Red Wings fight off Penguins to claim Stanley Cup

Thu Jun 5, 2008 12:56am EDT
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Steve Keating

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - The Detroit Red Wings clinched the Stanley Cup with a nail-biting 3-2 Game Six win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

The Red Wings, who were just 35 seconds from securing the Cup in Game Five on Monday, shrugged off the disappointment of the home defeat and hung on to claim the best-of-seven series 4-2 and lift their fourth Cup in 11 years.

It marked the fourth consecutive series the Red Wings had won on the road as they finished off the gritty Penguins, who sought to become the first team since the Toronto Maple Leafs 66 years ago to climb back from a 3-1 series deficit and win the Cup.

As the final buzzer sounded, players poured off the bench, celebrating as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman handed the Stanley Cup to Detroit's Swedish captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who became the first European to lead his team to a championship.

"It felt great being the first guy on our team to touch the Cup," Lidstrom told reporters. "Experience has a lot to do with it (winning).

"I think that gives the whole team some calmness. We're not going to panic.

"Losing (Game Five) in triple overtime, I think we did a good job of putting that behind us. The main thing is we didn't get rattled."

After being shutout in the opening two games of the series, the Penguins promised they would not go down without a fight and were true to their word, battling the Red Wings and taking it right to the wire for the second successive game.   Continued...

<p>Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom lifts the Stanley Cup after his team defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey final in Pittsburgh, June 4, 2008. REUTERS/Shaun Best</p>