PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby still lives at home, even if it is Mario Lemieux's. Jordan Staal can't legally buy a drink in Pittsburgh for a couple more months. Evgeni Malkin still loves eating mom's home cooking.

Oh, these Pittsburgh Penguins are much like a bunch of college kids, many of them in their early 20s. In any other sport, they'd probably be wearing some university's uniform or that of a low-level minor league team.

In the NHL, Sid and the Kids are two victories away from raising the Stanley Cup - and, after losing the first two games of the finals in Detroit last weekend, who would guessed that was possible against the experienced, poised and determined Red Wings?

Make that poised and, possibly, leg-weary Red Wings, whose vast advantages in Stanley Cup experience and playoff savvy meant nothing next to the Penguins' edge in youthful speed and fresh legs during Pittsburgh's series-tying 4-2 victory in Game 4 on Thursday night.

Now, instead of having the chance to raise the Stanley Cup at home Saturday night, the Red Wings must win to avoid a possible elimination game of their own in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

The Red Wings still own home-ice advantage, with two of the next three in Joe Louis Arena if necessary, but the Penguins own some momentum and confidence. They had neither after losing twin 3-1 decisions in Detroit to start the series.

"I think we're confident and we'll keep moving forward," Tyler Kennedy said after Pittsburgh scored three times in 5 1/2 minutes of the second period to turn a one-goal deficit into a two-goal lead. "We're trying to keep our foot on the gas."

Should the Penguins rally to win the series, they'll probably remember Staal's short-handed goal as the catalyst.

With the Red Wings up 2-1 and enjoying nearly four minutes of continuous power-play time, Staal took Max Talbot's up-ice pass and outskated defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski to beat Chris Osgood at 8:35 of the second.

"Max made a great play. I saw Lidstrom and Rafalski both kind of flat-footed," Staal said. "I kind of just buried my head, went for it and kind of snuck it in."

The goal electrified the standing-room crowd of 17,132, causing a thunderous din that shook 49-year-old Mellon Arena's stainless steel roof.

Down on the ice, the Red Wings were a bit shaky, too.

"I don't know if we got rattled, but just maybe tried to do a little too much," Kirk Maltby said.

Less than two minutes later, Crosby scored on a 2-on-1 breakout with Evgeni Malkin, a play reminiscent of how Crosby's landlord, Lemieux, once teamed with Jaromir Jagr to score goals. Not long after that, Kennedy scored off Crosby's pass.


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