Game 1 >
HURRICANES 5 -
Probably the wildest
Stanley Cup playoff game - ever! This game could set
the stage for the series - a 3-0 lead by Edmonton erased in
a storm filled 3rd period - then just as Carolina took the
lead, back came Edmonton on an Ales Hemsky marker.
Just as we appeared headed to overtime just like in 1990
when Edmonton took Boston to 3OT, the unthinkable - Andrew
Ladd rushes to the net, Marc Andre Bergeron misses his angle
on him and drives him into Dwayne Roloson - Roloson would
leave the game with a knee injury, and cold off the bench,
Ty Conklin's gaffe with less than a minute to go in
regulation set up Rod Brind'Amour for the winning goal.
Of further note in this game were two goals by Ray Whitney,
and the first ever penalty shot goal scored in the Stanley
Cup final - by Chris Pronger of all people (trivia buffs
take note). You had to see it to believe it.
Game 2 >
HURRICANES 5 -
The score in this
one is a little misleading - Edmonton actually did alright in this
game - until the final 2 seconds of the second period, with
Carolina already leading 2-0, Cory Stillman potted the 3-0
goal. After that the wheels fell off in a penalty
filled 3rd where the Oilers showed their frustration, but
also showed this series isn't over yet. Cam Ward, on
the other hand, became the youngest ever goaltender to post
a shutout in the Finals. That honor was previously
held by Patrick Roy of the 1986 Habs.
Game 3 >
OILERS 2 -
In another close
game, Ryan Smyth was the hero late in the 3rd period on a
goal heavily disputed by the Carolina bench - as it turned
out, the NHL replay judges ruled the puck was knocked in by
a Carolina player, but somehow managed to hit Ryan on the
way in. The Oilers will take it.
Game 4 >
HURRICANES 2 -
for his lack of production since the Conference Semi-Finals,
a goal-less drought spanning 6 games, Eric Staal got it going with 2 assists - Cory Stillman and Mark
Recchi scored the only goals Carolina would need.
Edmonton scored first on a beautiful give and go by Sergei
Samsonov, but their power play again was the story, or lack
thereof, as it continues to shoot blanks. The
Hurricanes can win their first ever Stanley Cup in Game 5 on
Wednesday night, but as they say, the fourth win is always
the toughest, even on home ice. In many ways this
series is reminiscent of the 1994 New York Rangers vs
Vancouver Canucks final - all that's missing is the Mark
Messier guarantee (maybe that's why he's been at the last
two games). It's not over...yet...
Game 5 >
OILERS 4 -
HURRICANES 3 (OT)
Throw out every cliché
you can possibly think about in this one. Backs
against the wall - fourth win is hardest to get - your best
players have to be your best players - No matter - The
Oilers needed a win and they got it. Chris Pronger got
the ball rolling early - 16 seconds into the game, Ales
Hemsky finally got Edmonton's anemic power play back on
track, Michael Peca took the lead late in the first period.
Carolina would battle back like they have all season - Eric
Staal continued to be hot with 2 goals 1 assist, and Ray
Whitney continued his point streak with another goal.
Jussi Markannen had to be superb on several occasions, and
finally Fernando Pisani scored early in overtime with the
Oilers shorthanded to force a sixth game. The fans at
Rexall Place will raise the roof on Saturday as the Oilers
will look to send this thing to a 7th game and an equal shot
at winning the Stanley Cup. If they can do it, they'll
only be the second team in the history of the NHL to come
back from down 3-1 in the Finals, but as they say, if any
team can do it...
Game 6 >
OILERS 4 -
Jussi Markannen got
his first career playoff shutout, the Oilers power play
exploded when they needed it the most, and Fernando Pisani
continued his heroics with a goal and 2 assists. We're
going to 7!!!
Game 7 >
HURRICANES 3 -
While they celebrate
on Tobacco Road, a sense of retribution is being felt in
Hartford, Connecticut, and a city followed by a nation of
broken hearts is holding the Stanley Cup wake for the 16th
consecutive year. Take nothing away from Edmonton,
they played their hearts out and probably deserved a better
fate, but no shame in losing to the champions. But
there can be only one, and for all intents and purposes,
Carolina played almost a flawless game and season. Cam
Ward was named Conn Smythe trophy winner, Rod Brind'Amour
and Glenn Wesley finally have Stanley Cup rings, and Raleigh
rejoices. The game itself was everything you'd want
out of a Game 7 - hard hitting, fast skating, timely goals.
In hindsight, the New NHL is a resounding success.