Detroit, which had an NHL-best 124 points in the regular season,
has outshot Edmonton 202-126 and won more faceoffs (193-149) in the
first-round Western Conference playoff series, but it's the
eighth-seeded Oilers who lead 3-2 in the best-of-seven matchup and
can knock out the Red Wings on Monday night at home.
"Rollie has been the key to the series," Moreau said. "He's
making difficult saves look easy."
Especially in the first period of Saturday's 3-2 win in Detroit
when Roloson stopped 11 shots and stopped four Detroit power plays
to set the tone.
"We're creating turnovers and it's frustrating for teams that
are used to ... having things go their way," Oilers center
Michael Peca said.
Fellow forward Shawn Horcoff scored the winning goal Saturday in
the second period and went face first to block a shot at the end of
"His head was right in the shooting lane," Edmonton coach
Craig MacTavish said. "Pretty inspiring act of courage on his
"To lay in front of shot like that is kind of the way this team
looks at itself," Oilers defenseman Chris Pronger said.
Pronger has also played a big role in Edmonton's playoff success
with a team-leading seven points (two goals, five assists) in five
Detroit finished with the NHL's best overall record (58-16-8)
and road record (31-7-3) and sported the league's top power play
during the regular season. But that hasn't translated into much
success against the pesky Oilers, who clinched a playoff berth in
the second-to-last game of the regular season.
"It's a great feeling," Oilers forward Ryan Smyth said. "We
feel confident, but not too confident, that we can get to another
The Oilers have not been to the second round of the playoffs
since 1998, a five-game loss to Dallas. Edmonton has just three
players -- Smyth, Georges Laraques, and Rem Murray -- remaining from
"We're happy with the situation," MacTavish said. "But we
know the fourth win is always the toughest."
Should Detroit lose Monday, it will mark the third straight
season it has been an early playoff upset victim. The Red Wings
were swept 4-0 by Anaheim in the first round in 2003 off another
Presidents' Trophy-winning season. They followed that up the next
year with a six-game, second-round loss to Calgary.
Detroit goalie Manny Legace, a longtime backup thrust into the
No. 1 role this season, allowed three goals on his first 11 shots
Saturday and knows he must play better to extend the Red Wings'
"I don't think we've been relaxed once this whole series," he
said. "We just have to relax, and play."
Detroit captain Steve Yzerman skated gingerly Sunday, and the
40-year-old forward won't know until game time if he'll sit out a
third straight game with a sore back.
"I'm hopeful and encouraged I will feel better come game
time," he said.