The final play went from rookie to rookie to rookie, and in the playoffs, you grow up fast. The Red Wings are learning on the fly and earning what they get, and they absolutely earned this one.

They pressed and pressed until they couldn't be held back any longer, and turned a dire situation into a prime opportunity. They beat the Ducks, 3-2, on Monday night on a rebound goal by Damien Brunner in overtime, knotting the series at 2 as it heads back to Anaheim. And suddenly, the Wings look like a team gathering energy.

At times it was like tense old times, as the Wings dominated the puck but kept firing into a hot goalie. It went from old times — Pavel Datsyuk was tremendous again — to new times when four playoff newcomers combined on the play that won it.

It began with a pass from Jakub Kindl to Joakim Andersson, who whipped a long pass to Gustav Nyquist, who made a nifty move to control the puck. Nyquist pushed it straight at Jonas Hiller, who left a juicy rebound for Brunner, and determination was rewarded. When Brunner slammed it past Hiller, the already-raucous Joe Louis Arena crowd erupted.

Gradually, youth is being served. Nyquist scored an overtime winner earlier in the series and rookie Brendan Smith tallied the Wings' first goal in this game.

"It's unbelievable to see how everybody's stepped up and played so strong," Smith said. "These guys are playing huge minutes and not even acting like young guys, and I have to throw myself in there, I'm a rookie too."

In fact, on the winning goal, the Wings had five playoff novices on the ice, including rookie Brian Lashoff, and one veteran — goalie Jimmy Howard. Do they still make plenty of mistakes, especially on defense? Oh yes, but the more pressure they face, the more confidence they gain, the more their chances grow.