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Red Wings F Hossa comes up Cup-less after all @NHLdotcom

DETROIT (AP) - Marian Hossa's disappointing Cup finals hit its lowest possible point Friday when he watched his old team beat his new one to win the Stanley Cup.

The 30-year-old right wing from Slovakia opted to sign a one-year deal with the defending NHL champion Red Wings last summer after turning down a longer and more lucrative deal from the runner-up Penguins.

He sacrificed stability and a lot of cash, arguing the Wings gave him the best shot possible to win the Stanley Cup.

On Friday, he posted another goal-less effort - making it seven for seven in the series - and had to watch his former team win hockey's ultimate prize.

Perhaps emblematic of his rough night and series, Hossa even wiped out in front of his own bench in the second period with nobody around him.

Hossa's last goal was in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.


STANLEY STAR POWER: An eclectic group of celebrities were at Joe Louis Arena for the Game 7 showdown between the Red Wings and Penguins.

Boxing great Muhammad Ali caught the game from a suite, while "Twilight" film actor Taylor Lautner had a seat in the lower bowl.

Ali, wearing a Red Wings jersey, rose out of his seat and waved to the standing crowd when he was introduced during a break in the first-period action. The players got into the act, too, looking up and slapping their sticks on the ice and the boards in honor of Ali.

"All My Children" star Thorsten Kaye also was on hand, rooting for the guys in red and white. Asked if he had ever been to the Joe, the diehard Wings fan was taken aback in mock horror.

"I've been here a hundred times. Of course. Jeez. Never for a Game 7 (though)," said the German-born, England-raised Kaye, who attended Wayne State in Detroit.


PREGAME PAIN: Jordan Staal had an unwelcome start to his Friday, taking a puck to the head during the morning skate.

The Pittsburgh center was camped out in front of the net during a power-play drill when a shot caromed off a stick and slammed into his noggin.

"That wasn't too fun," Staal said. "It happens, but I'm glad it hit all helmet."

The 20-year-old doubled over for a few moments before standing back up, and he was greeted by some razzing from goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Staal responded by smiling, then taking a whack at the netminder, who reciprocated with a playful glove to his teammate's face.

Fleury "was chirping me about I was bleeding and he was wishing me bad luck, so I gave him a good slash," Staal said.


BUOYANT BYLSMA: Penguins coach Dan Bylsma looked to be in a good mood ahead of Game 7, bounding all over the Joe Louis Arena ice during the morning skate.

At one point, the former NHL player sent a wrist shot flying into an empty goal before turning and pumping his arm in the air as part of a mock goal celebration along the side boards.

He also jumped in on drills, setting up players with crisp passes or skating up beside them for a word - as he did with captain Sidney Crosby, with the men sharing a laugh.

It wasn't that long ago that Bylsma was a player in a Game 7 with the Stanley Cup on the line. That happened in 2003 when he played under current Wings coach Mike Babcock for an Anaheim team that dropped the deciding game to the New Jersey Devils.

And one month ago, he was coaching the Pens in a Game 7 victory at Washington in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

"It's just a game, but it's a darn fun game to throw everything into and get better at and be a part of," Bylsma said.


ONE-TIMERS: The Detroit and Pittsburgh hockey clubs weren't the only teams from the cities competing against each other Friday night. The Tigers and Pirates faced off in the opener of a weekend interleague series at PNC Park in Pittsburgh with Detroit taking a 3-1 decision. ... Five players have won the Conn Smythe trophy as NHL playoff MVP multiple times since it first was awarded in 1965. Then-captain and current owner Mario Lemieux is the only Penguin to have won it more than once, and no Red Wing has accomplished the feat. Two current Wings have won it once: defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and forward Henrik Zetterberg. ... The late Bob Johnson was named Pittsburgh's coach 19 years ago to the day. The much-loved figure known as "Badger" led the Pens to their first Stanley Cup triumph in 1991.

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