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Penguins win a Stanley Cup classic


The Pittsburgh Penguins were done. Having blown a 2-0 lead in Game 5 of their Stanley Cup Finals to the Detroit Red Wings, the Penguins trailed 3-2 with under a minute to go and the Detroit fans getting ready to celebrate another title. But, stunningly, with 34 seconds to go in regulation, Maxime Talbot scored the equalizer and the two teams headed for overtime.

They played 1 OT and were still tied. They played a second and were still tied. They played nearly a half of a third and were still tied. Finally, with Detroit a man down on a four-minute penalty, Pittsburgh's Petr Sykora scored the game-winner in a 4-3 final that left the Red Wings with a 3-2 series lead heading back to Pittsburgh.

Not being a hockey historian, I wonder if a team had ever been that close to winning the Stanley Cup only to lose the lead and the game. The contest ended at 12:50 a.m. EDT, preempting local news and Jay Leno for NBC stations on the East Coast. But it was a playoff classic and the fifth longest overtime game in Stanley Cup history. Detroit is still the favorite to win it all, but Pittsburgh made it a joyous night and early morning for its fans. --Jim Buzinski