The 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs, the championships of the National Hockey League, was played from April until June. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Carolina Hurricanes four games to one to clinch the 10th championship in their history. It was the Hurricanes first ever appearance in the championship round. Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs. It was the ninth championship for Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman, who announced his retirement after the deciding game of the series. The Phoenix Coyotes would play their last playoff games at America West Arena and would miss the playoffs until 2010 when they played in Glendale.
The sixteen teams that qualified, eight from each conference, played best-of-7 series for conference quarterfinals, semifinals and championships, and then the conference champions played a best-of-7 series for the Stanley Cup.
A record 25 shutouts were recorded in the 2002 Playoffs and, for the first time since 1991, not a single team was swept in a playoff series. This is the last time that all 3 Eastern Canada teams made the playoffs together and got past 1st round.
For the first time in history, both teams from the province of Alberta, the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers missed the playoffs in the same season.
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