Photo by Andrew Knapik/MiHockey

Sheahan breaks through to lift Red Wings over Devils in Joe Louis Arena finale

Photo by Andrew Knapik/MiHockey

By @StefanKubus –

DETROIT – Forty-some octopi and two Riley Sheahan goals later, the Detroit Red Wings left the Joe Louis Arena ice surface victorious.

On the one-year anniversary of his last goal, Sheahan opened the scoring and then closed it by scoring late in the third period – the final goal in the history of The Joe, as Detroit Red Wings recorded a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils in the season finale.

“It’s pretty cool, there’s a lot of things I’ll remember in my career, and that’s definitely one of them,” Sheahan said. “I guess in the bigger picture, it’s unfortunate that it came so late. That’s the one thing that goes through my mind, but it’s pretty cool and something that I’ll take with the rest of my career.”

As was visible from the goal celebration, his teammates were just as thrilled as he was about the emotional night, too.

“When he got his first one, I almost jumped out of my skates,” netminder Jimmy Howard said. “I was so happy for him, had a smile from ear-to-ear… It was really exciting for him.”

Sheahan said of his teammates: “They’re a very supportive group. I think that game gave me a little bit of a boost tonight, so it felt pretty good.”

Howard recorded the win between the pipes, while Tomas Tatar and captain Henrik Zetterberg – in his 1,000th career game – also scored for the Wings.

Sheahan first struck at the 7:09 mark of the first period with his first goal since April 9, 2016 – the 2015-16 season finale against the New York Rangers. Frans Nielsen and Darren Helm picked up the helpers.

“It was kind of a blur; Nielsen made a great play on the first one, just found a little patience and got a decent shot off,” Sheahan said of the goal.

Tatar added his 25th of the season just 4:10 later to put the Wings up by a pair early. Gustav Nyquist and captain Henrik Zetterberg drew the assists. Zetterberg was skating in his 1,000th career game.

Zetterberg then added a goal of his own at 10:18 of the middle frame, after taking a nifty Nyquist pass at the goal line and roofing it over Schneider.

“The second one was just a good bounce there through the crease, had a wide-open net so it was nice to get a bounce like that,” Sheahan said.

Early in the final period, the Devils came on, as defenseman John Moore found the back of the net to break Howard’s shutout at 1:15 of the period.

Shortly after, it appeared to be a 3-2 game, as Taylor Hall thought he scored a good goal. However, after video review, it was determined that Hall had kicked the puck into the net, and the call on the ice was overturned.

Sheahan potted his second of the game and second of the season at 17:27 of the third period to extend the Wings’ lead to three. It was that goal that closed out the game and will forever be the answer to a trivia question.

“It’s awesome, and there’s no words to describe it,” Sheahan said. “I think just the biggest thing for me was the support of [my family] and seeing my teammates… just a great group of guys, great family atmosphere with the Wings organization.”

MiHockey Staff

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