Penguins outlast Red Wings

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — Not so fast Motor City. The Detroit Red Wings’ road to the Stanley Cup has another stop to make.

Against all odds, the Pittsburgh Penguins stayed alive in the Stanley Cup finals with a 4-3 victory in Game 5 that ended on Petr Sykora’s goal 9:57 into the third overtime Monday night.

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With Jiri Hudler serving a 4-minute penalty for high-sticking, Sykora wound up in the right circle and ripped a drive past Chris Osgood to end the marathon that lasted 4 1/2 hours, ending at 12:46 a.m.

The series heads back to Pittsburgh for Game 6 on Wednesday night.

Early on, that scenario seemed likely after the Penguins scored twice in the first period and carried a 2-1 lead into the third. However, the Red Wings tied it on Pavel Datsyuk’s power-play goal at 6:43 and went ahead for the first time 2:40 later when Brian Rafalski scored.

The party was on in the final minute. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was on the bench, the Pittsburgh net was empty and the seconds ticked down toward Detroit’s fourth Stanley Cup championship in 11 seasons.

Maxime Talbot put the fans back into their seats and saved the Penguins’ season when he scored on the second whack of the puck at the left post with 34.3 seconds left in regulation. Fleury kept them alive with a brilliant 55-save effort, including 24 in overtime.

Now, the treasured trophy will go back into its crate and head to Pennsylvania where the Red Wings will have another shot at their 11th title in franchise history.

Sykora’s goal ended the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup finals history. The primary assist went to defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who missed the first two overtime periods after crashing headfirst into the end boards in the second period. Gonchar took the ice to help Pittsburgh’s struggling power play.

Road teams have won 10 of the past 12 overtime games in the finals and are 15-4 since 1990.