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The 2003 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2002–03 season, and the culmination of the 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs. The second-seeded Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils defeated the seventh-seeded Western Conference champion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in seven games and were awarded the Stanley Cup. It was New Jersey's first appearance since 2001 and third in four years. It was Anaheim's first-ever appearance. The Devils defeated the Mighty Ducks in seven games to win their third Stanley Cup in less than a decade.

2003 Stanley Cup Finals
1234567 Total
New Jersey Devils 332*0*623 4
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 003*1*350 3
* indicates periods of overtime
Location(s)East Rutherford: Continental Airlines Arena (1, 2, 5, 7)
Anaheim: Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim (3, 4, 6)
CoachesNew Jersey: Pat Burns
Anaheim: Mike Babcock
CaptainsNew Jersey: Scott Stevens
Anaheim: Paul Kariya
National anthemsNew Jersey: Arlette Roxburgh
Anaheim: United States Marines from Camp Pendleton
RefereesDan Marouelli (1, 3, 4, 6, 7), Brad Watson (1, 4, 6), Bill McCreary (2, 3, 5, 7), Paul Devorski (2, 5)
DatesMay 27 – June 9
MVPJean-Sebastien Giguere (Mighty Ducks)
Series-winning goalMichael Rupp (2:22, second, G7)
NetworksABC (games 3–7), CBC, ESPN (games 1–2), RDS, NASN
Announcers(CBC) Bob Cole, Harry Neale

(ESPN) Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

(ABC) Gary Thorne, Bill Clement, and John Davidson

The Devils' win was the last in a series of wins they, along with the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings, established in the era from 1995 to 2003. The three teams won a combined eight of nine Stanley Cups during that time. The Devils won in 1995, followed by the Avalanche in 1996, then the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. The Dallas Stars win in 1999 would be superseded by the Devils in 2000, Colorado in 2001 and Detroit in 2002.


Paths to the FinalsEdit

The New Jersey Devils were in the finals for their fourth time (third time in four years) after defeating the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning in five games, and beating the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games. Strong goaltending from Martin Brodeur, and strong defense from captain Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer led the way.

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim entered their first Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history after upsetting two heavily favored teams: sweeping the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Detroit Red Wings, defeating the Dallas Stars in six games and sweeping the upstart Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference Finals largely due to the stellar goaltending of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who only allowed one goal during the entire series. Supporting Giguere were stand-out players captain Paul Kariya, Petr Sykora, Adam Oates and Rob Niedermayer, brother of then-Devils star defenceman Scott Niedermayer.

This series was memorable for two brothers on different teams competing for the same prize.

Game summariesEdit

The 2003 Stanley Cup Finals pitted the second-seeded Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils against the seventh-seeded Western Conference champion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The Devils, who finished the season with 108 points, defeated the Mighty Ducks in seven games to win the Stanley Cup. The series opened at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Game oneEdit

In game one Martin Brodeur kept the Ducks off the scoreboard while the Devils players continually dominated the Ducks. Sergei Brylin scored the winning goal in the second period and the Devils went on to shut out the Mighty Ducks 3–0.

Game twoEdit

In a virtual repeat of game one, Patrik Elias scored the winning goal in the second period and the Devils shut out Anaheim 3–0 again.

Game threeEdit

Down 2–0 after two games, the series shifted to the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim in Southern California. Game three was remembered for the clumsy mistake from Martin Brodeur when he accidentally dropped his stick when the puck came to him; the puck deflected off his fallen stick and into the net to give the Ducks a lucky break and a 2–1 lead. The Devils would later tie the game, only to lose in overtime. Over the mistake with his stick, Brodeur later claimed, "It was just one of those once in a lifetime things."

Game fourEdit

Game four had no scoring throughout regulation and was a battle between goaltenders Brodeur and Giguere. But Anaheim again came out on top in overtime, winning 1–0 and tying the series 2–2.

Game fiveEdit

Game five, returning to the Meadowlands, saw a continual battle for the first half of the game. With the game tied 3–3 in the second period, the Devils took the lead with a deflection goal by Jay Pandolfo that was initially waved off by referees due to an apparent kicking motion with the skates. Video replays, however, showed that there was no distinct kicking motion from the skates, and thus the referees' call was reversed, resulting in a goal. This would prove to deflate the Ducks for the rest of the game, as Jamie Langenbrunner scored two more goals for the Devils to give New Jersey a 6–3 win and a three games to two series lead.

Game sixEdit

With New Jersey looking to clinch the series, game six in Anaheim saw the Mighty Ducks return the favor of game five to the Devils with complete dominance throughout the game. Quite possibly the most remembered moment of the entire series came when the Ducks were winning 3–1 in the second period. Ducks captain Paul Kariya failed to see Devils captain Scott Stevens approaching after he passed the puck, and he was subsequently checked by the defensemen in a hit similar to the check that knocked out Eric Lindros during the 2000 playoffs and caused Lindros to miss the next season. Kariya was lying motionless for a few minutes, where he was then escorted to the locker room. Kariya, however, unexpectedly returned to the bench minutes later. About 11 minutes after the hit, Kariya fired a slap shot that found the back of the net. This helped the Ducks win the game 5–2 and sent the series to a seventh and final game.

Game sevenEdit

Game seven in New Jersey saw the Devils once more completely dominate the Ducks. The game-winning goal was scored by Michael Rupp. Rupp became the first player in Stanley Cup history to have his first playoff goal be the Stanley Cup winner. Additionally, Jeff Friesen dominated his former Mighty Duck teammates, scoring the game's final two goals to solidify the victory. The 3–0 win gave the Devils their third Stanley Cup victory, as Anaheim could not complete their Cinderella run. The Mighty Ducks, however, wouldn't leave empty-handed; for his stellar play throughout the playoffs and Finals, goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player (MVP) of the playoffs. He became only the fifth player, and fourth goaltender, in NHL history to have won the trophy as a member of the losing team, joining Detroit's Roger Crozier (1966), the St. Louis Blues' Glenn Hall (1968), and the Philadelphia Flyers' Reggie Leach (1976, a right winger) and Ron Hextall (1987). He is also the most recent such Smythe winner to date.

This was only the third time in NHL history, after 1955 and 1965, that the home team won every Finals game.[1]

Team rostersEdit

Years indicated in boldface under the "Finals appearance" column signify that the player won the Stanley Cup in the given year.

Mighty Ducks of AnaheimEdit

# Nat Player Position Hand Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
21   Dan Bylsma RW L 2000–01 Grand Haven, Michigan first
3   Keith CarneyA D L 2001–02 Providence, Rhode Island first
23   Stanislav Chistov LW R 2001 Chelyabinsk, Soviet Union first
11   Marc Chouinard C R 1995–96 Charlesbourg, Quebec first
29   Martin Gerber G L 2002–03 Burgdorf, Switzerland first
35   Jean-Sebastien Giguere G L 2000–01 Montreal, Quebec first
28   Niclas Havelid D L 1999 Stockholm, Sweden first
9   Paul KariyaC LW L 1993 North Vancouver, British Columbia first
10   Jason Krog C R 2002–03 Fernie, British Columbia first
12   Mike Leclerc LW L 1995 Winnipeg, Manitoba first
44   Rob Niedermayer LW L 2002–03 Cassiar, British Columbia second (1996)
77   Adam Oates C R 2002–03 Weston, Ontario second (1998)
2   Fredrik Olausson D R 2002–03 Nybro, Sweden second (2002)
8   Sandis Ozolinsh D L 2002–03 Riga, Soviet Union second (1996)
11   Marc Chouinard C R 1995–96 Charlesbourg, Quebec first
26   Samuel Pahlsson C L 2000–01 Ånge, Sweden first
24   Ruslan Salei D L 1996 Minsk, Soviet Union first
34   Kurt Sauer D R 2000 St. Cloud, Minnesota first
22   Alexei Smirnov LW L 2000 Kalinin, Soviet Union first
39   Petr Sykora RW L 2002–03 Plzeň, Czechoslovakia third (2000, 2001)
32   Steve Thomas RW L 2002–03 Stockport, England first
5   Vitaly Vishnevskiy D L 1998 Kharkiv, Soviet Union first

New Jersey DevilsEdit

# Nat Player Position Hand Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
6   Tommy Albelin D L 2001–02 Stockholm, Sweden second (1995)
9   Jiri Bicek RW L 1997 Košice, Czechoslovakia first
30   Martin Brodeur G L 1990 Montreal, Quebec fourth (1995, 2000, 2001)
18   Sergei Brylin LW L 1992 Moscow, Soviet Union fourth (1995, 2000, 2001)
3   Ken Daneyko D L 1982 Windsor, Ontario fourth (1995, 2000, 2001)
26   Patrik EliasA LW L 1994 Třebíč, Czechoslovakia third (2000, 2001)
12   Jeff Friesen LW L 2002–03 Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan first
14   Brian Gionta RW R 1998 Rochester, New York first
23   Scott Gomez C L 1998 Anchorage, Alaska third (2000, 2001
15   Jamie Langenbrunner RW R 2001–02 Cloquet, Minnesota third (1999, 2000)
11   John Madden C L 1997–98 Toronto, Ontario third (2000, 2001)
29   Grant Marshall RW R 2002–03 Port Credit, Ontario third (1999, 2000)
19   Jim McKenzie LW L 2000–01 Gull Lake, Saskatchewan second (2001)
27   Scott NiedermayerA D L 1991 Edmonton, Alberta fourth (1995, 2000, 2001)
25   Joe Nieuwendyk C L 2001–02 Oshawa, Ontario fourth (1989, 1999 2000)
20   Jay Pandolfo LW L 1993 Winchester, Massachusetts third (2000, 2001)
28   Brian Rafalski D R 1999–2000 Dearborn, Michigan third (2000, 2001)
21   Pascal Rheaume C L 2002–03 Quebec City, Quebec first
16   Michael Rupp RW R 2000 Cleveland, Ohio first
35   Corey Schwab G L 2002–03 North Battleford, Saskatchewan first
2   Richard Smehlik D L 2002–03 Ostrava, Czechoslovakia second (1999)
4   Scott StevensC D L 1991–92 Kitchener, Ontario fourth (1995, 2000, 2001)
24   Turner Stevenson RW R 2000–01 Prince George, British Columbia second (2001)
10   Oleg Tverdovsky D L 2002–03 Donetsk, Soviet Union first
5   Colin White D L 1996 New Glasgow, Nova Scotia third (2000, 2001)


In the United States, the Disney-owned networks ESPN and ABC aired the finals with Gary Thorne, Bill Clement, and John Davidson being in the broadcast. ESPN aired the first two games while ABC broadcast the rest of the series.

In Canada, Bob Cole and Harry Neale were in the broadcast booth for CBC. One of the CBC's owned and operated Station's in New Bruswick (CBAT-TV) decided to preempt game seven of the Final in order to broadcast the New Brunswick general election returns.[2] This would also be the first finals televised by RDS, replacing SRC as the Canadian French-language broadcaster.

For the radio coverage, Devils team broadcaster John Hennessy called the series on WABC–AM 770 in New York City.

New Jersey Devils – 2003 Stanley Cup championsEdit


Coaching and administrative staff

  • Ray Chambers (Owner/Governor), Lewis Katz (Owner), Peter Simon (Chairman), Lou Lamoriello (Chief Executive Officer/President/General Manager)
  • Pat Burns (Head Coach), Bobby Carpenter Jr. (Assistant Coach), John MacLean (Assistant Coach), Jacques Caron (Goaltending Coach), Larry Robinson (Special Assignment Coach)
  • David Conte (Director-Scouting), Claude Carrier (Assistant Director-Scouting), Chris Lamoriello (Scout/AHL GM), Milt Fisher (Scout), Dan Labraaten (Scout)
  • Marcel Pronovost (Scout), Bob Hoffmeyer (Scout), Jan Ludvig (Scout), Dr. Barry Fisher (Head Team Physician)
  • Chris Modrzynski (Vice President), Terry Farmer (Vice President-Ticket Operations), Vladimir Bure (Fitness Consultant), Taran Singleton (Director-Hockey Operations/Video Coordinator),
  • Bill Murray (Medical Trainer), Michael Vasalani (Strength-Conditioning Coordinator), Rich Matthews (Equipment Manager),
  • Juergen Merz (Massage Therapists), Alex Abasto (Asst. Equipment), Joe Murray (Equipment asst.)

Stanley Cup engraving

  • Marcel Pronovost won his eighth Stanley Cup – five as a player with Detroit in 1950, 1952, 1954–55 and Toronto in 1967, as well as three championships as a scout for New Jersey in 1995, 2000 and 2003. He set the record for years between his first and last Stanley Cup wins with 53 years.
  • Christian Berglund(LW) played 38 games for New Jersey. His name was left off the Cup because he was sent to the minors before the trade deadline.
  • Jeff Friesen was first player engraved on the Stanley Cup with full middle name, as "JEFF DARYL FRIESEN." Some players in the past had their middle initial included along with their first name on the Stanley Cup. The 2003 New Jersey team included nine other players who were listed with an initial and 2 full names.

Three Stanley Cups with New JerseyEdit

New Jersey won three Stanley Cups in short succession: 1995, 2000 and 2003. These players and staff were members of all three Stanley Cup Championships.

Martin Brodeur, Sergei Brylin, Ken Daneyko, Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens, Bobby Carpenter Jr. (one as a player, two as an assistant coach), Lou Lamoriello, Larry Robinson, Jacques Caron, Claude Carrier, David Conte, Milt Fisher, Dan Labraaten, Marcel Provonost, Mike Vasalani, Peter McMullen (left Cup in 2003).


The celebration starts, the New Jersey Devils! For the third time in their history, have won the Stanley Cup! The Devils 3, the Ducks, nothing! Devils, Stanley Cup Champions!

— Gary Thorne calling the final seconds of game seven


  1. ^ Allen, Kevin (June 10, 2003). "Devils down Ducks for third Cup". USA Today. p. 1C. This series marked the first time since...1965 that the home team has won all seven games of a Stanley Cup Finals.
  2. ^ [1]
  • Diamond, Dan (2008). Total Stanley Cup (PDF). Dan Diamond & Associates, Inc. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
  • Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books. pp. 12, 50. ISBN 1-55168-261-3.
Preceded by
Detroit Red Wings
New Jersey Devils
Stanley Cup Champions

Succeeded by
Tampa Bay Lightning