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Sykora Calls The Shot and Delivers A Game 6 For Pittsburgh

Adam AmickSenior Writer IJune 2, 2008

Red Wings fans are leaving "The Joe" disappointed, and police and firefighters are breathing a sigh of relief.

Detroit won't burn tonight.

In a marathon game that saw the Pens go from up to down to up to uh-oh, Pittsburgh got a much-deserved four-minute power play in the third overtime of Game Five of the Stanley Cup Finals, which it still trails, 3-2.

I say much-deserved because the one they got in the first OT was a bad call for goalie interference. A second power play opportunity for a similar call in the second overtime also went for naught. That was followed by an even weaker hooking call late in the second extra frame to give Detroit a man advantage.

Neither team was able to capitalize, and that was good.

But the call in the third overtime that put Detroit's Jiri Hudler in the box for high-sticking, and the Pens up a man for four minutes was a legit call—one they made count.

Peter Sykora had told NBC's ice-side reporter he was going to score the winner, or something. Because it was Sykora who was nabbed for hooking that wasn't.

In this big of a game, I don't see making a hooking call when you don't pull a guy down, and you keep moving your feet, as Sykora did.

But the Pens lived to fight on into the third extra period. This after having jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, only to see the Wings score three unanswered goals.

As regulation time wound down and the Detroit faithful prepared to celebrate, Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled for an extra attacker. Hard, persistent work led to the tying goal by Maxime Talbot with thirty-five seconds to go.

Fleury was clearly the best player on the ice for Pittsburgh, stopping 55-of-58 shots in 109-plus minutes of work.

But it was Sykora who made the statement, then became the goat before rising to answer his hero calling. He hammered a short-range shot over the left shoulder of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood for the 4-3 win, keeping his team's hopes for a comeback alive.

Game Six will be Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, and the Wings will try again to close out the young Penguins.

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