Passive-aggressive Oilers get their win
A shot by Brad Winchester eludes Detroit goalie Manny Legace for the Oilers go-ahead goal in their Game 2 victory. (Mandi Wright / Detroit Free Press)
The Edmonton Oilers are using a passive trap to stay with Detroit.
Just when they seemed to lull the Red Wings to sleep, the Oilers picked the right times to be aggressive in Game 2 yesterday.
Fernando Pisani and Brad Winchester scored less than a minute apart late in the second period to rally visiting Edmonton to a 4-2 victory over the top-seeded Red Wings that tied their first-round playoff series.
Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves for the Oilers, who also got goals from Chris Pronger and Jarret Stoll to get even in the best-of-seven Western Conference matchup. Edmonton trailed, 2-1, before Winchester and Pisani connected.
The Oilers clogged the middle of the ice with a trap for much of the game, negating Detroit's talent.
''They did a pretty good job in the neutral zone," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. ''We didn't come through it -- except in the second period -- with speed."
Trailing, 2-1, the Oilers did some aggressive forechecking while Detroit seemed casual with the puck. That led to the tying and go-ahead goals that made it 3-2 with 1:14 left in the second period.
''We needed to differentiate when we backed up and when we put on pressure -- and we did that," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said.
Edmonton's Michael Peca forced Kirk Maltby's giveaway in the corner and centered the puck for Pisani's goal. Pronger took the puck from Detroit's Jason Williams along the boards and passed it to Winchester, who scored from between the circles on a hard shot goalie Manny Legace appeared to have in clear view.
Winchester's goal was his first in the NHL after earning one assist in 19 regular-season games as a rookie. He didn't play in Game 1, but MacTavish put him in the lineup after liking what he saw when Winchester skated with Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Smyth during Saturday's practice.
''A coach has got to be right occasionally," MacTavish joked.
Legace, who gave up three goals on 16 shots through two periods, finished with 20 saves.
Henrik Zetterberg put the Red Wings ahead, 2-1, midway through the second period, but they couldn't hold on against the pesky Oilers and then failed to force a second straight overtime.
Steve Yzerman had a chance to make it 3-3 early in the third period, but his swooping shot on a breakaway hit the post. Roloson smothered Zetterberg's breakaway with 8:41 left to ensure there wouldn't be a comeback like the one Detroit had in its 3-2 double-overtime victory Friday.
Sharks 3, Predators 0 -- Visiting San Jose perfected its penalty killing after giving up four power-play goals in the playoff opener, and Jonathan Cheechoo had a goal and two assists as the Sharks shut out Nashville to even their first-round Western Conference series.
The Sharks neutralized this season's best home-ice team by scoring three power-play goals in the first period, including two on five-on-threes, in a game that featured 20 penalties.
Patrick Marleau also had a goal and assist, and Mark Smith got his second goal of the postseason. Vesa Toskala stopped 25 shots for his first playoff shutout in his second postseason game.
With the Sharks clamping down on Paul Kariya, who had four assists in Nashville's 4-3 win Friday night, the Predators never mounted a serious offensive threat. They went 0 for 9 on the power play, compared with Game 1 when they went 4 for 7.
Cheechoo -- who had an NHL-best 56 goals in the regular season -- netted his first of the playoffs at 5:37 on the first five-on-three.
Mighty Ducks 4, Flames 3 -- Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 22 saves in his return to Anaheim's lineup, helping the Mighty Ducks pull even with host Calgary in this Western Conference series.
Giguere, the Conn Smythe winner as the playoff MVP in 2003 when Anaheim reached the Stanley Cup final, sat out the Mighty Ducks' series-opening overtime loss Friday night because of a lower-body injury.
Chris Kunitz, Scott Niedermayer, Joffrey Lupul, and Samuel Pahlsson scored for Anaheim, while Jarome Iginla, Kristian Huselius, and Dion Phaneuf countered for Calgary. Miikka Kiprusoff made 16 saves for the Flames.