Rob Niedermayer passed to his brother in the circle to the left of goaltender Dominik Hasek and Scott Niedermayer took a wrist shot that struck the inside of the post on the short side and continued on into the upper corner of the net.
Scoring in regulation time for Detroit were Kirk Maltby, Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk, while Rob Niedermayer, Andy McDonald and Travis Moen scored for Anaheim.
The series continues in California on Tuesday and Thursday.
Anaheim was without Chris Kunitz, who supplied the goal in its 2-1 loss Friday, because the left-winger hurt his left wrist Friday. He was wearing a cast on the forearm on Sunday.
In juggling his lines, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle moved Dustin Penner from the second to the first to take the place of Kunitz with McDonald and Teemu Selanne. Brad May was moved from the fourth to take the place of Penner alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
The moves energized the Ducks – at least in the early going.
They led 1-0 after one period and could have been up by more in outshooting Detroit 11-6, and the count didn’t include two shots by Ryan Getzlaf off posts. Scoring chances were pegged at 7-3 in favour of the Ducks.
Getzlaf, a dominant skater in this spring’s playoffs despite being in only his second NHL season, made a nifty pass to set up Niedermayer. The 22-year-old Regina product had the puck at the side of the Detroit net and appeared to be going behind the net when he backhanded a pass to the front of the crease that Niedermayer flicked past a surprised Dominik Hasek at 17:04.
The Ducks continued to have an edge through the first half of the second period, but the tide turned when Maltby took a swing at his own rebound and put the puck behind Jean-Sebastien Giguere for a short-handed goal at 10:34.
McDonald quickly put Anaheim back in front when, out of a scramble, he found a bottom corner of the net with a shot at 11:40 for his team-high fifth goal of the playoffs. It took a video review to make it count as Hasek had covered the puck with his right leg pad along the goal-line.
The Red Wings regained the momentum at 16:07 on a power-play goal by Lidstrom. The four-time Norris Trophy winner glided to the middle of the zone before lifting a shot between Giguere’s stick and the post. Giguere was screened. Didn’t have a chance on the perfect shot by the Wings’ Swedish captain.
Detroit, having stepped up its forechecking, had a 9-5 shots edge in the second period with scoring chances even at 4-4.
The Red Wings had a two-man advantage to start the third with Chris Pronger and Sean O’Donnell in the penalty box, and Datsyuk put Detroit up 3-2 with a power-play goal at 1:03. Robert Lang delivered a cross-ice pass that Datsyuk slammed into the open side of the net for his team-best sixth of the post-season.
It was the first time a team got three goals on Giguere in his last nine playoff starts.
Anaheim tied it 3-3 at 5:06 after another video review proved the puck was in the net. Moen dove to poke at a rebound and he got credit for a goal after it was shown the puck was over the line on Hasek’s pants as he slid into his net on his back.
It was the first time a team managed three goals on Hasek in his last eight starts in Joe Louis Arena.
The teams battled to the end of regulation time. Shots were 10-10 in the third – 26-25 for Anaheim through 60 minutes. It couldn’t be any closer.
It would take overtime to decide it.
Datsyuk had the first scoring chance 50 seconds in and his shot just missed the net.
Anaheim got a power play in the ninth overtime minute when Mikael Samuelsson lifted the puck into the crowd in his own end and was assessed a delay-of-game penalty, but the Ducks couldn’t score with the extra skater.
But the Niedermayer brothers would get together to end it.
Notes: Maltby fell completely over the boards head first into the Ducks bench when he was hammered by Francois Beauchemin in the game’s sixth minute . . . Anaheim fourth-line LW Shawn Thornton didn’t finish the game . . . Anaheim had in its lineup 15 Canadians, two Americans, one Finn, one Swede and one Russian, while Detroit used seven Canadians, six Swedes, two Czechs, two Russians, two Americans and one Finn . . . Canada’s 4-2 win over Finland in the world tournament final Sunday in Russia put another feather in the cap of former Detroit captain Steve Yzerman, who served as GM of Hockey Canada’s entry . . . Detroit acquired C Kris Draper in 1993 for future considerations when he was playing in the Winnipeg Jets organization. Senior VP Jimmy Devellano recalls the team sending the Jets a cheque for US$1 . . . The 2006-2007 salaries of the 20 men dressed by Detroit totalled US$41.2 million. Anaheim’s total was US$37.6 million . . . The highest-paid player in the game was Detroit d Nicklas Lidstrom, who earned US$7.6 million this season. Next were Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer, US$6.75 million, and Chris Pronger, US$6.25 million. Next was Detroit’s Todd Bertuzzi, US$5.27 million . . . At the other end of the pay scale, Anaheim’s Dustin Penner, Kent Huskins and Shawn Thornton got the league-minimum $450,000 this season. Lowest-salaried Red Wing on the ice was Brett Lebda at US$550,000.