The 1992 Stanley Cup playoffs, the championship of the National Hockey League (NHL) began on April 18, after the conclusion of the 1991–92 NHL season. It was the 100th anniversary of the first awarding of the Stanley Cup, and it was won by the Pittsburgh Penguins, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks.
The 1992 playoffs saw history being made, as for the first time ever, all four division winners were eliminated in the same round. In the division finals, the Norris Division champion Detroit Red Wings were swept by the Chicago Blackhawks in four straight games, and the Montreal Canadiens, who had won the Adams Division, suffered the same fate at the hands of the Boston Bruins. The Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated the Patrick Division titlists, the New York Rangers, in six games, while the Vancouver Canucks, the Smythe Division toppers, fell to the Edmonton Oilers, also in six games.
A record 54 games were played in the first round, with six of the eight series going the full seven games. The only two series that didn't were the Oilers six game win over the Kings, and the Blackhawks six game win over the Blues.
This was the last year that the Hartford Whalers and Minnesota North Stars qualified for the playoffs. The franchises would not reach the postseason again until 1999 and 1994 respectively. By the time each franchise reached the playoffs again they were known as the Carolina Hurricanes and the Dallas Stars.
Video replay was used to decide a playoff game for the first time in game 6 of the Detroit-Minnesota division semifinal. Sergei Fedorov of the Red Wings appeared to hit the crossbar behind Minnesota goalie Jon Casey during the first overtime, but after the Stars iced the puck immediately afterward, referee Rob Shick called for a video review, which determined that the puck had entered the goal just below the crossbar and caromed off the frame at the back of the net. Fedorov was awarded the goal, giving the Red Wings a series-tying victory.
The following teams qualified for the playoffs:
- Montreal Canadiens, Adams Division champions – 93 points
- Boston Bruins – 84 points
- Buffalo Sabres – 74 points
- Hartford Whalers – 65 points
- New York Rangers, Patrick Division champions, Prince of Wales Conference regular season champions, Presidents' Trophy winners – 105 points
- Washington Capitals – 98 points
- Pittsburgh Penguins – 87 points (39 wins)
- New Jersey Devils – 87 points (38 wins)
- Detroit Red Wings, Norris Division champions, Clarence Campbell Conference regular season champions – 98 points
- Chicago Blackhawks – 87 points
- St. Louis Blues – 83 points
- Minnesota North Stars – 70 points
- Vancouver Canucks, Smythe Division champions – 96 points
- Los Angeles Kings – 84 points
- Edmonton Oilers – 82 points
- Winnipeg Jets – 81 points
This was the final time that the Hartford Whalers qualified for the playoffs, the next time that the Whalers/Hurricanes franchise would make the playoffs was in 1999 when they were known as the Carolina Hurricanes.
This was the final playoff series played by the Minnesota North Stars. The next time that the Stars franchise made the playoffs was in 1994 when they were known as the Dallas Stars.
This was the first playoff series between these two teams.