Henrik Zetterberg took a big step as the leader of a storied franchise, snapping a scoring slump in a clutch way with his second goal in overtime.
The Detroit Red Wings Red Wings still have a shot to advance in the NHL playoffs.
Zetterberg netted his second goal 1:04 into overtime to lift Detroit to a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 on Friday night to extend the first-round series.
"Those two were kind of ugly ones, but that's what you need in the playoffs," he said.
Second-seeded Anaheim will host seventh-seeded Detroit on Sunday night in the deciding game.
"It hasn't really been a tremendous home-ice advantage," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I don't think where we play is really going to matter."
Detroit blew a two-goal lead in the last 3 1/2 minutes of the third period, sending the original six NHL team to a fourth OT in a series for the first time in franchise history. The Ducks, who joined the NHL during the 1993-94 season, also have played an extra period four times for the first time in the playoffs.
All four of those games ended in the first overtime.
Emerson Etem and Bobby Ryan scored 51 seconds apart late in regulation to pull the Ducks into a 3-3 tie.
Zetterberg, who scored a go-ahead goal 6:19 into the third period on a power play, had a shot to win it with about a minute left. But his shot hit the right post and slid across the crease.
He found the back of the net with a slap shot from above the left circle to end the game and send the series back to California.
Zetterberg's first goal snapped a career-long, seven-game postseason skid _ dating to last year's first-round exit against Nashville.
"If you're from Detroit, I guess it's just a matter of time," Boudreau said.
Zetterberg, who was 52 career playoff goals, has an NHL-high 50 goals in the playoffs since 2006.
The Red Wings, in their 22nd straight postseason, have a chance to win their first series after being down 3-2 since the 2002 Western Conference finals. They beat Colorado then and went on to hoist the Stanley Cup.
Back then, Steve Yzerman was their captain and after he retired in 2006, Nicklas Lidstrom wore the `C' on the winged-wheel sweater until retiring last summer.
"You talk about the leadership on our team _ we had Stevie and Nick _ but those guys had way more help," Babcock said.
Detroit's Jimmy Howard made 34 saves, all in regulation, and Jonas Hiller stopped 25 shots.
Pavel Datsyuk netted the Red Wings' first goal of the pressure-packed game and Daniel Cleary created a two-goal cushion by scoring with 8:30 left in regulation.
Detroit looked like it got comfortable and it made some costly mistakes to spoil a chance to win in regulation.
Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula carried the puck behind Howard and passed it back to where Etem was the only one in a position to get it. Much to Howard's surprise _ the goalie wasn't ready to slide over to make a save.
Ryan slammed a shot past Howard with 2:37 remaining to tie it.
"I don't know why we need to be two goals down to finally start playing," Hiller said. "Finally to get pressure on the net, finally going in harder and have that desperation that we lacked a little bit before that."
Detroit was knocked out of the first round last year following five consecutive postseasons in which it advanced at least once, a run which includes winning an NHL title in 2008 and falling a win short of repeating the next year.
The Ducks are trying to earn a spot in the second round for the first time since 2009, when they were eliminated by the Red Wings in Game 7 of the conference semifinals.
Datsyuk put the Red Wings ahead with 1:12 left in the first period and Palmieri was credited with a tying goal in the second that went off a Detroit defenseman.
The Red Wings were given an opportunity to regain the lead when Palmieri was called for high-sticking in the final period, and they didn't waste the opportunity.
Zetterberg's slap shot from the top of the left circle sailed through the air and past teammate Johan Franzen, whose net-front presence made it tough for Hiller to stop it.
Detroit had an extra skater for a third time midway through the third period, leading to Boudreau screaming from the bench that his team had skated for 50 minutes without the home team being in the penalty box.
Soon after Anaheim killed the penalty, Cleary made it 3-1 with a goal from a sharp angle along the boards.
Boudreau lamented the fact that his team didn't have a power play.
It marked the first time an NHL postseason game lasted longer than regulation without one team didn't having a power play since May 2, 2003, when Tampa Bay didn't have an extra skater once at New Jersey in a 2-1 triple-OT loss, according to STATS.
Abdelkader was productive in his return to the top line with Datsyuk and Zetterberg after serving a two-game suspension for hitting Toni Lydman's head in Game 3.
"It makes a huge difference, no question about it," Babcock said. "He knows how to play without the puck. He's a big man."
NOTES: Detroit scratched Patrick Eaves to make room for Abdelkader, choosing to keep Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson in the lineup. ... Etem and Ryan each have two goals in the series. ... Babcock played D Carlo Colaiacovo for the first time in the series and benched D Brian Lashoff.
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