Oilers stun Wings in double OT
Edmonton's double overtime win on Tuesday puts the Detroit Red Wings in familiar territory â trailing an upstart team early in the NHL playoffs.
Jarret Stoll scored the winner at 8:44 of the second extra period, as the Oilers beat Detroit 4-3 at Rexall Place to take a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference quarter-final.
After Sergei Samsonov's wraparound attempt was barely kept out of the net by Detroit goalie Manny Legace, Stoll put it home from the slot to end the longest game thus far in the NHL playoffs.
"I didn't know it went in at the start, it was kind of a surprise," Stoll told Scott Russell of Hockey Night in Canada. "I found a hole, and [it's] a big win for our club.
Ryan Smyth had a goal and assist, while Jaroslav Spacek and Raffi Torres also scored for the Oilers, who have led or been tied for all but 18 minutes, 17 seconds in the series.
Edmonton held the lead for much of the game, but the Red Wings scored a pair of third period goals 18 seconds apart to send the game to overtime.
"We obviously didn't want to give up the lead like that," Stoll said. "We did that enough this year, giving up the lead at home."
Shawn Horcoff had three assists for Edmonton. Brad Winchester, whose winner in Game 2 was his first NHL goal, kept up his unsung play with two assists.
After surrendering 92 shots in the first two games, the Oilers did a better job of cutting down the shots on their netminder for the first two periods. Dwayne Roloson finished with 44 saves.
Henrik Zetterberg beat the Edmonton goalie twice, with Mathieu Schneider also scoring.
Manny Legace stopped 28 shots for Detroit, who will once again try and rally to take a series.
The Red Wings have been upset in the previous two playoff campaigns by Anaheim and Calgary. Even in 2002, when they went on to win the Stanley Cup, they trailed at some point in three of the four playoff rounds.
It was the second time in the series the teams went to double overtime, and the fifth in seven total games between the clubs this season that ended after regulation time.
Edmonton opened the scoring when Winchester made a one-handed pass to Spacek, who moved in from the left side of the point to fire a snap shot over Legace's shoulder at 4:15 of the first.
The Oilers had a two-man advantage soon after that was squandered when it was ruled that Smyth interfered with Legace.
With the space allotted on the subsequent 4-on-3 advantage, Zetterberg scored his second of the series at the side of the net, a redirect off a pass from Schneider.
Smyth atoned for his earlier misdeed by tucking a wraparound past Legace with under four minutes remaining in the period.
Detroit began to get into penalty trouble, and it cost them early in the second.
Torres tipped in a Chris Pronger blast for his first goal of the playoffs at 2:38 of the second and a 3-1 lead.
Roloson kept it that way by sliding across to deny Zetterberg a second goal on a Detroit power play minutes later.
Aside from a period of seconds after an empty-net goal in Game 2, what followed was the first sustained two-goal lead of the series.
Much had been made of the Oilers employing a system, which coach Craig MacTavish refused to call a trap, that clogged the neutral zone.
Tuesday's game featured more open ice, but Detroit still had trouble, committing several offsides.
In the third, however, it was the Oilers that jeopardized their plight with penalties.
Detroit struck on their fourth power-play opportunity of the third period. Jason Williams found Zetterberg in the slot and the Swede potted his second of the game at 11:52.
Just 18 seconds later, disaster struck for Edmonton. Schneider's slapshot from a clean face-off win by Steve Yzerman tied the game.
"We had to keep attacking," Kris Draper said at the end of regulation. "What a great draw by Stevie Y there, and Schneids just hammered it right in."
The Red Wings outshot Edmonton 14-5 in the third, but Nicklas Lidstrom's late hooking penalty put them at a disadvantage, which carried over 43 seconds into the overtime.
The teams both had unsuccessful power plays in the fourth period. Stoll had a great chance when he broke free on a short-handed break, but was hauled down.
Roloson, meanwhile, made a sliding save on Robert Lang to keep the game going.
Seconds after Stoll's slapshot was turned aside on a right pad save by Legace, Williams appeared to the score the winner at 14:31.
Detroit celebrated, but a video review showed that the puck went under the side of the net as it was lifted off its mooring.
The second overtime frame was fairly nondescript until Stoll's goal sent the 16,839 into a frenzy.
"Well it was kind of a scramble play in front of the net," Stoll said. "Sammy (Samsonov) wrapped it around, almost put it in himself, it went off Manny's glove and I just kind of pounced on it in the slot."
Edmonton came into the playoffs with the worst home record of any of the playoff teams (20-15-6), though the team played better at Rexall in the stretch drive than earlier in the season record.
Conversely, Detroit won six more games on the road than any other team in the league (31-7-3).
Game 4 will be played Thursday at Rexall Place (CBC, 9:30 p.m. EDT).