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Staal gives Pens lead through 2 periods of Game 6

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Jordan Staal scored 51 seconds into the second period to give the desperate Pittsburgh Penguins a 1-0 lead over the Detroit Red Wings through two periods of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals on Tuesday night.

The Penguins, trailing 3-2 in the series, needed to win to force a seventh game in Detroit on Friday.

After Pittsburgh outshot Detroit 12-3 in the fast-paced, yet scoreless first period, Staal pushed the Penguins ahead on a 2-on-1 break. He got past Valtteri Filppula at the point of the defensive zone and raced up ice - along with teammate Matt Cooke to his left - with only defenseman Jonathan Ericsson back.

Staal's first shot was blocked by goalie Chris Osgood's chest, but the Penguins forward got to his rebound and flipped the puck past Osgood's glove to make it 1-0. The goal snapped Osgood's shutout streak at 106 minutes, 39 seconds - dating to the second period of Game 4.

Henrik Zetterberg nearly tied it with 1:59 left in the period, but his in-close shot struck the left post and bounded back between Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's legs and away from the net.

Pittsburgh held a 24-12 shots advantage through two periods. The second period was penalty-free.

The Penguins had the only two power-play chances in the first, yet couldn't solve Osgood, who shut them out in Game 5 to put the Red Wings on the verge of repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

Like last year, the Red Wings came to Pittsburgh for Game 6 with a chance to hoist the Cup. They are seeking their fifth title in 12 seasons and 12th overall.

Home teams that trailed 3-2 in the finals have gone 9-14 in Game 6 since the best-of-seven format began in 1939. Only two of those nine teams also won Game 7 to capture the Cup.

Each team won at home through the first five games of the series.

Pittsburgh outshot the Red Wings 12-3 in the first 20 minutes and kept Detroit away from Fleury for large chunks of the period.

Detroit had the best early scoring chance when Zetterberg fired a hard shot that Fleury turned aside at 3:25. Zetterberg crashed the net on the follow through, and swung from the crossbar behind Fleury, drawing a penalty for goalie interference when play stopped 10 seconds later.

But as they did in the opening minutes of Game 5, the Red Wings' much-maligned penalty-killers held off the Penguins during the advantage. Pittsburgh managed three shots at Osgood during the power play.

The Penguins received another power play when Filppula tripped Bill Guerin at 13:29, but managed only one shot - a drive by captain Sidney Crosby after he got free with the puck in the Detroit zone.

Pittsburgh had gone 4 for 9 on the power play during the first four games before an 0 for 2 performance in Game 5.

Osgood put the Red Wings in position to win another title by stopping all 22 shots in a 5-0 victory over the Penguins on Saturday night. It was Osgood's 15th postseason shutout, moving him into fourth place on the NHL career list.

Pittsburgh looked for a boost on offense, inserting Petr Sykora into the lineup in place of Miroslav Satan for the first time in the series, and playing top forwards Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the same line at the start.

The hometown fans, hoping the Penguins could extend the season for one more game, chanted "Fleu-ry! Fleu-ry!" before the opening faceoff in support of their goalie, who allowed five goals on 21 shots in Game 5 and was pulled during Detroit's four-goal second period Saturday.

His best stop came with 1:37 left in the first period when he turned aside Zetterberg again at the right post after a feed from Pavel Datsyuk.

Pittsburgh was much more disciplined than Saturday night and didn't take a penalty in the first two periods. The Penguins gave Detroit nine power plays in Game 5, and the Red Wings scored on three of those chances in the rout.

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