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GAME: Edmonton Oilers (41-28-13) at Detroit Red Wings (58-16-8).
PLAYOFF SERIES: Western Conference quarterfinals; Red Wings lead 1-0.
TIME: Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT.
Three of the four regular-season meeting between the Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers went to overtime. It was no surprise that the opener of their quarterfinal series went into extra time to determine a winner.
The two teams meet again on Sunday in Detroit as the Red Wings look to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Despite being the top seed and an overwhelming favorite, it took 3 1/2 hours and two overtimes for Detroit to emerge a 3-2 winner in Game 1.
Kirk Maltby scored his second goal of the game 2:39 into double overtime to give the Red Wings the win and negate an outstanding effort from Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson, who kept the eighth-seeded Oilers in the contest all by himself.
Roloson made 54 saves, before Maltby's shot slipped by him after it was deflected off the stick of Oilers teammate Rem Murray.
Edmonton, which led 2-1 late into the third period, will need to bounce back quickly, because the Red Wings have won 15 of their last 17 playoff series in which they opened with a win.
"You can't carry that baggage long in postseason because that really debilitates you ability to bounce back," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said.
The Oilers will also have to find a way to generate more scoring chances. Edmonton was able to stay in the game despite being outshot better than 2-to-1.
Maltby's goal made sure the Red Wings wouldn't experience another disappointment early in the playoffs.
"Especially when it goes to double overtime and the other goalie stands on his head," said Detroit goalie Manny Legace, who made 23 saves. "We got lucky."
Hot goaltending by Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff led the early playoff exits for the Red Wings in 2003 and 2004. Friday's effort by Roloson seemed to be a preview to the same thing, although this time, the Red Wings were able to escape.
Detroit's penalty killing, which ranked third in the NHL in the regular season, allowed power-play goals to Sergei Samsonov and Chris Pronger, the latter giving the Oilers a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
Maltby broke through with seven minutes remaining in regulation to tie the game.
"Our coaching staff has been harping on us to get the puck on the net because you never know what can happen," Maltby said. "My shot just clipped his stick, and more times than not, those are the kind of goals that win in OT."
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit's leading scorer with 87 points in the regular season, missed Game 1 with a left thigh injury and could answer only "maybe" when asked if he would be ready to play Sunday.
Datsyuk hasn't played since April 3.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Oilers - 95 points; 8th seed. Red Wings - 124 points; 1st seed.
PLAYOFF TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Samsonov and Pronger, 1 goal; Jaroslav Spacek, 2 assists; Samsonov and Spacek, 2 points; Marc-Andre Bergeron, 6 PIM. Red Wings - Maltby, 2 goals; Mathieu Schneider and Johan Franzen, 2 assists, Franzen, Maltby and Schneider, 2 points; Schneider, 4 PIM.
PLAYOFF SPECIAL TEAMS: Oilers - Power play: 33.3 percent (2 for 6). Penalty killing: 83.3 percent (5 for 6). Red Wings - Power play: 16.7 percent (1 for 6). Penalty killing: 66.7 percent (4 for 6).
GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Roloson (0-1, 0 SO, 2.17 GAA); Jussi Markkanen (no record). Red Wings - Legace (1-0, 1.45); Chris Osgood (no record)
LAST MEETING: Friday; Red Wings, 3-2 (2 OT). At Detroit, Maltby's second goal 2:39 into double overtime gave the Red Wings a dramatic victory. Roloson made 54 saves for the Oilers.
|Apr 21 '06||EDM 2 at DET 3 - OT||K. Maltby|
|Apr 23 '06||EDM 4 at DET 2||B. Winchester|
|Apr 25 '06||DET 3 at EDM 4 - OT||J. Stoll|
|Apr 27 '06||DET 4 at EDM 2||N. Lidstrom|
|Apr 29 '06||EDM 3 at DET 2||S. Horcoff|
|May 01 '06||DET 3 at EDM 4||A. Hemsky|
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