PITTSBURGH - Sergei Gonchar scored 10:29 into the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins found new life in the Stanley Cup final with a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.
Gonchar broke a 2-2 tie on a blast from the point through heavy traffic in front of Chris Osgood for the Penguins second power-play goal in only three chances against a Detroit team whose only weakness this playoff season has been spotty penalty killing.
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said it was no surprise that Gonchar, a veteran presence on the young Penguins, came up with a clutch goal.
"Gonch just has that way about him," Crosby said. "That's his personality. He's very calm all the time no matter what the situation is, and guys really feel that."
Maxime Talbot scored two goals, including an empty net marker with 57 seconds left to play, while Kris Letang also scored for Pittsburgh.
Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and set up one by Johan Franzen for the Red Wings, who outshot the Penguins 29-21. The Pens had the lead in shots in the first two games.
The Red Wings dominated the second frame, outshooting Pittsburgh 14-4, but couldn't get another past Marc-Andre Fleury.
"We needed big performances tonight from our special teams and our goaltender, and we certainly got them," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.
Crosby, a battling but frustrated force, earned his first point of the series on Gonchar's goal while Evgeni Malkin got his third assist of the night.
"When you get an opportunity on the power play you want to make the most of it," Crosby said. "We did a great job of that tonight."
The Whiteout was on at Mellon Arena as nearly all of the sellout crowd of 17,132 at Mellon Arena wore the white T-shirts handed out at the door to boost the home team that came back from Detroit down 2-0 on a pair of 3-1 losses to open the series.
But instead of starting with a burst, he Penguins found themselves up against a checking wall thrown up by Detroit in the neutral zone and did not get a shot until nearly three minutes into the game.
Still, they managed to strike first as a weak clearing attempt was picked off at the Wings blue-line by Letang and Malkin slid a pass into the slot for a one-time blast by Talbot for a goal 4:48 into the game.
But only 1:31 later, Ville Leino came around the Pittsburgh net and, after his shot was stopped, blocked out Gonchar so Zetterberg could score from the right side.
Zetterberg's cross-ice pass went off Matt Cooke's stick right to Franzen for a power play goal at 11:33, but the Penguins got it back on a power play at 15:57 when Letang's long shot from the left boards beat Osgood cleanly.
Notes - Forward Mikael Samuelsson missed the Red Wings Tuesday morning skate, reportedly because he was sick, but he was in the lineup for the game. Kris Draper was a healthy scratch and Pavel Datsyul missed a sixth game with a foot injury, but is expected back for Game 4. . . The Penguins made no lineup changes, so Peter Sykora sat out a 12th straight game. . . Malkin, who leads the league with 33 playoff points, is the first to reach 30 in a single playoff year since Joe Sakic had 34 for the Colorado Avalanche in 1996.