DETROIT — There was no question in Mike Krushelnyski's mind that Wayne Gretzky was going to pass the puck back to him, and that he would score.
The only thing Krushelnyski couldn't predict Monday night was that his goal with 1:14 remaining in the second period would stand up for a 3-2 Edmonton victory that gave the Oilers a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven National Hockey League semifinal series with the Detroit Red Wings.
"This may sound weird, but giving it to Gretz and getting it back, it seemed like I'd done that before," Krushelnyski said. "I saw everything. I think the goaltender just overcompensated, and I fired it in the net."
Game 5 of the Campbell Conference final will be played Wednesday night at Edmonton.
"Their big guns--Gretzky, Mark Messier and Paul Coffey--are silent, but those unsung heroes like Krushelnyski and Grant Fuhr have given them a 3-1 lead in the series," Detroit Coach Jacques Demers said.
Fuhr, the Edmonton goalie, had 22 saves, and Glen Hanlon made 17 saves in the Detroit net. The Oilers improved their record to 6-0 in playoff road games.
Fuhr was voted the No. 1 star of the game, and Oiler Coach Glen Sather said the goalie was the key to the series.
"I don't feel like the key," said Fuhr. "We've got a lot of guys scoring goals. I don't score goals.
"I just have to keep it up. I've had good luck so far. The guys are playing well in front of me."
With the score tied, 2-2, Krushelnyski, who scored only 16 goals during the regular season, put the Oilers ahead with his second playoff goal. Krushelnyski, skating up the left side, took a pass from Gretzky on the give-and-go, drew Hanlon out and put the puck between the goalie's pads.
"I let it go and was lucky to get it by him," Krushelnyski said. "This definitely is the biggest goal of my career. I looked up when that final buzzer sounded and said, 'Thank you.' It was a great feeling."
Detroit took a 2-1 lead early in the second period on goals 2:10 apart by Shawn Burr and Gerard Gallant.
Burr hustled for a loose puck at the left point, then fell down making a 10-foot shot. As Burr slid on his stomach toward the goal, the puck went off his helmet and between Fuhr's pads for his seventh playoff goal at the 22-second mark.
Brent Ashton knocked away a pass from defenseman Paul Coffey to Craig MacTavish, and Gallant, standing in front of the goal, backhanded it between Fuhr's legs.
"We played well, but the bottom line is we lost again tonight," Demers said. "Fuhr's the best I've seen with a one- or two-goal lead. He said, 'Boys, I'll win it for you.' "
Edmonton tied it, 2-2, at 5:34 of the second period on Glenn Anderson's 10th goal, a 20-foot shot into the short side of the net.
Dave Hunter put Edmonton ahead, 1-0, with his third playoff goal at 17:30 of the first period. Hanlon fell to his right, kicking away a golf shot by Reijo Ruotsalainen, leaving the net wide open for Hunter to poke in the rebound.