Pens, Wings go one more time |

Pens, Wings go one more time

DETROIT – Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Osgood and Kirk Maltby spread out like a perfectly shaped triangle in the Detroit Red Wings dressing room and tried to explain how Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals is really like any other game.

When that seemingly unbelievable message comes from guys who have championship rings that nearly cover a whole hand it begins to sound plausible.

“It’s hard to really mentally sell it to yourself that it’s just another game, but it is,” Maltby said Thursday.

Lidstrom, Maltby, Tomas Holmstrom and Kris Draper are going for their fifth title in 12 seasons Friday night in Game 7 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Osgood is on the verge of a fourth ring, third as the Red Wings starting goalie.

Detroit had a shot for its second straight Cup on Tuesday night in Game 6, but fell 2-1 in Pittsburgh. The Red Wings have one more chance to secure it, and they will try at home where they are 11-1 in the playoffs – 3-0 in this series.

“It’s no different,” said Osgood, 15-7 with a 2.00 goals-against average in the playoffs. “Game 7 is just another game to win the Cup. That was our Game 7 in Pittsburgh.

“It makes no difference if it’s Game 4, 5, 6, or 7. If you can win the Cup, you’ve got the exact same type of game. The only difference is they have a chance now, too.”

That depends on whom you ask.

The home team won each of the first six games. The Penguins went 1-2 at Joe Louis Arena in last year’s finals and have been outscored 11-2 in three losses in this series.

Given the chance to practice in Detroit on Thursday, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma decided the upside wasn’t enough to sacrifice another day at home. The Penguins skated one last time in Pittsburgh before flying to Detroit.

“I didn’t think a seventh time or an eighth time … was going to show us one thing about the boards that we didn’t already know,” Bylsma said. “I thought staying home would give us a better chance to be more focused and more prepared in our routine.”

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