It took three overtimes for this epic hockey battle to be decided and Petr Sykora made certain it would not end tonight in Detroit. After 9:57 in the third overtime, Petr Sykora put a shot in the top right shelf, sending the series back to Pittsburgh and keeping Stanley Cup hopes alive for Sid "The Kid" Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The game winning goal was set up by a 4 minute penalty for high sticking and came after Sykora told an NBC announcer that he would indeed score the game winning goal. The assist came from Sergei Gonchar, who was injured earlier in the game but returned to the game as each team struggled to keep fresh legs on the ice.
The question now is how will both Detroit and Pittsburgh bounce back from over 110 minutes of hockey? The longest Stanley Cup finals game since Igor Larionov scored in the 55th minute of overtime for the Detroit Red Wings (and the fifth longest game in Stanley Cup history) certainly took its toll on both teams.
The NHL and NBC couldn't have scripted a better game to bring more fans to the game of hockey. News alerts flooded the bottom of the screen, letting viewers on the west coast know that their beloved 10 o'clock news was on hold due to the grueling hockey battle. Many were certainly held captive, not only by the wait for the evening news, but by a gripping hockey game.
Having missed most of the NHL playoffs, I am now very eager to see the conclusion of this years' Stanley Cup Finals. This time I won't miss a minute of the action, hoping to see one of the crown jewels in all of sports: a Stanley Cup Finals Game 7. Not for Pittsburgh and not for Sidney Crosby, but for something more exciting than mid-season baseball to watch in the month of June.
The NBA got its wish with a Celtics-Lakers matchup - now bring on the Stanley Cup Finals Game 7!