The fourth line of the Detroit Red Wings was not expected to contribute offensively in the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, instead being used in a defensive role. Kirk Maltby showed on Friday night that maybe they can do both, as he scored the game-tying goal in the third period and the game-winning goal in the second overtime while the Red Wings defeated the Edmonton Oilers in Game One of their first round matchup.
The game-winner came just 2:39 into that second overtime period, when a seemingly-soft shot from the right circle slipped between the pads of Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson.
“Our coaches have harped on us all year: Get it to the net, just get it to the net,” Maltby later said. “As soon as I got it, that’s all I was thinking. Just had that little voice in my ear, just get it on net, especially when it’s in overtime. It just found a way in.”
Maltby’s first goal of the game evened things up with 6:17 remaining in the third period. Maltby redirected the rebound of a Johan Franzen shot past Roloson with the shaft of his stick.
It was one of the few times that Roloson offered a solid rebound chance. He held or played the puck on most of the 57 shots he faced.
The Red Wings had opened the game’s scoring at 4:05 of the first period with a power play goal by Robert Lang.
In a play that worked many times throughout the regular season for Detroit, Brendan Shanahan sent the puck from behind the net to Steve Yzerman at the side of the goal, who moved it across to Lang to bang it home.
Edmonton countered on a power play of their own with 8:16 later, when former Detroit Viper Sergei Samsonov scored.
On another power play at 8:43 of the second, Chris Pronger gave Edmonton their first lead of the series.
Detroit netminder Manny Legace, making only his fifth career playoff start, finished the night with 23 saves on 25 shots.
Edmonton went two-for-six on the power play while Detroit scored once on as many chances with the man-advantage.
Game Two of the series will be on Sunday from Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
The Red Wings were without center Pavel Datsyuk, who continues to nurse a leg injury… Detroit has now won their last six games that ended in the second overtime.