The final four

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

Defeated Washington Capitals in seven games, Montreal Canadiens in five.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Defeated Ottawa Senators in four games, NY Rangers in five games.

PLAYOFF HISTORY

This is the latest in the playoffs the state rivals have met. The Flyers won three previous series, in 1989, '97 and 2000, with the '89 Patrick Division final going the distance.

SEASON SERIES

After getting smoked 8-0 the year before, the Flyers won the first four games by a combined 20-8 score and the season finale, 2-0. But Pens were rarely at full strength minus captain Sidney Crosby and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

THE SKINNY

Among the great battles will be Crosby against Daniel Briere, Evgeni Malkin versus the hard-hitting Flyer defence and French Canadian goalies Martin Biron and Fleury ... Flyers' R.J. Umberger is from the Pittsburgh area, same as Pens' Ryan Malone. "It's going to be a battle," Malone told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "We've worked hard to get where we are now. Why not play them and have this big rivalry?" ... The late coach Freddie (The Fog) Shero's son Ray now runs the Penguins ... The Flyers are trying to become the first team since the '91 and '92 Pens to go the distance in a first-round series and have enough gas to win a Cup ... The two Pennsylvania cities are actually a four to five-hour drive apart, on opposite sides of a mountain range and with distinct local dialects.

INJURIES

D Mark Eaton (knee) is out for the Penguins. Flyers still be without LW Simon Gagne (concussion) and D Mike Rathje (hip/back).

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

DALLAS STARS

Defeated Anaheim Ducks in six, San Jose Sharks in six games.

DETROIT RED WINGS

Defeated Nashville Predators in six, Colorado Avalanche in four.

PLAYOFF HISTORY

The Wings derailed the Stars in three meetings in the 1990s, the last time in the '98 conference final. While still in Minnesota, the Stars lost a

Game 7 in a Norris Division semi-final.

SEASON SERIES

The Wings played great defence in winning three of four meetings, out-scoring the Stars 12-5. Both teams had a shutout.

THE SKINNY

"That (loss in '98) probably was the beginning of everything for us," Michigan native Mike Modano told the Dallas Morning News of the Stars bouncing back to win the '99 Cup and appear in the 2000 final. "That was the beginning of a lot of success for us. They (Wings) are just as good now as they were then." ... Goalie and Sault Ste. Marie native Marty Turco is 2-10-5 against the Wings and hasn't won at Joe Louis Arena since he played for the University of Michigan... The Stars are coming off four overtime games, the most in one NHL series since 1999 when they beat the Blues in six ... The Wings are trying to reach the final for the fifth time since 1995 ... The Stars rank second in power play in post-season games (15-for-60) ... The Wings are 7-0 in these playoffs leading after two periods, but Stars are the only team above .500 when trailing after two (3-2).

INJURIES

Detroit C Tomas Kopecky (torn ACL in left knee) is out for the playoffs. Only a slight chance that Stars' D Philippe Boucher (hip strain) will play.


Videos

Photos