The 1995 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the New Jersey Devils and the Detroit Red Wings. This was the first of nine consecutive finals with American-based franchises exclusively. New Jersey was making the franchise’s first appearance in the Finals, while Detroit returned to the Finals for the first time since 1966 (and had not won since 1955; both of those appearances had been against the Montreal Canadiens). The Devils swept the series four games to none to win their first Stanley Cup, becoming the sixth team to earn a championship having joined the league in 1967 or later.
Despite the fact that the regular season was cut severely short by the owners’ lockout, both the season and the finals were saved at the eleventh hour–this would be the latest in June that the Stanley Cup was awarded (matched in 2013). The Devils won their first Stanley Cup, after 21 seasons and two franchise relocations. It was also the first of three for the Devils in less than a decade. The win was made more impressive by the fact that the Devils won it holding the lowest seed ever to win the Stanley Cup with the fifth seed, which remained the record until 2012, another Final which not only involved the Devils, but also saw the Stanley Cup won by a team that did not have home ice advantage in any of the four rounds of the playoffs, as the Devils lost to the Los Angeles Kings. Their regular-season winning percentage was also the lowest since the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs. They were the underdogs going in, winning their first two games on the road.
This series featured the two teams that have gone to the finals at least four times since the NHL renamed the conferences before the 1993–94 season. Including 1995, the Devils have been to the Finals five times, while the Red Wings have appeared in the Finals six times. It also marked the beginning of a series of wins the Devils, Red Wings, and Colorado Avalanche would establish in the era from 1995 to 2003. The three teams would win a combined eight of nine Stanley Cups during that time. The Devils won it here, followed by the Avalanche in 1996, then the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. After the Dallas Stars won in 1999, the four-year cycle repeated as the Devils started it again in 2000, followed by Colorado in 2001, Detroit in 2002, and the Devils themselves again in 2003.