Red Wings Stomp Hurricanes in 2002 NHL Finals
After moving to North Carolina in 1997, the Hurricanes enjoyed several overly mediocre seasons. The team qualified for the postseason twice but each time was eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
That changed in 2001-02, when the Hurricanes jumped up the standings, posting 91 points and winning the Southeast Division. Led by Ron Francis and Sami Kapanen, Carolina ran through each Eastern Conference foe, eliminating the Devils, Canadiens and Maple Leafs, each in six games.
But alas, it’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals was no fairy tale ending, as the Hurricanes were quickly dismantled by the mighty Detroit Red Wings.
The Hurricanes took game one of the series but were never able to secure another victory. The ultimate backbreaker came in game three when the Red Wings stole a road game in three overtimes.
It ended with the Red Wings clinching in game five, leaving the Hurricanes forced to watch them celebrate.