebounded in Game 5, making 23 saves out of 24 shots in Pittsburgh's 3–1 win.
Columbus lost despite spectacular play by Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 48 of 50 shots but did not receive the goal support needed to win.
In Game 6, Evgeni Malkin's second career playoff hat trick helped the Penguins build a 4–0 lead, but they had to withstand a late comeback attempt by the Blue Jackets, who scored three unanswered goals in a span of five minutes late in the third period, to hold on to the 4–3 victory.
Pittsburgh won the series 4-2.
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers
The New York Rangers finished second overall in the Metropolitan Division, earning 96 points.
The Philadelphia Flyers earned 94 points during the regular season, to finish third overall in the Metropolitan Division.
This was the eleventh playoff meeting for these rivals, with Philadelphia having won six of the ten previous series.
Their most recent meeting was in the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals which Philadelphia won in five games.
Each team won two games in this year's four-game regular season series.
New York scored two power play goals and Brad Richards recorded a goal and 2 assists in a 4–1 victory in Game 1.
The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit, scoring 4 unanswered goals from 4 different players to win Game 2, 4–2.
Mason went on to make 37 saves out of 38 shots and Jakub Voracek scored the game-winning goal on a power play in the second period as Philadelphia won, 2–1.
However, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist would make 23 saves out of 25 shots en route to a 4–2 Rangers win in Game 5.
Back at home in Game 6, Wayne Simmonds recorded a hat-trick, leading Philadelphia to a 5–2 win.
Game 7 was played the next night where the Rangers jumped to a 2–0 lead in the second period and with Henrik Lundqvist stopping 26 out of 27 shots, the Rangers would hang on for a 2–1 win.
The Rangers became the only NHL team to remain undefeated in a home game 7 with a 6–0 franchise record.
The Rangers eliminated the Flyers in seven games. New York won the series 4–3.
Western Conference QuarterfinalsEdit
Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild
The Colorado Avalanche finished first overall in the Central Division, earning 112 points.
The Minnesota Wild earned 98 points during the regular season and enter the playoffs as the Western Conference's first wild card.
This is the third playoff meeting for these two teams; the Wild earned a seven-game series victory in the 2003 Western Conference Quarterfinals while the Avalanche earned a six-game series victory in the 2008 Western Conference Quarterfinals.
The Avalanche won four of the five games in this year's regular season series.
The Wild defeated the Avalanche in seven games. The home team had won the first six games in the series before Minnesota won Game 7 on the road.
In Game 1 trailing by a goal, Roy pulled Varlamov with 3:01 remaining in regulation.
Then, Paul Stastny tied the game with 13.4 seconds remaining and then scored the game-winner 7:27 into overtime to give the Avalanche a 5–4 win.
Then, Gabriel Landeskog scored two goals in Game 2 to lead Colorado to a 4–2 victory.
In Game 3, Mikael Granlund scored the only goal 5:08 into overtime in Minnesota's 1–0 victory.
Then, the Wild then only allowed 12 Colorado shots in a 2–1 win in Game 4 even after Roy pulled Varlamov for the extra attacker with less than three minutes left.
In Game 5 (after Roy pulled Varlamov with 2:22 left in the third period), Colorado's P.A. Parenteau's game-tying goal with 1:14 remaining was met with controversy as the Avalanche appeared to have been offside on the play, but it was never called.
Then, Nathan MacKinnon scored 3:27 into overtime to give the Avalanche a 4–3 win.
Zach Parise scored two goals in Game 6, including the game-winner 13:31 into the third period that broke a 2–2 tie.
This time, Roy's tactic of pulling Varlamov early backfired as the Wild scored two empty net goals to win, 5–2.
Minnesota won the series 4–3.
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks
The St. Louis Blues finished second overall in the Central Division, earning 111 points.
The Chicago Blackhawks earned 107 points during the regular season, to finish third overall in the Central Division.
This was the eleventh playoff meeting for these two teams, with Chicago having won seven of the ten previous series.
Their most recent meeting was in the 2002 Western Conference Quarterfinals, which St. Louis won in five games.
The Blues won three of the five games in this year's regular season series.
This was the second consecutive year in which St. Louis faced the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round.
Much like last year, the Blues would win the first two games at Scottrade Center, but then go on to lose the next four games.
In Game 2, the Blackhawks held a 3–2 lead in the third period, but with less than 5 minutes left in regulation, Chicago's Brent Seabrook was called for a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct (and later given a three-game suspension) for charging David Backes.
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford then stopped all 34 Blues shots to help give Chicago a 2–0 victory in Game 3.
In Game 4, Patrick Kane scored two of the Blackhawks' goals in a 4–3 win, including the game-winner at 11:17 of overtime in which he took a pass in the defensive zone and then raced up ice to score from a shot from the left circle.
Jonathan Toews gave Chicago a 3–2 win in Game 5, scoring on a breakaway at 7:36 of overtime.
The Blackhawks then clinched the series with a 5–1 victory in Game 6, scoring 4 unanswered goals in the third period.
Chicago won the series 4-2.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars
The Anaheim Ducks finished first overall in the Pacific Division, earning 116 points.
The Dallas Stars earned 91 points during the regular season and entered the playoffs as the Western Conference's second wild card.
This was the third playoff meeting for these two franchises; the Mighty Ducks earned a six-game series victory in the 2003 Western Conference Semifinals while the Stars earned a six-game series victory in the 2008 Western Conference Quarterfinals.
The Stars won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.
The first five games in this series were won by the home team.
Anaheim jumped to a 4–0 lead in Game 1, but had to hold off a Dallas comeback in a 4–3 win.
The Ducks scored three unanswered goals in Game 2, but had to hold off another Stars comeback to preserve a 3–2 victory.
The series moved to Dallas for Game 3, where Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped all 37 Anaheim shots to earn his first playoff victory in a 3–0 win.
Then, Dallas evened the series in a 4–2 victory in Game 4, scoring 4 unanswered goals to overcome a two-goal deficit.
Returning to Anaheim for Game 5, the Ducks scored three unanswered goals in the third period to pull away for a 6–2 victory.
Back in Dallas for Game 6, the Stars built a 4–2 lead in the second period before Boudreau decided to replace Andersen with Hiller.
Then, Anaheim staged a comeback, first with Nick Bonino's goal with 2:10 remaining in regulation.
Then, Devante Smith-Pelly's score with 24 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime.
Both of these goals occurred with the goalie pulled to give the Ducks an extra attacker.
Then, Bonino then scored at 2:47 into the extra period to give the Ducks a 5–4 win; it was the only game in the series won by the road team.
The Ducks defeated the Stars in six games. Anaheim won the series 4-2.
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
The San Jose Sharks finished second overall in the Pacific Division, earning 111 points.
The Los Angeles Kings earned 100 points during the regular season to finish third overall in the Pacific Division.
This was the third playoff meeting for these two teams.
The Sharks earned a six-game series victory in the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals, while the Kings earned a seven-game series victory in the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals.
The Kings won three of the five games in this year's regular season series.
The Kings became just the fourth team in NHL playoff history (after the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders, and the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers) to come back from a 3–0 deficit to win a series 4–3.
The Sharks controlled the first two games in the series, winning 6–3 and 7–2 in Game 1 and Game 2, respectively, scoring 12 total goals off of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and an empty netter.
At San Jose for Game 5, Quick posted a shutout, as he stopped all 30 San Jose shots.
Williams' game-winning goal (his second of the game) at 11:56 into the third period of Game 6 to break a 1–1 tie was met with controversy.
Stalock attempted to control a loose puck in his crease, but Williams managed to poke it through Stalock's legs across the goal line.
It appeared that Williams pushed Stalock backwards during the play, and the puck seemed to disappear out of sight under the goalie's pads before Williams poked at it, both of which waives off a score.
The play went to video review, but the call of goal on the ice stood.
The Kings' Anze Kopitar then scored two more unanswered goals for a 4–1 victory.
Niemi was reinstated as the Sharks starter for Game 7, but the Kings scored 5 unanswered goals, and killed all 6 San Jose power plays, to win the game 5–1.
Mike Richards and Jeff Carter (who both played for the Flyers in 2010) became the first players in NHL history to be part of two teams that won the final four games of a series, after initially facing a 3–0 series deficit.
Los Angeles won the series 4-3.
Eastern Conference SemifinalsEdit
Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
One of the greatest rivalries in North American professional sports, this was the 34th meeting of these teams in the postseason which is the most frequent playoff series in NHL history.
Coming into the series, Montreal owned a record of 24–9 against Boston in the 33 previous series played by the teams, and had won 18 straight between 1946 and 1987.
However, the Bruins had won the two most recent series between these two teams, the last of which was a seven-game Boston victory in the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
The Canadiens won three of the four games in this year's regular season series.
The Canadiens eliminated the Bruins in seven games. P.K. Subban scored 4:17 into the second overtime to give Montreal a 4–3 victory in Game 1.
In Game 2, the Bruins scored four unanswered goals in the third period to overcome a two-goal deficit to win 5–3.
In Game 3, the Canadiens built a 3–0 lead as Subban and Dale Weise each had a goal and an assist, en route to a 4–2 win.
Matt Fraser then scored the only goal in Game 4 at 1:19 into overtime in Boston's 1–0 victory.
However, Carey Price stopped all 26 Boston shots and Thomas Vanek scored two goals, helping to give Montreal a 4–0 win in Game 6.
In Boston for Game 7, Montreal defeated the Bruins 3–1 as Price made 29 saves.
Montreal won the series 4–3.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
This was the fifth playoff meeting for these two teams, with Pittsburgh winning all four previous playoff series.
Their most recent meeting was in the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals which Pittsburgh won in five games. Each team won two games in this year's four-game regular season series.
For the first time in their team history, the Rangers overcame a 3–1 game deficit to win a seven-game series.
The team who scored first won the game for all seven contests in the series.
Much was made early on about scheduling as the Rangers played five games in seven days due to going to seven games in the first round and scheduling conflicts at Madison Square Garden.
They were the first team to have such a playoff schedule in 25 years and early on it looked like the schedule might adversely affect the Rangers' chances, noted by many including Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.
Derick Brassard scored 3:06 into overtime to give New York a 3–2 victory in Game 1.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury then recorded two consecutive shutouts, stopping all 22 shots in a 3–0 win in Game 2 and 35 shots in a 2–0 victory in Game 3.
Fleury's back-to-back shutouts on back-to-back calendar days was the first time this was ever achieved in franchise history.
It was also the first time the Rangers were shut out in back-to-back playoff games since 1937.
Pittsburgh also took in Game 4, 4–2, as Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist, and Sidney Crosby recorded two assists.
Between games 4 and 5, Rangers forward Martin St. Louis received the news that his mother unexpectedly passed away at the age of 63 due to a heart attack.
Despite his mourning, St. Louis remained in the lineup and the emotional spark that it provided turned New York around.
The Rangers began their comeback with a 5–1 win in Game 5 as Brassard scored two of New York's goals and Mats Zuccarello recorded 3 assists.
Then, New York recorded a 3–1 victory in Game 6 with three different players scoring goals.
Finally, Brad Richards' power play goal 7:56 into the second period proved to be the difference in the Rangers' 2–1 victory in Game 7.
New York won the series 4-3.
Western Conference SemifinalsEdit
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
This was the second playoff meeting for these two teams.
Their only previous meeting was in the 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinals which Chicago won in five games.
The Wild won three of the five games in this year's regular season series.
The Blackhawks eliminated the Wild in six games. The first five games in the series were won by the home team.
Patrick Kane scored two goals to help give Chicago a 5–2 victory in Game 1.
In Game 2, Bryan Bickell had a goal and two assists in Chicago's 4–1 win.
The Wild won Game 3, 4–0, scoring 4 goals in the third period and limiting Chicago to only 19 shots on goal.
Four different Minnesota players then recorded goals in the Wild's 4–2 victory in Game 4.
In Game 5, Jonathan Toews scored the game-winning goal at 4:33 into the third period to break a 1–1 tie, and thus give the Blackhawks a 2–1 win.
Game 6 in Minnesota went into overtime where Kane scored the winning goal after the puck deflected off the glass behind the Wild net and then rolled into the slot, allowing him to take a shot just under the Minnesota crossbar.
Chicago won the series 4-2.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings
This was the first playoff meeting for these Pacific Division and crosstown rivals.
The Ducks won four of the five games in this year's regular season series, including a 3–0 win at the NHL's inaugural Stadium Series game held at Dodger Stadium.
The first four games in the series were won by the visiting team.
Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau started Game 1 with Jonas Hiller in net, however, Marian Gaborik tied the game with about 7 seconds remaining in regulation, then scored the game-winner 12:17 into overtime to give Los Angeles a 3–2 win.
The Kings also won Game 2, 3–1 as goalie Jonathan Quick only allowed one power play goal out of 37 shots.
Boudreau then named Frederik Andersen as his starting goalie for Game 3.
Andersen made 22 saves out of 23 shots before leaving in third period due to a lower-body injury.
Hiller went into the game as Andersen's replacement and made 7 saves out of 8 shots to help preserve a 3–2 victory of the Ducks.
With Anaheim's starting goalie situation still in flux, Boudreau decided to turn to rookie John Gibson for Game 4.
The 20-year old Gibson became the youngest goalie in NHL history to record a shutout in his playoff debut, making 28 saves to give Anaheim a 2–0 win.
Gibson followed up his performance by recording 39 saves out of 42 shots and Devante Smith-Pelly scored two goals to help give the Ducks a 4–3 win in Game 5, however, the Kings built a 2–0 second period lead in Game 6 en route to a 2–1 win.
Then, Los Angeles controlled most of Game 7, building a 4–0 second period lead before Boudreau opted to replace Gibson with Hiller.
The Kings then scored another goal against Hiller to make it 5–0 and held to win, 6–2, to advance to the Conference Final.
Los Angeles won the series 4-3.
Eastern Conference FinalsEdit
Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers
This was the fifteenth playoff meeting for these two Original Six teams with each team having won seven of the fourteen previous playoff series.
Their most recent meeting was in the 1996 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals which the Rangers won in six games.
Most recently, Montreal made it to the Conference Finals in 2010, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in five games while the Rangers made it to the Conference Finals in 2012, losing in six games to the New Jersey Devils.
Montreal won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.
Although Price finished the rest of the period, he did not return for the rest of the series.
Peter Budaj played for the rest of the game but the Rangers won 7–2.
Later in the first period, Daniel Carcillo was penalized for charged into Prust from behind.
As linesman Scott Driscoll attempted to escort Carcillo to the penalty box, Carcillo physically attempted to get away from Driscoll which lead to an automatic game misconduct and multi-game suspension.
Meanwhile, the last three goals of the game were scored on rebounds and deflections.
Then, New York tied the game at 19:31 of the third period after Dan Girardi's shot deflected of off Chris Kreider and bounced off of Montreal's Alexei Emelin's skate into the net.
Seventy-two seconds into overtime, Tomas Plekanec's shot deflected off of [[Alex Galchenyuk] into the New York net to give the Canadiens the 3–2 win.
The Rangers won Game 4, 3–2, as Martin St. Louis scored 6:02 into overtime.
Then, the Canadiens bounced back in Game 5, winning 7–4, as they scored 4 goals out of their first 18 shots and Rene Bourque recorded a hat trick.
Thus, with a 1–0 win the Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in twenty years.
New York won the series 4-2.
Western Conference FinalsEdit
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings
This was the third playoff meeting for these two franchises with Chicago having won both of their previous playoff meetings.
This was a rematch of the previous season's Western Conference Finals which Chicago won in five games.
This was the third straight Conference Finals appearance for the Kings while it is Chicago's fourth trip to the Conference Finals since 2009.
Chicago won all three games in this year's regular season series.
The Kings eliminated the Blackhawks in seven games.
Chicago took Game 1, 3–1 as Brandon Saad recorded a goal and assist and Corey Crawford made 26 saves.
In Game 2, the Kings scored six unanswered goals, including a hat trick from Jeff Carter, to come back from a 2–0 deficit to win, 6–2.
Then, Carter recorded a goal and two assists to help Los Angeles win Game 3, 4–3.
The Kings also dominated Game 4, building a 4–0 lead in the second period en route to a 5–2 victory.
The Kings rallied to tie the game after falling behind 3-1 in the first period of game 5, but Michal Handzus scored at 2:04 of double overtime to give the Blackhawks a 5–4 victory.
Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane each had goals in the third period as Chicago overcame a 1-goal deficit to win Game 6, 4–3.
At 5:47 of overtime Alec Martinez's wrist shot from the blue line deflected past Crawford to give the Kings a 5–4 victory and a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Los Angeles won the series 4-3.