Pens use long hand to write must-win

Robin
Robin Short
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Sykora's triple-OT goal keeps Penguins alive with 4-3 win over Red Wings

Petr Sykora closed out four and half hours of playoff hockey that started Monday night and ended In the wee hours of the morning with a goal mid-way through the third overtime period as the gritty Pittsburgh Penguins lived to skate another day in the Stanley Cup finals with a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

It was the fifth longest game Stanley Cup finals history.

Sykora's game-winner came 36 seconds into Jiri Hudler's double minor for high-sticking Penguins defenceman Rob Scuderi.

Pittsburgh Penguins' goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) and teammates celebrate their triple overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals in Detroit Tuesday. Petr Sykora scored 9:57 into triple overtime to give the Penguins a

Detroit - Petr Sykora closed out four and half hours of playoff hockey that started Monday night and ended In the wee hours of the morning with a goal mid-way through the third overtime period as the gritty Pittsburgh Penguins lived to skate another day in the Stanley Cup finals with a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

It was the fifth longest game Stanley Cup finals history.

Sykora's game-winner came 36 seconds into Jiri Hudler's double minor for high-sticking Penguins defenceman Rob Scuderi.

The Wings, with "We want the Cup!" cascading down from a sea of red and white 20,066 strong at Joe Louis Arena, were 35 seconds away from celebrating their 11th Stanley Cup championship and third title in 11 years when Maxine Talbot slammed home a rebound from the side of the net after Chris Osgood stopped a Marian Hossa shot.

"Sure you're disappointed," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "But we had such a great third period and we went into the third trailing.

"We had an opportunity to win that game in overtime. So I guess it's all how you look at it. I thought ultimately we showed good resolve and played hard. We had lots of opportunities."

Lots, and then some.

The Wings outshot the Penguins 58-32, including a 24-14 spread through three extra sessions.

In the first overtime period, Detroit launched a 13-shot barrage on Marc-Andre Fleury while Chris Osgood was tested only twice.

"No doubt," said Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien, "this was probably Marc-Andre's most important win (of his career)."

The Penguins silenced the boisterous crowd with a pair of goals in the first period by Pascal Dupuis and Adam Hall. Hall's was a gift after Detroit defenceman Niklas Kronwall tried to clear the puck, but inadvertently slapped it into his own net.

But the veteran Wings responded in the second with Darren Helm beating Fleury from a sharp angle when the puck deflected off a sliding Pittsburgh defenceman Rob Scuderi.

The Red Wings gained momentum from the goal, coming at the Penguins in waves. Fleury made perhaps his best stop of the series - at that point, anyway - with a toe save off a Mikael Samuelsson shot.

Fleury had been questioned prior to the series over his ability to win in the playoffs, but seems to have put to rest any concerns of that regard.

"He was outstanding tonight," Therrien said of his goalie. "That win is going to be huge for him."

Fleury faced 14 third-period shots as the Penguins barely hung on the third period. Pavel Datsyuk, with a power play goal, tied the game at 6:42, redirecting Henrik Zetterberg s shot, and Brian Rafalski gave Detroit its first lead, snapping a shot past Fleury at 9:23.

It stayed that way until the dying seconds when Talbot scored his third goal of the playoffs, setting the stage for Sykora s winner.

Sykora beat Chris Osgood with a shot to the short side, sending the series back to Pittsburgh for a Game 6 Wednesday night with Detroit leading the series 3-2.

"I think it's natural to feel bad for us a bit and feel bad for yourself," Babcock said. "But it's the Stanley Cup playoffs. It's not supposed to be easy. It's supposed to be a battle and obviously we're in one."

rshort@thetelegram.com




THE LONGEST GAMES

The longest overtime games in the Stanley Cup final, with duration of overtime period in minutes, scorer, team, opponent, final score in parentheses and date (x-Stanley Cup winning goal):
May 15, 1990
55:13 - Petr Klima, Edm vs. Bos (3-2)
June 19, 1999
54:51 - x-Brett Hull, Dal vs. Buf (2-1)
June 8, 2002
54:47 - Igor Larionov, Det vs. Car (3-2)
April 9, 1931
53:50 - Cy Wentworth, Chi vs. Mtl (3-2)
June 2, 2008
49:57 - Petr Sykora, Pgh vs. Det (4-3)

Organizations: Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings

Geographic location: Detroit, Pittsburgh

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Recent comments

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    I hope Detroit wins the Cup but I also hope we get a game 7!!!

  • Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    It was a great game, a lot of suspense.

    Cleary had at least 3 chances in overtime to win it for Detroit.

    This is just a bump in the road before the inevitable win by Detroit anyway.

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    I hope Detroit wins the Cup but I also hope we get a game 7!!!

  • Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    It was a great game, a lot of suspense.

    Cleary had at least 3 chances in overtime to win it for Detroit.

    This is just a bump in the road before the inevitable win by Detroit anyway.