The Penguins avoided a repeat of last year and forced Game 7 in the Stanley Cup final by beating Detroit, 2-1, tonight at Mellon Arena.
The teams will meet Friday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, with the winner claiming the NHL title.
A year ago, the Red Wings won here in Game 6 and paraded the Cup around the Mellon Arena ice.
The Penguins outshot the Red Wings, 12-3, in the first period but failed to score on two power plays as the period ended in a scoreless tie.
Jordan Staal broke the stalemate to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead 51 seconds into the second period. He took the puck from Detroit's Valtteri Filppula to set up a two-on-one with linemate Matt Cooke against Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson. Goaltender Chris Osgood stopped Staal's initial shot, but Staal got the rebound and flipped it past Osgood.
The Penguins took a 2-0 lead at 5:35 of the third period when Tyler Kennedy, behind the Detroit net, took a pass from Max Talbot and batted the puck inside the left post.
Detroit closed to within 2-1 at 8:01 of the third period when Kris Draper scored on a rebound of an Ericsson shot from the left point.
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury preserved the lead when he made a glove stop on Dan Cleary with 1:42 left in regulation after Pavel Datsyuk sprung Cleary on a breakaway.
Shelly Anderson can be reached at email@example.com or 412-263-1721.