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Cup final – Game 6, post-game

Thoughts and observations after Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, which the Penguins won, 2-1, over the Detroit Red Wings at Mellon Arena:

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STAR GAZING

My top stars from Game 6:

1. G Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins: His third-period pad save on Red Wings RW Dan Cleary will be talked about for years if the Penguins win Friday.

2. LW Matt Cooke, Penguins: With five hits, including a helmet-popper on Red Wings C Pavel Datsyuk, Cookie was a true monster.

3. C Jordan Staal, Penguins: His second-period goal was the biggest of his career, and the Penguins season.

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HIT HIM, BABY (ONE MORE TIME)

Cooke on his smack of Datsyuk, one of the great hits in Penguins playoff history:

“I just got lucky. He turned into me. I was coming around the net to support (RW Tyler Kennedy), and Datsyuk got the puck and turned right into me. When opportunities are there, I’m going to follow through.”

The Penguins out-hit the Red Wings, 35-26, in Game 6.

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A SIGN OF CUP TO COME

C Sidney Crosby’s father, Troy, idolized former Montreal G Ken Dryden as a child. Dryden was the last goalie to lead a team to the Cup after dropping Games 1 and 2 of the Final on the road. Fleury is attempting to do the same with the Penguins.

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STAT THAT SHOULD INTEREST YOU

Crosby has recorded only two points (no goals) in six career playoff games at Detroit, and has failed to record a point in five of those contests. History, though, suggests he will have a say in Game 7.

Crosby has not scored in the last two games. He has never gone three playoff games in one postseason without a point. He has twice gone two games without a point and recorded two points in each game that snapped that mini-drought.

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YES, I’M RUBBING IT IN, BUT…

Kennedy, Staal and C/RW Max Talbot have two goals apiece in the Final. Red Wings RW Marian Hossa has yet to score.

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YINZ TELL ME

Have the Penguins already taken a step forward this season even if they lose Game 7? Send your thoughts via e-mail.

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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