DETROIT - The Pittsburgh Penguins are one period away from their first Stanley Cup title since 1992.
Maxime Talbot scored twice in the second period to put the Penguins up 2-0 on the Detroit Red Wings through 40 minutes in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. The Penguins entered the game having been outscored 21-6 in their last six road games against the Red Wings. None of that mattered after Talbot's two-goal outburst, the first coming off a rare Detroit miscue.
Facing pressure from Talbot behind the Detroit net, Red Wings defenceman Brad Stuart's attempted clearing pass hit Malkin's skate and bounced directly to a wide-open Talbot. He hesitated before sliding the puck between Chris Osgood's pads at 1:13 - Pittsburgh's first lead in Detroit since the second period of Game 2.
The assist increases Malkin's post-season point total to 38, the sixth-highest single-season total in playoff history.
After Fleury stopped a point-blank shot from Darren Helm, the Penguins nearly made it 2-0 when Matt Cooke was sprung on a breakaway. His shot was stopped by Osgood, and Cooke was belted by Red Wings blue-liner Brian Rafalski and slid into the Detroit net.
Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby left the game moments later after his left leg was pinned to the boards on a hit by Detroit forward Johan Franzen. Crosby left the ice without putting weight on his leg and didn't return in the second, but Pens head coach Dan Byslma told NBC that Crosby would be back.
A Hal Gill holding penalty at 6:16 gave Detroit its first man advantage of the game, but the Red Wings - who entered the game with a 24.2-per-cent power-play success rate in the playoffs - couldn't get much going against Pittsburgh netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.
Talbot extended the lead with his eighth of the post-season at 10:07. After a Chris Kunitz pass sent Talbot in on a 2-on-1 with Tyler Kennedy, Talbot elected to shoot the puck - firing a wrist shot into the top corner past Osgood's elbow.
Fleury kept the Red Wings at bay the rest of the way, withstanding a Detroit barrage late in the period. He made 11 saves in the second, giving him 17 for the game.
Osgood has stopped 15 of 17 shots through two periods.