2010 Stanley Cup playoffs

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2010 Stanley Cup playoffs
2010 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs logo.png
Tournament details
Dates April 14–June 9, 2010
Teams 16
Final positions
Champions Chicago Blackhawks
Runner-up Philadelphia Flyers
Tournament statistics
Scoring leader(s) Daniel Briere (Philadelphia)
(30 points)
MVP Jonathan Toews (Chicago)

The 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs of the National Hockey League (NHL) began on April 14, 2010, after the 2009–10 NHL regular season.[1] The Finals ended on June 9, 2010, with the Chicago Blackhawks defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games to win their fourth championship and their first since 1961. Blackhawks center and team captain Jonathan Toews was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs' most valuable player.

This NHL post-season was noted for the unexpected playoff successes of two teams: the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens, who were the seventh and eighth seeds in their conference and were tied for points. The Flyers became the third NHL team to win a seven-game series after being down 3–0 (the others being the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders).[2] The Flyers went on to play in the Stanley Cup Final, losing to Chicago. Meanwhile, the Canadiens became the first eighth-seeded team in NHL history to win a series against the first-seeded team after being down 3–1 in a series, when they beat the Washington Capitals in the first round.[3] After upsetting the defending Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round, the Canadiens became the first eighth-seeded team to compete in the Eastern Conference Finals since the current playoff format was implemented in 1994.[4]

Previously, only the eighth-seeded 2006 Edmonton Oilers had accomplished a similar feat, winning the 2006 Western Conference Finals. As a result of the Canadiens having the eighth seed, the Flyers became the first seventh-seed to have home-ice advantage in the conference finals since the current playoff format was instituted. During the 2010 playoffs, 18 games went to overtime.[5]

Playoff seeds[edit]

Eastern Conference[edit]

  1. Washington Capitals, Southeast Division champions, Eastern Conference regular season champions, President's Trophy winners – 121 points
  2. New Jersey Devils, Atlantic Division champions – 103 points
  3. Buffalo Sabres, Northeast Division champions – 100 points
  4. Pittsburgh Penguins – 101 points
  5. Ottawa Senators – 94 points
  6. Boston Bruins – 91 points
  7. Philadelphia Flyers – 88 points (41 wins)
  8. Montreal Canadiens – 88 points (39 wins)

Western Conference[edit]

  1. San Jose Sharks, Pacific Division champions, Western Conference regular season champions – 113 points
  2. Chicago Blackhawks, Central Division champions – 112 points
  3. Vancouver Canucks, Northwest Division champions – 103 points
  4. Phoenix Coyotes – 107 points
  5. Detroit Red Wings – 102 points
  6. Los Angeles Kings – 101 points
  7. Nashville Predators – 100 points
  8. Colorado Avalanche – 95 points

Playoff bracket[edit]

In each round, the highest remaining seed in each conference is matched against the lowest remaining seed. The higher-seeded team is awarded home ice advantage. In the Stanley Cup Final series, home ice is determined based on regular season points. Each best-of-seven series follows a 2–2–1–1–1 format: the higher-seeded team plays at home for games one and two (plus five and seven if necessary), and the lower-seeded team is at home for games three and four (and if necessary, game six).

  Conference Quarterfinals Conference Semifinals Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
1  Washington 3     4  Pittsburgh 3  
8  Montreal 4     8  Montreal 4  

2  New Jersey 1 Eastern Conference
7  Philadelphia 4  
    8  Montreal 1  
  7  Philadelphia 4  
3  Buffalo 2  
6  Boston 4  
4  Pittsburgh 4   6  Boston 3
5  Ottawa 2     7  Philadelphia 4  

  E7  Philadelphia 2
(Pairings are re-seeded after the first round.)
  W2  Chicago 4
1  San Jose 4     1  San Jose 4
8  Colorado 2     5  Detroit 1  
2  Chicago 4
7  Nashville 2  
  1  San Jose 0
  2  Chicago 4  
3  Vancouver 4  
6  Los Angeles 2   Western Conference
4  Phoenix 3   2  Chicago 4
5  Detroit 4     3  Vancouver 2  
  • During the first three rounds home ice is determined by seeding number, not position on the bracket. In the Finals the team with the better regular season record has home ice.

Conference Quarterfinals[edit]

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals[edit]

(1) Washington Capitals vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens[edit]

The Capitals playing the Candiens in the 2010 playoffs

The Washington Capitals entered the playoffs as the Presidents' Trophy winner, earning the NHL's best regular season record with 121 points. The Montreal Canadiens qualified for the playoffs as the eighth seed with 88 points. This was the first and to date only playoff meeting between these two teams. The teams split this year's four-game regular season series.

Montreal's point difference in the series was the fifth largest point differential (33 points) for a lower-seeded team beating a higher-seeded team in playoff history. It was also the first time an eighth-seeded team came back against a number one seed after being down 3–1 in the series.[3] Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 45 saves and Tomas Plekanec won Game one for the Canadiens with his goal 13:19 into the first overtime period. Washington forward Nicklas Backstrom scored the overtime winner in Game two and completed a hat-trick with his goal 31 seconds into the first overtime period to give Washington a 6–5 win; Andrei Kostitsyn also scored a hat-trick during this game in a losing effort for the Canadiens. After a scoreless opening period in Game three the Capitals scored four times in the second period as they earned a 5–1 victory. Washington forward Alexander Ovechkin recorded three points as the Capitals won Game four 6–3. Jaroslav Halak returned in Game five for Montreal after sitting out the previous game and posted 37 saves as the Canadiens avoided elimination with a 2–1 win. Michael Cammalleri scored twice in the opening period of Game six for Montreal and Jaroslav Halak made 53 saves as the Canadiens forced a seventh-game with a 4–1 victory. Montreal forward Dominic Moore scored the series-clinching goal late in the third period of Game seven as the Canadiens hung on to a 2–1 decision.

Montreal won series 4–3

(2) New Jersey Devils vs. (7) Philadelphia Flyers[edit]

The New Jersey Devils entered the playoffs as the second seed in the Eastern Conference after winning the Atlantic Division with 103 points. The Philadelphia Flyers earned the seventh seed with 88 points, winning the tiebreaker over Montreal on total wins (41 to 39). The two franchises met in the playoffs for the first time since the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2004, having previously met in the 2000 and 1995 Eastern Conference Finals.

Philadelphia won series 4–1

(3) Buffalo Sabres vs. (6) Boston Bruins[edit]

The Buffalo Sabres entered the playoffs as the third seed in the Eastern Conference after winning the Northeast Division with 100 points. The Boston Bruins earned the sixth seed with 91 points. The last meeting between the two franchises took place in the 1999 Eastern Conference Semifinal, which the Sabres won 4–2. The turning points in the series were the injury to Thomas Vanek in game two, the Sabres blowing a two-goal lead in game four and losing in double overtime, and the waiving of an automatic suspension against Bruins captain Zdeno Chara after game five.[citation needed]

Boston won series 4–2

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Ottawa Senators[edit]

Pittsburgh's Bill Guerin plays in-front of the Senators net April 16.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, the defending Stanley Cup champions, entered the playoffs as the fourth-overall seed in the Eastern Conference with 101 points. The Ottawa Senators earned 94 points during the regular season to finish fifth-overall in the Eastern Conference. This was the third meeting between the two clubs and third time in four years, all occurring during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, with Ottawa winning the series 4–1 in 2007, and Pittsburgh sweeping the series in 2008 (the Senators did not qualify for the playoffs in 2009).

Pittsburgh won series 4–2

Western Conference Quarterfinals[edit]

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (8) Colorado Avalanche[edit]

The San Jose Sharks entered the playoffs as the regular season Western Conference champions, with 113 points. The Colorado Avalanche earned 95 points to clinch the eighth playoff seed in the Western Conference. The franchises previously faced each other in the Western Conference Semifinals in 2004, which the Sharks won 4–2. The Avalanche played the first playoffs after the retirement of Joe Sakic.

San Jose won series 4–2

(2) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (7) Nashville Predators[edit]

The Chicago Blackhawks entered the playoffs as the second-overall seed in the Western Conference, having clinched the Central Division title with 112 points. The Nashville Predators qualified for the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons, clinching the seventh seed with 100 points. This was the first time these two franchises met each other in the playoffs. Nashville's Game 1 victory in Chicago was the franchise's first-ever road playoff win; they had previously lost each of their previous games: three times in 2004 and 2008 against Detroit and twice each in 2006 and 2007, both against San Jose.

Chicago won series 4–2

(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) Los Angeles Kings[edit]

The Vancouver Canucks entered the playoffs as the third overall seed in the Western Conference, having clinched the Northwest Division title with 103 points. The Los Angeles Kings qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2002, clinching the sixth seed with 101 points. The two franchises met for the first time since the 1993 Smythe Division Final, which the Kings won 4–2.

Vancouver won series 4–2

(4) Phoenix Coyotes vs. (5) Detroit Red Wings[edit]

The Phoenix Coyotes entered the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Western Conference with 107 points. The Detroit Red Wings qualified as the fifth seed with 102 points. This was the third playoff meeting between these two teams, with Detroit winning both pervious series. They last met in the 1998 Western Conference Quarterfinals where Detroit won in six games. Detroit won this year's four-game regular season series earning six of eight points.

The Red Wings defeated the Coyotes in seven games. Phoenix went three for four on the power-play in Game one as they took the opening game by a final score of 3–2. Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg scored a hat trick in Game two as Detroit evened the series with a 7–4 win. Petr Prucha scored the game-winning goal for the Coyotes in Game three as Phoenix took the game with a 4–2 victory. Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard made 29 saves to shutout the Coyotes in Game four as the Red wings tied the series with a 3–0 win. The Red Wings broke the tie in Game five just past the midway mark of the third period with two goals scored 70 seconds apart and held on to win 4–1. Phoenix forced a seventh game with a dominate special teams performance in Game six recording three power-play goals in the victory. After a scoreless first period in Game seven the Red Wings scored four times in the second period en route to a 6–1 win.

Detroit won series 4–3

Conference Semifinals[edit]

Eastern Conference Semifinals[edit]

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens[edit]

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with Montreal winning the pervious series. They last met in the 1998 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals where Montreal won in six games. Pittsburgh won three of the four games during this year's four-game regular season series.

The Canadiens defeated the Penguins in seven games. Pittsburgh scored four times on the power-play in Game one as they took the opening game 6–3. Michael Cammalleri scored twice for Montreal in Game two and Jaroslav Halak made 38 saves as the Canadiens evened the series with a 3–1 win. Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin’s fifth goal of the playoffs broke a scoreless tie in third period of Game three as the Penguins earned a 2–0 victory; Marc-Andre Fleury made 18 saves to shut-out the Canadiens. Jaroslav Halak made 33 saves for Montreal in Game four as Montreal won the game 3–2. In Game five, Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves in a 2–1 victory. Montreal forward Maxim Lapierre scored the game-winning goal in Game six as the Canadiens won their fourth consecutive elimination game of the playoffs. Montreal’s Brian Gionta scored twice on the power-play in Game seven as the Canadiens eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champions with a 5–2 win. Game seven was the last game ever to be played at Mellon Arena, the Penguins' home rink since the start of the franchise as the Canadiens dethroned the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins. Incidentally, the Canadiens were the winners of the first game played against the Penguins at Mellon Arena in 1967.[6] The Penguins moved into the Consol Energy Center starting the next season.

Montreal won series 4–3

(6) Boston Bruins vs. (7) Philadelphia Flyers[edit]

This was the fifth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the teams splitting the four pervious series. They last met in the 1978 Stanley Cup Semifinals where Boston won in five games. The teams split this year's four-game regular season series.

Philadelphia became the third NHL team to comeback from a 3–0 deficit to win a series, joining the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders as the only teams to accomplish this feat (the Los Angeles Kings became the fourth team to do this in 2014).[2] Bruins forward Marc Savard ended Game one with his goal 13:52 into the first overtime period, giving Boston a 5–4 victory. Milan Lucic broke the tie late in the third period of Game two to give the Bruins a 3–2 win. Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask made 34 saves in a 4–1 Bruins win during Game three. Bruins forward Mark Recchi tied the game in the final minute of the third period, however the Bruins came up short in overtime as Simon Gagne extended the series with a goal 14:40 into the first overtime period in a 5–4 Flyers victory. Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton made 23 saves in a 4–0 split shutout for the Flyers in Game five; Boucher was injured in the second period and did not return to the game. The Flyers forced a seventh-game with a 2–1 victory in Game six. In Game seven Philadelphia came back from a 3–0 goal deficit to win by a score of 4–3. [7]

Philadelphia won series 4–3

Western Conference Semifinals[edit]

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (5) Detroit Red Wings[edit]

The Sharks and the Red Wings last faced off in the 2007 Western Conference Semifinals, which Detroit won 4–2. There have been two other series between these franchises in the mid-1990s, with each team winning one.

San Jose won series 4–1

(2) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (3) Vancouver Canucks[edit]

This is the third second-round series between Vancouver and Chicago under the current playoff format. Vancouver and Chicago competed in the Western Conference Semifinals the previous year, with the Blackhawks winning the series 4–2. In 1995, the Blackhawks swept the series.

Chicago won series 4–2

Conference Finals[edit]

Eastern Conference Final[edit]

(7) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens[edit]

This was the first ever conference final contested by the seventh and eighth seeds. The Canadiens and the Flyers both earned 88 points in the regular season, but Philadelphia's greater number of victories gave them the higher seed. There were five previous meetings between Montreal and Philadelphia, including the 1976 Stanley Cup Finals. Their last meeting was in the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals which Philadelphia won 4–1.

Philadelphia won series 4–1

Western Conference Final[edit]

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (2) Chicago Blackhawks[edit]

This was the first ever playoff series between the Sharks and the Blackhawks. There were four games between these two teams during the regular season, with Chicago leading San Jose three games to one. This was the only sweep of the entire playoffs.

Chicago won series 4–0

Stanley Cup Finals[edit]

The Chicago Blackhawks had home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals since they finished the regular season with more points (112) than the Philadelphia Flyers (88). This was the second playoff series between the two teams and the first since 1971 when the Blackhawks swept the Flyers in the Stanley Cup quarterfinals. Prior to the 2010 Finals, both teams had previously lost in their last five consecutive Finals appearances (Chicago in 1962, 1965, 1971, 1973, and 1992; and Philadelphia in 1976, 1980, 1985, 1987, and 1997). Having lost in the 2010 Finals, the Flyers became the third team in NHL history to lose in six consecutive Finals appearances, after the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. It also was the first time since the Flyers themselves lost in 1987 that a team in the city of Philadelphia lost a championship in a non-presidential inauguration year (Phillies in 1993 and 2009 World Series, Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, Flyers in 1997, and 76ers in 2001 NBA Finals).[8]

Chicago won series 4–2

This was the first Stanley Cup won in overtime since the New Jersey Devils in 2000.

Player statistics[edit]


These are the top ten skaters based on points. If the list exceeds ten skaters because of a tie in points, goals take precedence.[9]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/–
Briere, DanielDaniel Briere Philadelphia Flyers 23 12 18 30 +9
Toews, JonathanJonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks 22 7 22 29 -1
Kane, PatrickPatrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks 22 10 18 28 -2
Richards, MikeMike Richards Philadelphia Flyers 23 7 16 23 -1
Sharp, PatrickPatrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks 22 11 11 22 +10
Giroux, ClaudeClaude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers 23 10 11 21 +7
Leino, VilleVille Leino Philadelphia Flyers 19 7 14 21 +10
Cammalleri, MichaelMichael Cammalleri Montreal Canadiens 19 13 6 19 -6
Crosby, SidneySidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins 13 6 13 19 +6
Franzen, JohanJohan Franzen Detroit Red Wings 12 6 12 18 +8

GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/– = Plus/minus


This is a combined table of the top five goaltenders based on goals against average and the top five goaltenders based on save percentage with at least 420 minutes played. The table is sorted by GAA, and the criteria for inclusion are bolded.[10][11]

Leighton, MichaelMichael Leighton Philadelphia Flyers 13 8 3 371 31 2.46 .916 3 757:13
Boucher, BrianBrian Boucher Philadelphia Flyers 12 6 6 298 27 2.47 .909 1 655:37
Halak, JaroslavJaroslav Halak Montreal Canadiens 18 9 9 562 43 2.55 .923 0 1,013:24
Nabokov, EvgeniEvgeni Nabokov San Jose Sharks 15 8 7 407 38 2.56 .907 1 889:51
Rask, TuukkaTuukka Rask Boston Bruins 13 7 6 409 36 2.61 .912 0 829:03
Niemi, AnttiAntti Niemi Chicago Blackhawks 22 16 6 645 58 2.63 .910 2 1,321:51
Howard, JimmyJimmy Howard Detroit Red Wings 12 5 7 387 33 2.75 .915 1 720:26

GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; SA = Shots against; GA = Goals against; GAA = Goals against average; SV% = Save percentage; SO = Shutouts; TOI = Time on ice (minutes:seconds)


  1. ^ "2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs Quarterfinals Schedule". National Hockey League. April 11, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Compton, Brian (May 14, 2010). "Double comeback: Flyers rally in Game 7 to advance". Boston: National Hockey League. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Questions galore for Capitals after quick exit". Washington, D.C.: National Hockey League. Associated Press. April 29, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Canadiens stun Penguins 5-2 in Game 7". National Hockey League. May 13, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  5. ^ Carchidi, Sam (June 10, 2010). "Sudden Death; Flyers' unforgettable run ends as Hawks win Cup". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. C1. 
  6. ^ "Pittsburgh Penguins 1967-68 Game Log and Scores". Nhlreference.com. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ Ulman, Howard (May 14, 2010). "Flyers complete shocking comeback". Toronto Star. Boston. Associated Press. Retrieved May 15, 2010. 
  8. ^ Warren, Ken (June 2, 2010). "Two cities that could use a CUP". Ottawa Citizen. p. B3. 
  9. ^ "2009–2010 - Playoffs - All Skaters - Summary - Total points". NHL.com. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  10. ^ "2009–2010 - Playoffs - Goalie - Summary - Goals against average". NHL.com. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  11. ^ "2009–2010 - Playoffs - Goalie - Summary - Save percentage". NHL.com. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
Preceded by
2009 Stanley Cup playoffs
Stanley Cup playoffs
Succeeded by
2011 Stanley Cup playoffs