The 1995 Stanley Cup playoffs, the championship of the National Hockey League was played between May 6 and June 24, 1995. In the Final, the New Jersey Devils swept the favored Detroit Red Wings in four games to win their first championship. The Quebec Nordiques played their last ever playoff series during this time. They would move to Denver, Colorado during the summer.
This was the only time Patrick Roy missed the playoffs in his career.
The sixteen teams that qualified, eight from each conference, played best-of-7 series for the conference quarterfinals, semifinals and championships, and then the conference champions played a best-of-7 series for the Stanley Cup.
(2) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (5) New Jersey Devils
This was the second playoff series between these two teams, with Philadelphia winning the only previous meeting in two games. They last met in the 1978 Preliminary Round where Philadelphia swept the Colorado Rockies. This was the third conference final appearance for New Jersey and the second consecutive appearance after losing to the New York Rangers in seven games the year before. Philadelphia made their fourth conference final appearance and first since losing to Montreal in six games in 1989.
New Jersey handed Philadelphia their first two playoff home losses of the season winning 4-1 in game one and 5-2 in game two and they outshot the Flyers 28-21 and 24-20 respectively. In game three Philadelphia played with a sense of urgency. Trailing 2–1 the Flyers tied the game on Rod Brind'Amour's goal with 6:03 to go in regulation. They went on to win the game 3–2 on captain Eric Lindros' goal at 4:19 of the first overtime period. Playing with their newfound confidence the Flyers won game four by a score of 4–2 despite being outshot 34–19, Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall made 32 saves. In game five the Devils took a 2–1 lead into the second period which ended up scoreless. The Flyers tied the game on Kevin Dineen's second goal of the game at 3:13 of the third period. The Devils almost regained the lead on Stephane Richer's breakaway shot that hit the crossbar with less than four minutes to go in regulation. Then with less than a minute remaining Devils forward Claude Lemieux picked up the puck on a backcheck in the New Jersey zone and skated up the ice, once over the Flyers' blue line Lemieux fired a slap shot that beat Hextall on his blocker side. The goal silenced the Spectrum crowd and gave New Jersey a 3–2 lead with just 44.2 seconds to play. The Devils hung on to win the game 3–2.
In game six Philadelphia opened the scoring on Jim Montgomery's goal at 4:05 of the first period. The Devils calmly utilized the neutral-zone trap to shut down the Flyers' offense while their forwards took advantage. Stephane Richer tied the game with a power play goal at 10:25 and Brian Rolston put the Devils up 2–1 with a goal at 18:15. The scored remained 2–1 for New Jersey until midway through the second period. After a blocked shot by Devils defenseman Shawn Chambers led to a three on one rush for New Jersey, Randy McKay scored his seventh goal of the postseason. The Devils made it 4–1 at 10:11 of the third period when Bobby Carpenter passed the puck past Flyers defenceman Karl Dykhuis up to Claude Lemieux at center ice who went in on a breakaway and scored his league leading eleventh goal of the playoffs. The Flyers fought back as Mikael Renberg scored on the power play at 16:29 to cut the Devils' lead to 4–2 but New Jersey held on to the lead and went on to win the game and series, advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in team history.
(1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (4) Chicago Blackhawks
This was the fourteenth playoff series between these two teams, with Chicago winning eight of the thirteen previous series. They last met in the 1992 Division Final where Chicago swept Detroit in four games. This was the seventh conference final appearance for Chicago and first since 1992 where the Blackhawks swept Edmonton in four games. Detroit made their third conference final appearance and first since losing to Edmonton in five games in 1988.
Game one of the series at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit saw a goaltending battle between Ed Belfour and Mike Vernon. The two teams skated to a 1–1 tie after regulation before Nicklas Lidstrom scored the game winning goal for Detroit at 1:01 of the first overtime period. It was the first overtime playoff game that Detroit had won at home since 1960. In game two Chicago led by a score of 2–1 after two periods on goals by Chris Chelios and Tony Amonte. In the third period Detroit kept pressing and eventually tied the game on Doug Brown's goal. Kris Draper scored the winner for Detroit with just 1:45 remaining in regulation. In game three of the series at the United Center, Detroit led 3–2 going into the third period. Jeff Shantz scored at 8:33 to tie the game for Chicago. The game went to double overtime where Vladimir Konstantinov scored the game-winner for Detroit at 9:25. The win gave the Red Wings a commanding 3–0 series lead. The Blackhawks responded to the urgency and came out flying in game four as Denis Savard and Joe Murphy both scored twice and captain Dirk Graham had a goal to give Chicago a dominating 5–0 lead after 40 minutes. Detroit scored twice in the third period on goals by Kris Draper and Ray Sheppard as the Blackhawks went on to win the game 5–2. In game five Chicago jumped out to a 1–0 lead on Denis Savard's power play goal at 10:18 of the first period. Detroit then tied the game on Steve Yzerman's goal at 11:36 of the second. After a scoreless third period the game went into double overtime where Vyacheslav Kozlov scored at 2:25 to give the Red Wings a 2–1 win and a series clinching victory.
Detroit made their nineteenth appearance in the Finals, and first since 1966 where they lost in six games to Montreal. New Jersey made their first appearance in the Finals, in their twentieth season. Detroit last won the Stanley Cup in 1955. The Devils would blanket the Red Wings with defense to win their first Stanley Cup title.