- 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs
The 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the postseason for the NHL, began on April 9, 2003, following the 2002–03 regular season. The playoffs concluded on June 9, 2003, with the
New Jersey Devilsdefeating the Mighty Ducks of Anaheimin seven games. The sixteen qualifying teams played best-of-7 series in the conference quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. Each conference champion proceeded to the Stanley Cup Finals.
These playoffs marked the first time the
Minnesota Wildqualified, in only their third season in the NHL. It should be noted that the Minnesota Wild, as a 6 seed, made an unlikely advance to the Western Conference Finals as underdogs after being down three games to one in two consecutive rounds.
A total of 16 teams qualified for the playoffs. The
Ottawa Senatorswere the Presidents' Trophywinners with 113 points.
Ottawa Senators- Northeast Division and Eastern Conference regular season champions, 113 points
New Jersey Devils- Atlantic Division champions, 108 points
Tampa Bay Lightning- Southeast Division champions, 93 points
Philadelphia Flyers- 107 points
Toronto Maple Leafs- 98 points
Washington Capitals- 92 points
Boston Bruins- 87 points
New York Islanders- 83 points
Dallas Stars- Pacific Division and Western Conference regular season champions, 111 points
Detroit Red Wings- Central Division champions, 110 points
Colorado Avalanche- Northwest Division champions, 105 points
Vancouver Canucks- 104 points
#St. Louis Blues - 99 points
Minnesota Wild- 95 points (42 wins)
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim- 95 points (40 wins)
Edmonton Oilers- 92 points
RD4=Stanley Cup Finals
RD1-team02=New York Islanders
RD1-team03=New Jersey Devils
RD1-team05=Tampa Bay Lightning
RD1-team08=Toronto Maple Leafs
RD1-team11=Detroit Red Wings
RD1-team12=Anaheim Mighty Ducks
RD1-team16=St. Louis Blues
RD2-team03=New Jersey Devils
RD2-team04=Tampa Bay Lightning
RD2-team06=Anaheim Mighty Ducks
RD3-team02=New Jersey Devils
RD3-team03=Anaheim Mighty Ducks
RD4-team01=New Jersey Devils
RD4-team02=Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
"GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/– =
Plus/Minus; PIM = Penalty Minutes"
(2) New Jersey Devils vs. (7) Boston Bruins
The series opened at
Continental Airlines Arenain New Jersey, and Game 1 was a defensive battle in an ultimate 2–1 Devils victory behind two goals from Jamie Langenbrunner. New Jersey then took control of the series with a Game 2, 4–2 victory.
Down 2–0 in the series but heading home to
FleetCenter, Boston shook things up, replacing Steve Shields, who allowed six goals in the first two games, in favor of Jeff Hackett. The shakeup did not do much, as the Devils shut out in the Bruins in Game 3, 3–0, with goalie Martin Brodeurstopping all 29 shots he faced. Not wanting to end their season with a winless postseason and a loss in front of their fans, Boston came out firing in Game 4, winning the game, 5–1, and knocking out Brodeur after the fifth goal in favor of Corey Schwab, who went 6-for-6 in net.
Unfortunately for the Bruins and their fans, they had only "stayed their execution" until Game 5 in New Jersey, where Brodeur bounced back from his horrid Game 4 with a 28-save shutout in a 3–0 win as Langenbrunner added two more goals.
Western Conference Quarterfinals
(1) Dallas Stars vs. (8) Edmonton Oilers
The series opened at
American Airlines Centerin Dallas, and both defenses were strong: Edmonton took 23 shots while Dallas only took 21, but Edmonton won the game, 2–1. Not wanting to fall behind 2–0 going to Edmonton, the Stars' attack shelled Oilers goalie Tommy Saloin Game 2, a 6–1 Dallas victory highlighted by two goals from Scott Young. Salo was pulled after the fifth goal in favor of Jussi Markkanen.
The series moved to
Rexall Placein Edmonton, and the Oilers used three third-period goals to win the game, 3–2. Game 4 was a must-win for the Stars, and they came through, winning the game, 3–1. Back in Dallas, the Stars moved a step closer to knocking out the Oilers with a 5–2 victory in Game 5. Dallas delivered the death blow in Game 6, eliminating Edmonton with a 3–2 victory.
(4) Vancouver Canucks vs. (5) St. Louis Blues
The series opened at
GM Placein Vancouver, where St. Louis scored two goals in each period, rolling to a 6–0 Game 1 victory that saw Blues goalie Chris Osgoodpost a 20-save shutout. Game 2 was a different story, however: Canucks goalie Dan Cloutierrecovered from a horrid Game 1 to only allow one goal in a 2–1 Vancouver win that tied the series, 1–1.
Game 3 was at the
Savvis Centerin St. Louis, and Osgood turned in another stellar performance, allowing only one goal in a 3–1 Blues victory. The Blues cranked out more offensive firepower in a 4–1 Game 4 victory that pushed Vancouver to the brink. Vancouver had their work cut out for them: they had to win the next three games, but two of them were at home if the series went that far.
Vancouver, held to just four goals in series up to that point, finally opened up in Game 5, a 5–3 Canucks victory. Game 6 saw the Canucks race out to a 4–1 lead and then hang on for 4–3 victory that forced a decisive Game 7 back in Vancouver. With all of their momentum lost, St. Louis allowed four unanswered goals in Game 7 as Vancouver easily won the game, 4–1, and the series, 4–3.
Western Conference Semifinals
(1) Dallas Stars vs. (7) Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
The series opened at
American Airlines Centerin Dallas, where the heavily-favored Stars and underdog Ducks engaged in an epic battle that took over 140 minutes and four overtimes to decide before Anaheim's Petr Sykora scored the game-winner 47 seconds into the "fifth" overtime, winning the game for the Ducks, 4–3. Dallas goalie Marty Turcosaw 54 shots while Anaheim's goalie, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, saw 63. Game 2 saw another game tied after 60 minutes, but this time, Anaheim needed only 1:44 to win the game in the first overtime, 3–2, on a goal by Mike Leclerc. Dallas, much like Detroit in its first-round series against the Ducks, faced a 2–0 deficit headed to Anaheim.
Game 3 at
Arrowhead Pond of Anaheimwas a must-win for the Stars, and they came through, winning the game, 2–1, getting two clutch goals from Jere Lehtinen. But the Ducks refused to let the Stars back in the series, winning Game 4, 1–0, behind a 28-save shutout from Giguere. Not wanting to be eliminated in front of their home fans, a motivated Dallas team captured Game 5, 4–1. Unfortunately for the Stars, their bid to take the series to a Game 7 was denied when they were edged in Game 6, 4–3.
Western Conference Finals
(6) Minnesota Wild vs. (7) Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
The series opened at the
Xcel Energy Centerin Minnesota, and both teams ground it out down to the game-winning score, which came from Petr Sykora 8:06 into double-overtime in a 1–0 Mighty Ducks victory. Jean-Sebastien Giguere turned in a stellar performance in net for Anaheim, stopping all 39 shots he faced. With Dwayne Rolosonreplacing Manny Fernandez in net for the Wild, Game 2 was just as close, but the Ducks pulled out a 2–0 victory, both goals short-handed, as Giguere stopped all 24 shots he faced, making him 63-for-63 in the series. Minnesota was in trouble; not only were they down in the series, 2–0, headed to Anaheim, but they had yet to score a goal.
Out at the
Arrowhead Pond of Anaheimfor Game 3, Giguere continued his goaltending excellency, stopping all 35 shots he faced in a 4–0 Mighty Ducks victory that pushed the Wild to the brink. Giguere had now stopped the first 98 shots he saw in the series. In Game 3, Paul Kariyatallied two goals to help the Anaheim attack. Minnesota, demoralized at their offensive impotence, lost Game 4, 2–1, but at least they avoided a fourth consecutive shutout, as Andrew Brunettescored the first Minnesota goal of the series 4:37 into the game. Still, Giguere was 122-for-123 in the series, a robust .992 save percentage. Adam Oatesscored both Anaheim goals, the decisive one coming midway through the second period.
tanley Cup Finals
(E2) New Jersey Devils vs. (W7) Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
2002–03 NHL season
2003 in sports
List of NHL seasons
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