DETROIT RED WINGS
forward Kirk Maltby's primary responsibility is to wear down the opposing team.
"I know I'm not looked upon to score on a nightly basis," says Maltby,
a fourth-liner who typically plays alongside Dan Cleary and Johan Franzen.
"We keep it pretty simple." But after a regular season in which the
6-foot, 197-pound Maltby scored just five goals, his lowest total in seven
seasons, and had just six assists, he quickly emerged as an unlikely playoff
scoring star--potting both the game-tying and game-winning goals against the
Edmonton Oilers in Game 1. The 12-year veteran knocked in a goal with his stick
shaft late in the third period and scored when his shot was deflected off
Oilers center Rem Murray and between the pads of goalie Dwayne Roloson in the
second overtime. "In the playoffs teams get focused on matchups," says
Detroit left wing Brendan Shanahan. "We have meetings talking about their
best players, and they have meetings focusing on ours. Guys like [Henrik]
Zetterberg and [Pavel] Datsyuk, they're never [in a situation] in which the
other team doesn't know where they are at every moment. It gives an opportunity
for other players to fly under the radar."
hero has become a playoff staple over the years, and on Sunday the Oilers
evened the series with just such a weapon. Coach Craig MacTavish, wanting to
take advantage of rookie Brad Winchester's anonymity, put him on the top line,
alongside left wing Ryan Smyth and center Shawn Horcoff. Winchester, who had
one assist in 19 regular-season games, converted a cross-ice pass to score the
winning goal in the second period.
Dallas, the Colorado Avalanche were discovering a go-to guy in rookie Wojtek
Wolski. Called up from the Ontario Hockey League three days before the
playoffs, the 20-year-old had a goal and two assists in Colorado's 5-2 upset of
the Stars last Saturday. "When the playoffs are over, you're going to find
[that] the teams that went to the Stanley Cup finals had scoring at key times
from all four lines," says Detroit G.M. Ken Holland. "You can't go and
play for two months and win with [the top] six guys scoring over and