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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 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.
The teams that made it into the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs were:
1As of 2008, the playoff game on June 8]], 2002 between Detroit and Carolina is the 18th longest NHL overtime game. 54 minutes and 47 seconds of overtime were played before Igor Larionov of Detroit scored the game-winning goal. It is also the longest home debut in Stanley Cup Finals history. Larionov had just broken his own record for oldest player to score a final-round goal, set less than 2 hours previous. He was 42 years and 172 days old at the time.
Despite getting eliminated by the Red Wings in the Western Conference Final, Colorado forward Peter Forsberg lead the playoffs in scoring with 18 assists and 27 points. Brett Hull of the Detroit Red Wings lead the playoffs with 10 goals.