Detroit Wins Stanley Cup in Nail-Biter

APPenguins Slovakian forward Marian Hossa charging in following Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood's crucial save in the final seconds of Game 6 in Pittsburgh.
PITTSBURGH -- The Detroit Red Wings clinched the Stanley Cup with a nail-biting 3-2 Game 6 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

The Red Wings, who were just 35 seconds from securing the Cup in Monday's Game 5, shrugged off the disappointment of the home defeat and hung on to claim the best-of-seven series 4-2 and lift their fourth Cup in 11 years.

It marked the fourth consecutive series the Red Wings had won on the road as they finished off the gritty Penguins, who sought to become the first team since the Toronto Maple Leafs 66 years ago to climb back from a 3-1 series deficit and win the Cup.

As the final buzzer sounded, players poured off the bench, celebrating as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman handed the Stanley Cup to Detroit's Swedish captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who became the first European to lead his team to a championship.

"Experience has a lot to do with it [winning]," Lidstrom said. "I think that gives the whole team some calmness. We're not going to panic.

"Losing [Game 5] in triple overtime -- I think we did a good job of putting that behind us."

After being shutout in the opening two games of the series, Pittsburgh promised it would not go down without a fight and, true to its word, took it right to the wire for a second successive game.

Clinging to a 3-1 lead, Detroit watched its advantage halved when Marian Hossa converted a power play with 87 seconds left in regulation, sending a shudder down the Detroit bench.

Just 48 hours earlier, the Red Wings were left stunned when Maxime Talbot tied Game 5 with seconds left in regulation and Petr Sykora shredded party plans with his triple overtime winner.

But this time, the Red Wings refused to buckle under an all-out Penguins assault that left the capacity crowd breathless and on its feet as Detroit netminder Osgood made a last-second stop to seal the win.

"It was chaotic the last 40 seconds," Osgood said. "[Sidney] Crosby was flying. I knew it was a good backhander. I tried to get out as far as I could, and it ended up hitting my arm."

The Penguins were welcomed back to the Igloo, where they have lost just once this postseason, by a thunderous ovation from a capacity crowd.

But the Red Wings quickly silenced the buzz, surging to a 2-0 lead on a first-period powerplay goal from Brian Rafalski and second-period tally from Valtteri Filppula.

Yevgeni Malkin hit back for the Penguins to make it 2-1 before Henrik Zetterberg, the Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP, restored Detroit's two-goal cushion early in the third.

His rocket trickled through the goaltender's pads for what proved to be the winning goal.