1997 Stanley Cup playoffs

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The 1997 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the championship of the National Hockey League (NHL), began in April, 1997, following the 1996–97 NHL season. The sixteen teams that qualified, eight from each conference, played best-of-seven series for conference quarter-finals, semi-finals and championships, and then the conference champions played a best-of-seven series for the Stanley Cup.

The Playoffs ended on June 7, with the Detroit Red Wings defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in a four game sweep to win their eighth Stanley Cup championship in their history, and their first in 42 years. Red Wings goaltender Mike Vernon was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff's Most Valuable Player.

The Stanley Cup, awarded to the champion of the NHL.

Playoff bracket[edit]

 Conference QuarterfinalsConference SemifinalsConference FinalsStanley Cup Finals
1 New Jersey4  1 New Jersey1 
8 Montreal1  5 NY Rangers4 

2 Buffalo4Eastern Conference
7 Ottawa3 
  5 NY Rangers1 
 3 Philadelphia4 
3 Philadelphia4 
6 Pittsburgh1 
4 Florida1 2 Buffalo1
5 NY Rangers4  3 Philadelphia4 

 E3 Philadelphia0
(Pairings are re-seeded after the first round.)
 W3 Detroit4
1 Colorado4  1 Colorado4
8 Chicago2  7 Edmonton1 
2 Dallas3
7 Edmonton4 
 1 Colorado2
 3 Detroit4 
3 Detroit4 
6 St. Louis2 Western Conference
4 Anaheim4 3 Detroit4
5 Phoenix3  4 Anaheim0 

Conference quarter-finals[edit]

Eastern Conference[edit]

Montreal vs. New Jersey
April 17Montreal 35 New Jersey
April 19Montreal 14 New Jersey
April 22New Jersey 64 Montreal
April 24New Jersey 34 Montreal3OT
April 26Montreal 04 New Jersey
New Jersey wins series 4–1
Ottawa vs. Buffalo
April 17Ottawa 13 Buffalo
April 19Ottawa 31 Buffalo
April 21Buffalo 32 Ottawa
April 23Buffalo 01 OttawaOT
April 25Ottawa 41 Buffalo
April 27Buffalo 30 Ottawa
April 29Ottawa 23 BuffaloOT
Buffalo wins series 4–3
Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia
April 17Pittsburgh 15 Philadelphia
April 19Pittsburgh 23 Philadelphia
April 21Philadelphia 53 Pittsburgh
April 23Philadelphia 14 Pittsburgh
April 26Pittsburgh 36 Philadelphia
Philadelphia wins series 4–1
NY Rangers vs. Florida
April 17NY Rangers 03 Florida
April 20NY Rangers 30 Florida
April 22Florida 34 NY RangersOT
April 23Florida 23 NY Rangers
April 25NY Rangers 32 FloridaOT
NY Rangers win series 4–1

Western Conference[edit]

Chicago vs. Colorado
April 16Chicago 06 Colorado
April 18Chicago 13 Colorado
April 20Colorado 34 Chicago2OT
April 22Colorado 36 Chicago
April 24Chicago 07 Colorado
April 26Colorado 63 Chicago
Colorado wins series 4–2
Edmonton vs. Dallas
April 16Edmonton 35 Dallas
April 18Edmonton 40 Dallas
April 20Dallas 34 EdmontonOT
April 22Dallas 43 Edmonton
April 25Edmonton 10 Dallas2OT
April 27Dallas 32 Edmonton
April 29Edmonton 43 DallasOT
Edmonton wins series 4–3
St. Louis vs. Detroit
April 16St. Louis 20 Detroit
April 18St. Louis 12 Detroit
April 20Detroit 32 St. Louis
April 22Detroit 04 St. Louis
April 25St. Louis 25 Detroit
April 27Detroit 31 St. Louis
Detroit wins series 4–2
Phoenix vs. Anaheim
April 16Phoenix 24 Anaheim
April 18Phoenix 24 Anaheim
April 20Anaheim 14 Phoenix
April 22Anaheim 02 Phoenix
April 24Phoenix 52 Anaheim
April 27Anaheim 32 PhoenixOT
April 29Phoenix 03 Anaheim
Anaheim wins series 4–3

Conference semifinals[edit]

Eastern Conference
NY Rangers vs. New Jersey
May 2NY Rangers 02 New Jersey
May 4NY Rangers 20 New Jersey
May 6New Jersey 23 NY Rangers
May 8New Jersey 03 NY Rangers
May 11NY Rangers 21 New JerseyOT
NY Rangers win series 4–1
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo
May 3Philadelphia 53 Buffalo
May 5Philadelphia 21 Buffalo
May 7Buffalo 14 Philadelphia
May 9Buffalo 54 PhiladelphiaOT
May 11Philadelphia 63 Buffalo
Philadelphia wins series 4–1
Western Conference
Edmonton vs. Colorado
May 2Edmonton 15 Colorado
May 4Edmonton 14 Colorado
May 7Colorado 34 Edmonton
May 9Colorado 32 EdmontonOT
May 11Edmonton 3Colorado 4
Colorado wins series 4–1
Anaheim vs. Detroit
May 2Anaheim 12 DetroitOT
May 4Anaheim 23 Detroit3OT
May 6Detroit 53 Anaheim
May 8Detroit 32 Anaheim2OT
Detroit wins series 4–0

Conference Finals[edit]

Eastern Conference[edit]

The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers met in the 1997 Eastern Conference Final. Philadelphia was coming off a relatively easy five-game series win over the Buffalo Sabres. New York, on the other hand, had just pulled off a big upset, defeating the top team in the East, the New Jersey Devils in five games. The Flyers were looking to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in ten years, while the Rangers were looking to advance to the Cup Finals with help from new additions like Wayne Gretzky, Esa Tikkanen, Russ Courtnall, David Oliver and Mike Eastwood.

New York out shot Philadelphia in game one at the CoreStates Center, 25–21, but the Flyers ended up winning, 3–1. Wayne Gretzky had his second hat trick of the playoffs in game two, as the Rangers edged the Flyers 5–4. With the series tied at 1–1, the two teams moved to Madison Square Garden in New York for games three and four. This time it was the Flyers' Eric Lindros who netted a hat trick, as Philadelphia won 6–3. In game four, Lindros broke a 2–2 tie with just seven seconds remaining in regulation. The Flyers won 3–2. They now took a commanding three-games-to-one series lead back home to the CoreStates Center for game five on Sunday, May 25. The Rangers scored twice in 26 seconds in the first period to take a 2–1 lead, but the Flyers scored three unanswered goals and won the game 4–2, and the series four games to one. This would be the last playoff game for both Gretzky and Mark Messier, as neither players' teams made the postseason for the rest of their careers. This was also the last playoff series for the Rangers as they missed the postseason afterward until 2005-2006, and the Rangers did not advance to the Conference Finals again until 2012.

Philadelphia won series 4-1

Western Conference[edit]

The Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings met in the 1997 Western Conference Final, in a series rematch of the previous year. The defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche had just defeated the Edmonton Oilers in five games while the Red Wings were coming off a four-game sweep of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Colorado was looking to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second consecutive year and Detroit was hoping to get back to the Finals for the second time in three years. The rivalry between the two teams was as heated as ever, with the events of the brawl during the March 26th game still fresh.

The Red Wings played a determined game one at McNichols Arena in Denver. Brendan Shanahan broke a 0–0 tie at 1:13 of the third period to give Detroit a 1–0 lead, but a goal by Joe Sakic just 27 seconds later, and one by Mike Ricci at 6:13 gave Colorado a 2–1 lead that they would not relinquish. Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy made 34 saves in the victory. In game two, Colorado led 2–0 but Detroit pulled to within one on a power-play goal by Igor Larionov at 16:51 of the second period. The Red Wings then went on to score three times in the third period to win 4–2 and tie the series at one game apiece. Patrick Roy made 36 saves in the loss. In game three at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, the Red Wings got two goals from Vyacheslav Kozlov and went on to win 2–1. Detroit won game four as well, 6–0, in an obvious statement to Colorado. Red Wings goaltender Mike Vernon made 19 saves in the shutout and Igor Larionov and Kirk Maltby both scored twice. Detroit now led the series three games to one. Embarrassed and frustrated after such a lopsided loss in game four, Colorado came right back in game five with a 6–0 win of their own. Patrick Roy stopped all 32 shots he faced. Claude Lemieux and Joe Sakic both scored two goals. The Avalanche now trailed in the series three games to two. In game six on Monday, May 26, the Red Wings looked to close out the series. Sergei Fedorov's goal at 6:11 of the third period gave Detroit a 2–0 lead. Scott Young pulled Colorado to within one, on a goal at 14:48, but the Avalanche could not score the equalizer, and Brendan Shanahan sealed the game for Detroit with an empty-net goal at 19:30. The Red Wings won 3–1 and took the series four games to two.

Detroit won series 4-2

Stanley Cup Final[edit]

The Detroit Red Wings made their 20th appearance in a Final, first since 1995. The Philadelphia Flyers made their seventh appearance, first since 1987. The Red Wings, who had been swept in their previous appearance, this time swept the Flyers to win their eighth Cup title, and first since 1955.

Detroit won series 4-0

See also[edit]

Preceded by
1996 Stanley Cup playoffs
Stanley Cup ChampionsSucceeded by
1998 Stanley Cup playoffs

External links[edit]