DETROIT (AP) - Despite a furious rally that erased a two-goal deficit with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in regulation, the Ducks couldn't survive the opening sequence of overtime, and fell 4-3 on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Henrik Zetterberg scored his second goal 1:04 into OT to send the series back to Anaheim for Game 7 on Sunday.
Zetterberg's OT winner foiled an impressive late-game comeback for Anaheim, who got goals from Emerson Etem and Bobby Ryan 51 seconds apart to pull the Ducks into a 3-3 tie.
Detroit's Jimmy Howard made 34 saves, all in regulation, and Jonas Hiller stopped 25 shots.
Zetterberg's first goal snapped a career-long, seven-game postseason skid - dating to last year's first-round exit against Nashville - and was the 52nd of his career in the playoffs. He has an NHL-high 50 goals in the playoffs since 2006.
Pavel Datsyuk netted the Red Wings' first goal of the pressure-packed game and Justin Abdelkader 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.
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.
Soon after Anaheim killed the penalty, Abdelkader made it 3-1 with a goal from a sharp angle along the boards.
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.
Datsyuk created some space as if the Red Wings had an extra skater late in the first period, He took a pass in the left circle from Zetterberg and skated to the slot to get off a shot that Hiller didn't see because Abdelkader was obstructing his view.
It was Datsyuk's second goal of the series and Zetterberg's fourth assist.
Palmieri's third goal of the series made it 1-1 midway through the second period.
Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey couldn't clear the puck, Etem picked it off and set Palmieri up for a shot that hit a post and caromed off Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith and past Howard.
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.