Penguins halt Cup party

STEVE SIMMONS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

DETROIT -- It wasn't in any way easy but it was breathtaking, spectacular and absolutely memorable.

On what was thought to be a championship night in a building full of noise, the Pittsburgh Penguins displayed amazing resiliency, taking a lead, giving it back, scoring late, being outplayed and then winning Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final last night when Petr Sykora scored on a power play at 9:57 of the third overtime period, giving the Penguins a 4-3 win over the Red Wings.

The goal was scored with Jiri Hudler in the penalty box for high sticking Rob Scuderi.

It was the third-longest game in Cup final history.

The presentation of the Cup was put on hold for at least another game after one of the greatest Cup games and stirring comebacks in history. Game 6 of a very alive and suddenly stunning final to be played tomorrow at Mellon Arena, with the Wings up 3-2.

Marc-Andre Fleury stole this one for the Penguins, who were badly outshot throughout the six-period game.

The Wings thought they had the win and the championship when Brian Rafalski scored at 9:23 of the third period to give Detroit a 3-2 lead. That came after Pittsbugh led 2-0 in the first period. But Maxime Talbot tied the game after a poor Johan Franzen giveaway in the final fateful seconds of the third period.

Talbot batted a goal-line puck past Chris Osgood with the Wings 34.3 seconds away from winning the Cup to tie the game and send it to OT.

Rafalski's goal came less than three minutes after Pavel Datsyuk had scored his first goal of the final, tying the game at 2-2. Datsyuk had deflected a pass from Henrik Zetterberg.

Zetterberg also had an assist on Rafalski's goal: In all, 13 different Red Wings have scored in the series. That's how complete a team this is.

The Penguins came out flying and got some breaks along the way as well.

Both of the Penguins' early goals were unlikely. Marian Hossa made it 1-0 on a screen shot past Chris Osgood while Adam Hall scored when he attemped a wraparound on Osgood and defenceman Niklas Kronvall, trying to clear the puck, shot it off the shaft of Osgood's goalie stick and into the top corner, displaying his own version of Bryan McCabe.

The Wings got back into the game in the second period when rookie Darren Helm scored his first goal of the final. His shot, after a Rob Scuderi giveaway, deflected off Scuderi and past an over-commited Fleury.

Fleury was spectacular at times last night, as the Pens were outshot 58-32.

To their credit, the Penguins never stopped coming, making this the best game of this much-anticipated Cup final, and leaving behind some doubt as to which team will win the Cup.


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