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Pittsburgh Penguins capture Stanley Cup, defeat defending champion Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in Game 7

Inside the numbers

25 Years since a team won the Stanley Cup the year after losing in the final (Oilers over Islanders)

38 Years since the last visiting team won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final (Canadiens over Blackhawks in Chicago).

30 Years since the last visiting team won a Game 7 in the Cup final, NBA Finals or World Series: the Pittsburgh Pirates, who won the World Series at Baltimore over the Orioles

18-1 Record of the home team over the past 29 years in Game 7s of the Cup final, NBA Finals and World Series

5-0 Penguins' all-time record in Game 7s on the road in all playoff rounds

12-3 Record of the home team in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final

11 Years since a team has successfully defended the Stanley Cup (Red Wings, 1997 and '98)



Inside the numbers

18-1 Record of the home team over the past 29 years in Game 7s of the Stanley Cup final, NBA Finals and World Series

1979 Before Friday, the last year a visiting team won a Game 7 in the Cup final, NBA Finals or World Series. That team was the Pittsburgh Pirates, who won the World Series at Baltimore with a 4-1 win over the Orioles 4-1.

1971 Before Friday, the last year a visiting team won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. The Canadiens beat the Blackhawks 3-2 in Chicago.

5-0 Penguins' all-time record in Game 7s on the road in all playoff rounds

7-4 Penguins' all-time record in Game 7s

12-3 Record of the home team in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final

12-8 Red Wings' all-time record in Game 7s

DETROIT — Slide over Super Mario and make room on the Stanley Cup for a new batch of Pittsburgh Penguins.

Max Talbot scored two second-period goals, and the Penguins overcame the loss of captain Sidney Crosby to beat the defending champion Red Wings 2-1 on Friday night in Game 7 and win the Stanley Cup.

Instead of the Red Wings becoming the NHL's first repeat champion since they did it in 1997 and '98, this turned into a Penguins party. The last time Pittsburgh won the Cup, in 1991 and '92, it was captained by current owner Mario Lemieux.

Marc-Andre Fleury was stellar in making 23 saves, none bigger than the one he made with one second left as he dived across the crease and knocked away a shot by Nicklas Lidstrom.

"I knew there wasn't much time left," Fleury said. "The rebound was wide. I just decided to get my body out there, and it hit me in the ribs, so it was good."

He erased memories of a 5-0 loss in Game 5 at Joe Louis Arena that put the Penguins on the brink of elimination. Tuesday, Pittsburgh returned home and gutted out a 2-1 win, behind Fleury's 25 saves, forcing a seventh game.

This was the city of Pittsburgh's second championship this year, after the Steelers' Super Bowl victory in February.

Lemieux, the No. 1 pick in the 1984 draft by Pittsburgh, celebrated on the ice with Crosby, the phenom who has been living in the owner's house since joining the team.

The Penguins turned the tables on the Red Wings and captured the Cup on enemy ice, as Detroit did in Pittsburgh last year.

Evgeni Malkin, who led the playoffs with 36 points, earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason MVP. He assisted on Talbot's first goal.

Crosby, four years after being the No. 1 selection in the draft, became the youngest captain of a champion at 21. He played just one shift after leaving the ice during the second period after taking a hard hit along the boards from Johan Franzen.

"It's unbelievable. It's the stuff you dream of as a kid. It's reality now," Crosby said. "We worked so hard. It's amazing to see how far we've come and couldn't feel any better."

Jonathan Ericsson cut the Red Wings' deficit to 2-1 with 6:07 left. His shot from inside the blue line sailed past Fleury's glove and sent the fans into a frenzy.

Niklas Kronwall nearly tied it with 2:14 left, but his drive smacked the crossbar flush and caromed out of danger. The Red Wings pressed further after goalie Chris Osgood was pulled, but the puck ended up behind the net as time ran out.

The Penguins are the first team since the '04 Lightning to win the Cup after trailing the series 3-2.

Uncharacteristic mistakes by the experience-laden Red Wings led to both Pittsburgh goals.

Malkin, also the NHL's leading scorer in the regular season, forced defenseman Brad Stuart into a bad pass from the right corner. Talbot intercepted the puck and fired it between Osgood's pads at 1:13.

The rest of the Penguins stood tall after Crosby left the ice, and Talbot turned a 2-on-1 into a two-goal lead.

"I had to be in the right place, right time to score two goals," Talbot said. "Every day I wake up and say this is the best day of my life, but this is the best day of my life.

"Maybe it's storybook or not, but what's important is we won the Cup. I don't care how many goals I scored."

Penguins 0 2 0 2
Red Wings 0 0 1 1
Penguins win series 4-3

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesStuart, Det (slashing), 11:24.

Second Period1, Pittsburgh, Talbot 7 (Malkin), 1:13. 2, Pittsburgh, Talbot 8 (Kunitz, Scuderi), 10:07. PenaltiesStaal, Pit (hooking), 1:59; Holmstrom, Det (holding), 1:59; Gill, Pit (holding), 6:16.

Third Period3, Detroit, Ericsson 4 (Lidstrom, Hudler), 13:53. PenaltiesEaton, Pit (tripping), 2:36. Shots on GoalPittsburgh 10-7-1—18. Detroit 6-11-7—24. Power-play opportunitiesPittsburgh 0 of 1; Detroit 0 of 2. GoaliesPittsburgh, Fleury 16-8-0 (24 shots-23 saves). Detroit, Osgood 15-8-0 (18-16). A20,066 (20,066). T2:23. Referees—Bill McCreary, Paul Devorski. LinesmenJean Morin, Pierre Racicot.

Pittsburgh Penguins capture Stanley Cup, defeat defending champion Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in Game 7 06/12/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 13, 2009 12:34am]
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