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4 Red Wings have a chance to win 1 for the thumb

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DETROIT (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers "won one for the thumb," at Ford Field in 2006, when they beat Seattle for the franchise's fifth Super Bowl.

If the Detroit Red Wings beat Pittsburgh on Friday night about a mile away at Joe Louis Arena, a quartet of players will become the first to win five Stanley Cup rings with the team.

Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby helped Detroit beat the Penguins in the finals last year and also hoisted the Cup in 2002, 1998 and 1997.

Draper, though, couldn't bring himself to share his thoughts on what it would mean to carve out his own spot in Red Wings lore.

"To really talk about something that hasn't happened yet, is not easy to do that," Draper said Wednesday, a day after Pittsburgh's 2-1 win forced a Game 7 in Detroit. "For now, there's a lot of work to be done."

Darren McCarty, who also played for the previous four Cup winners in Detroit, is still with the team but played just 13 regular season games and hasn't suited up in the playoffs.

A player must play at least 40 regular-season games or at least one game in the Stanley Cup final to get his name on the Stanley Cup. Teams can petition the league to allow a player that didn't meet those requirements to get his name on the Cup.

Several players helped the Red Wings win four championships, including Hall of Famer Gordie Howe, who hoisted four Cups in the 1950s.

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OH, THE MEMORIES: Game 7 is necessary in the Stanley Cup finals for the fifth time this decade, and participants in the latest one surely have mixed emotions about previous experiences.

Pittsburgh forward Ruslan Fedotenko scored both of Tampa Bay's goals in the 2004 finals to beat Calgary for the championship.

The year before, the New Jersey Devils got past Anaheim in Game 7 when Mike Babcock was its coach and Dan Bylsma was one of his players.

The day after Anaheim lost Game 7 of the 2003 finals to New Jersey, Bylsma picked up a newspaper and saw a picture of him failing on a scoring chance against Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.

"The USA Today the following morning had a picture of me and Marty Brodeur with the puck in the air," recalled Bylsma, who now leads the Penguins. "That was my chance when it was 0-0, and I do remember it very vividly."

The only question is, Bylsma said, where that picture can be found years from now.

"When you don't get it (the Stanley Cup), it's painful. And when you get it, it's glorious, and you get a lot of good pictures," Bylsma said. "You take the bad ones if you don't win and you put them in the basement in a box somewhere.

"We're looking for one we can hang on the wall."

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FLASHBACK TO '79: Maybe Penguins coach Dan Bylsma should call former Pirates manager Chuck Tanner for some advice before Game 7.

In the last 30 years, only one team in major American pro sports has won a Game 7 on the road: the 1979 Pirates. Led by Hall of Famer Willie Stargell, they won the World Series not only by winning Game 7 in Baltimore, but Game 6 as well.

Since the Pirates pulled that off, road teams are 0-18 in Game 7s in the World Series, NBA finals and Stanley Cup finals. Super Bowls don't count because no team has played one in its home stadium.

In the NHL, the last six finals Game 7s were won by the home team. Only two road teams have won in 14 Game 7s: Montreal in 1971 and Toronto in 1945. Montreal was the only other team to pull off what the Penguins are attempting to accomplish by winning Game 7 after losing the first two games on the road.

The Penguins are 4-0 in road Game 7s in any playoff round, but this is their first finals Game 7. They are 6-4 overall in Game 7s, 2-4 at home.

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UNSUNG STAR: Tyler Kennedy was an unlikely standout for the Penguins in Game 6, unless you remember how he beat Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg to a loose puck and scored in Game 4.

The checking-line forward, who had 15 goals and 35 points during the regular season, had a goal and an assist in the 2-1 win Tuesday night.

Kennedy's entire line was key in Game 6. Center Jordan Staal got the other goal and the unit, which includes Matt Cooke, played well in shutting down Detroit's top line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Dan Cleary.

"I think offense starts in the defensive zone, and we played well defensively," Kennedy said. "I think I had a meeting when we played Washington, when I played against (Alexander) Ovechkin it really showed me what I need to do out there. That's what I'm trying to do, trying to keep their guys out of our end and keep the pucks in their end."

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AP Sports Writer Alan Robinson in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.

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