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A report card look at Wednesday's sixth game of the Stanley Cup final @NHLdotcom

PITTSBURGH - A report card look at Game 6 of the NHL's Stanley Cup final between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins:


Penguins, B: As usual, Sidney Crosby showed up - two assists gave him seven points in his first trip to the Stanley Cup. The much-criticized Evgeni Malkin finally scored his first goal during the final and played his best game of the series. Marian Hossa added a late goal to cap an impressive series. Still, the defining moment for this group came in the first period when they were unable to score on a two-man advantage that lasted 1:33.

Red Wings, B: It was an opportunistic night offensively. The Red Wings dumped the puck into the Penguins zone more than they had all series and never really established a presence there. However, they scored the important first goal of the game and converted a couple chances later on. Big props go to Henrik Zetterberg, who again led the way for his team.


Penguins, B: Top defenceman Sergei Gonchar seemed to be without his usual mobility, presumably showing the effects of the back injury he suffered in Game 5. That put more pressure on the rest of the group and they responded pretty well. The Red Wings were kept from creating as many chances as they had earlier in the series.

Wings, A-plus: It's no secret that Detroit's impressive defensive play was the ultimate difference in the series. The Penguins were held to just one shot in the first 10 minutes of a third period that started with them trailing 2-1. Captain Nicklas Lidstrom was again a workhorse on the blue-line while counterpart Brian Rafalski chipped in by scoring a goal for the second straight game.


Penguins, C: Poor Marc-Andre Fleury. He was the only reason this series got to a sixth game but he'll spend the next week thinking about the third goal to get past him. Zetterberg's shot barely trickled past Fleury before the Penguins goalie accidentally sat on the puck and knocked it into his own net. That was the goal that ended up clinching the Cup for Detroit.

Wings, B-plus: Chris Osgood stood tall in the first period and did all that was needed afterwards to set off a Stanley Cup celebration. Two of his saves stood out - he turned away Petr Sykora from in close during the first period and got an arm on a dangerous Ryan Whitney point shot in the second. He also weathered a late rally to earn his third championship ring.

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