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2008 Stanley Cup Final
Pittsburgh Penguins 0031422
Detroit Red Wings  4 3 22 3 3 4
* - Denotes overtime period(s)
Location:Detroit: Joe Louis Arena (1,2,5)
Pittsburgh: Mellon Arena (3,4,6)
Coaches:Detroit: Mike Babcock
Pittsburgh: Michel Therrien
Captains:Detroit: Nicklas Lidstrom
Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby
Referees:Paul Devorski (1,3,5)
Dan O'Halloran (1,3,5)
Marc Joannette (2,4,6)
Brad Watson (2,4,6)
Dates:May 24 – June 4
MVP:Henrik Zetterberg
Henrik Zetterberg (7:36, third, G6)
Networks:NBC, CBC, Versus, RDS, North American Sports Network
 < 2007Stanley Cup Finals2009 > 

The 2008 Stanley Cup Final was a best-of-seven playoff series that determined the National Hockey League (NHL) champion for the 2007–08 season. As a culmination of the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings defeated the Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins, four games to two, and were awarded the Stanley Cup. Henrik Zetterberg was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.[1]

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

The Cup Final was broadcast in the United States, Versus televised games one and two, and NBC broadcast the rest of the series. It was broadcast in Canada and some parts of the United States as part of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada in English and on RDS in French. In the United Kingdom, all games were aired live on Five, and on the cable sports channel North American Sports Network (NASN). The series was also broadcast by NHL Radio via Westwood One.

Paths 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 Franzén, 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, and 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, the Philadelphia Flyers, also in five games.

The series

The 2008 Stanley Cup Final marked the first time that the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins have met in postseason play. The Red Wings and Penguins did not play each other during the 2007–08 regular season.

Game one

May 24 Detroit Red Wings 4 – 0 Pittsburgh Penguins Joe Louis Arena Recap

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 current team vice president 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 Nicklas 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 one summary
  • Goalie Statistics:
  • Shots by Period:
Team 1 2 3 T
Pittsburgh 12 4 3 19
Detroit 11 16 9 36

Game two

May 26 Detroit Red Wings 3 – 0 Pittsburgh Penguins Joe Louis Arena Recap

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.[2] Johan Franzen, the leading goal-scorer in the playoffs, returned to the line-up for Detroit.[3]

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 two summary
  • Goalie statistics:
  • Shots by period:
Team 1 2 3 T
Pittsburgh 6 6 10 22
Detroit 12 11 11 34

Game three

May 28 Pittsburgh Penguins 3 – 2 Detroit Red Wings Mellon Arena Recap

Game three was held in Pittsburgh, where going into the matchup the Penguins had won sixteen consecutive home games.[4] Pittsburgh continued to shuffle their lineup by replacing defenseman Kris Letang with veteran Darryl Sydor,[5] 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 three summary
  • Shots by period:
Team 1 2 3 T
Pittsburgh 6 13 5 24
Detroit 9 9 16 34

Game four

May 31 Pittsburgh Penguins 1 – 2 Detroit Red Wings Mellon Arena Recap

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".[6] 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 four summary
  • Shots by period:
Team 1 2 3 T
Pittsburgh 9 8 6 23
Detroit 14 7 9 30

Game five

June 2 Detroit Red Wings 3 – 4 3OT Pittsburgh Penguins Joe Louis Arena Recap

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.[7] 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.[8]

Game five summary
  • First overtime
  • Second overtime
  • Shots by period:
Team 1 2 3 OT1 OT2 OT3 T
Pittsburgh 7 7 4 2 8 4 32
Detroit 8 12 14 13 7 4 58

Game six

June 4 Pittsburgh Penguins 2 – 3 Detroit Red Wings Mellon Arena Recap

Pittsburgh's Ryan Malone was scheduled to have X-rays on June 3, after being hit in the face with the puck in game five, but was expected to play.[9]

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 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.

Game six summary
  • Shots by period:
Team 1 2 3 T
Detroit 9 9 12 30
Pittsburgh 8 8 6 22

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. 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 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.


Years indicated in boldface under the "Finals appearance" column signify that the player won the Stanley Cup in the given year.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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

Detroit Red Wings

# Player Catches Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
30 Chris Osgood L 2005 Flag of Canada Peace River, Alberta fourth (1995, 1997, 1998)
35 Jimmy Howard L 2003 Flag of the United States Ogdensburg, New York first (did not play)
39 Dominik Hasek L 2006 Flag of the Czech Republic Pardubice, Czechoslovakia fourth (1992, 1999, 2002)
# Player Shoots Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
3 Andreas Lilja L 2005 Flag of Sweden Helsingborg, Sweden first
4 Kyle Quincey L 2003 Flag of Canada Kitchener, Ontario first (did not play)
5 Nicklas LidstromC L 1989 Flag of Sweden Vasteras, Sweden fifth (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002)
14 Derek Meech L 2002 Flag of Canada Winnipeg, Manitoba first (did not play)
22 Brett Lebda L 2004 Flag of the United States Buffalo Grove, Illinois first
23 Brad Stuart L 2008 Flag of Canada Rocky Mountain House, Alberta first
24 Chris Chelios R 1999 Flag of the United States Chicago, Illinois fifth (1986, 1989, 1992, 2002;
did not play)
28 Brian Rafalski R 2007 Flag of the United States Dearborn, Michigan fourth (2000, 2001, 2003)
52 Jonathan Ericsson L 2002 Flag of Sweden Karlskrona, Sweden first (did not play)
55 Niklas Kronwall L 2000 Flag of Sweden Stockholm, Sweden first
# Player Position Shoots Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
8 Justin Abdelkader C L 2005 Flag of the United States Muskegon, Michigan first (did not play)
11 Daniel Cleary LW/RW L 2005 Flag of Canada Carbonear, Newfoundland first
13 Pavel DatsyukA C/LW L 1998 Flag of Russia Sverdlovsk, U.S.S.R. second (2002)
17 Dallas Drake RW/LW L 2007 Flag of Canada Trail, British Columbia first
18 Kirk Maltby RW/LW R 1996 Flag of Canada Guelph, Ontario fourth (1997, 1998, 2002)
20 Aaron Downey RW R 2007 Flag of Canada Shelburne, Ontario first (did not play)
25 Darren McCarty RW R 2008 Flag of Canada Burnaby, British Columbia fifth (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002)
26 Jiri Hudler RW/LW/C L 2002 Flag of the Czech Republic Olomouc, Czechoslovakia first
33 Kris DraperA C L 1993 Flag of Canada Toronto, Ontario fifth (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002)
37 Mikael Samuelsson RW R 2005 Flag of Sweden Mariefred, Sweden first
40 Henrik ZetterbergA C L 1999 Flag of Sweden Njurunda, Sweden first
42 Mattias Ritola C L 2005 Flag of Sweden Borlange, Sweden first (did not play)
43 Darren Helm C L 2005 Flag of Canada St. Andrews, Manitoba first
44 Mark Hartigan C L 2007 Flag of Canada Fort St. John, British Columbia first
51 Valtteri Filppula LW L 2002 Flag of Finland Vantaa, Finland first
82 Tomas Kopecky LW L 2000 Flag of Slovakia Dubnica nad Vahom, Czechoslovakia first (did not play)
93 Johan Franzen C/LW L 2004 Flag of Sweden Vetlanda, Sweden first
96 Tomas Holmstrom RW L 1994 Flag of Sweden Pitea, Sweden fourth (1997, 1998, 2002)

2007–08 Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Champions



  • 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)
  • Sergie Tchekmarev (Team Masseur)†† , Lynn Newman (Massage Therapist)††

†† - included on team picture, but left off Stanley Cup due to 52 person limit

Stanley Cup Engraving

  • † Did not qualify to have name engraved on Stanley Cup, but included on official team picture.
  • * 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.
  • 2 Detroit also petitioned to have Mark Hartigan's name engraved. He played only 23 regular season games, and 4 playoff games; the NHL said no to Hartigan having his name on the Cup. He did not spend the whole season with Detroit or play in the finals. Detroit added another non-player in his place.
  • Chris Chelios became the oldest player to win the Stanley Cup at age 46 (See 1928 Lester Patrick for older player who played in the Stanley Cup Finals).
  • 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.
  • 1 played both center and wing.


  1. "Detroit Red Wings win Stanley Cup", CBC, 2008-06-04. Retrieved on 2008-06-04. 
  2. Molinari, Dave. "Moving forward: Therrien shuffles lines hoping to make a difference in game two", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2008-05-26. Retrieved on 2008-05-26. 
  3. Anderson, Shelly. "Red Wings' Franzen will play tonight", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2008-05-26. Retrieved on 2008-05-26. 
  4. Kreiser, John. "Penguins hope home is where the wins are",, 2008-05-27. Retrieved on 2008-05-28. 
  5. Rosen, Dan. "Cup winner Sydor jumps back into Pens lineup",, 2008-05-28. Retrieved on 2008-05-28. 
  6. Molinari, Dave. "Sykora: Penguins face a must-win situation tonight", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2008-05-31. Retrieved on 2008-05-31. 
  7. Sykora delivers on his called shot. CBC (2008-06-03). Archived from the original on 2008-06-04. Retrieved on 2008-06-03.
  8. Phil Coffey (2008-06-02). Penguins stay alive in triple OT. Retrieved on 2008-06-03.
  9. Molinari, Dave. "Penguins again stare at elimination tonight at Mellon Arena", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2008-06-04. Retrieved on 2008-06-04. 
Preceded by
Anaheim Ducks
Detroit Red Wings
Stanley Cup Champions

Succeeded by
Pittsburgh Penguins

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