The Detroit Red Wings skated into Pittsburgh for this very game last year, outplayed the Penguins in their building and, in the final indignity, paraded with the Stanley Cup on the same ice where Mario Lemieux once played.

Think Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury don't remember the emptiness and frustration they felt after that Stanley Cup finals Game 6? After more than 100 games played over more than 8 grueling months, the season ends and the other team celebrates in front of your friends, family and fans?

"We don't want that image in our heads again," Penguins forward Max Talbot said yesterday.

If the Red Wings win this Game 6 tonight, a year and 5 days after winning their last one in Pittsburgh, it will be more than an image to the Penguins. It will be an instant replay.

Not since Montreal clinched in Boston in 1977 and '78 has a team won the Stanley Cup in the same opponent's building two seasons in a row, but the Red Wings will gladly take another clincher in Pittsburgh if it means avoiding an ever-dangerous Game 7.

The Penguins have heard for 2 days how they lost the Stanley Cup with a more-than-miserable 5-0 loss in Game 5 on Saturday. Even if they win Game 6 in front of an all-in-white home crowd, they must go back to Detroit and inhospitable Joe Louis Arena, where they have been outscored 10-2 while losing three games.


* Forward Marty Reasoner, who set a career high with 14 goals for Atlanta last season, has re-signed with the Thrashers. Terms were not announced.

* Anaheim re-signed right wing Mike Brown to a 2-year contract extension. Terms were not disclosed.

* Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals has earned the series' highest cable television rating since 2002. The Penguins' win over the Red Wings on Versus on Thursday drew a 2.8 rating and averaged 3.45 million viewers. *