Pens beat Red Wings 2-1

Published 3:36 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No clincher by the Detroit Red Wings in Pittsburgh, not this time in Game 6. Marc-Andre Fleury wouldn’t let it happen as a wildly unpredictable Stanley Cup finals is now going the distance.

Third-line teammates Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy gave the Penguins a two-goal lead, and Marc-Andre Fleury held off the defending champion Red Wings repeatedly during a frantic third period as Pittsburgh beat Detroit 2-1 on Tuesday night to tie the finals at three games.

Game 7 is Friday night in Joe Louis Arena, where Detroit is 3-0 in the series but, as the oldest of NHL playoff adages goes, anything can happen when a single game determines who raises a silver trophy.

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Fleury, yanked during Detroit’s 5-0 blowout in Game 5, regrouped to make 25 saves and hold off the Red Wings, who are trying for their fifth Stanley Cup since 1997 but, if they win it, will do so without winning in Pittsburgh.

The Red Wings won the Cup by taking Game 6 in Pittsburgh 3-2 last year but were denied a second successive Cup clincher there, and on the 25th anniversary of one of the biggest days in Penguins’ history: the drafting of Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux in 1984.

The Red Wings pushed around and punished Pittsburgh while winning 5-0 in Game 5, a loss that not only embarrassed the Penguins but put them on the brink of elimination.

But there’s been no place like home in these finals, the first since New Jersey beat Anaheim in 2002 in which the home team has won every game. The Penguins took advantage of the two-day break to regroup and, perhaps, to remember the frustration they felt in watching Detroit carry the Stanley Cup around Mellon Arena last June — the first team to do so since Pittsburgh gained an expansion franchise in 1967.Staal broke a scoreless tie that followed a Pittsburgh-dominated first period by scoring in the first minute of the second period and Kennedy made it 2-0 early in the third.

After that, it was all Detroit as Kris Draper scored and the Red Wings, desperately trying to avoid a Game 7, kept pressing for the tying goal but couldn’t get it despite being on the power play twice.