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game recap

Sheahan leads Red Wings past Wild

Forward has a goal and an assist, helps Detroit tie Flyers for second Eastern wild card

by Paul Harris / Correspondent

DETROIT - Riley Sheahan had a goal and an assist, and the Detroit Red Wings held on for a desperately needed 3-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Joe Louis Arena on Friday.

The Red Wings tied the Philadelphia Flyers, who have two games in hand, for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and remain one point behind the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division. Boston defeated St. Louis 6-5 Friday.

"I think for the last few years this is the way it's been we've had to battle our way into the playoffs and it's no different this year," said Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist, who had an assist. "We know we control our own fate. We still have them (Bruins, next Thursday in Boston). As long as we keep winning we're good."

Minnesota is five points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card from the Western Conference; the Avalanche, who lost to the Washington Capitals 4-2, have one game in hand. The Wild trail the Nashville Predators by four points for the first wild card.

Video: MIN@DET: Sheahan slips loose puck around Dubnyk

"They got the huge two points and we didn't," Wild center Mikael Granlund said. "Now we go to Winnipeg (Sunday) and see what happens then."

Dylan Larkin and Tomas Tatar scored for Detroit (39-28-11). Jimmy Howard made 20 saves.

"I thought our team did a great job of playing in the O-zone," Sheahan said. "The [defensemen] were doing a good job of gapping up and keeping pucks in and getting them to the net, so I think overall we did a good job. One of our goals was to get in front of the net and banging away at some rebounds."

Jonas Brodin and Granlund scored for Minnesota (38-30-11). Zach Parise and Ryan Suter each had two assists, and Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves.

Video: MIN@DET: DeKeyser deflects a shot to save a goal

"Obviously, you don't get the result you wanted, you can't say you played well," Wild forward Charlie Coyle said. "They had good puck support and had a lot of time playing in our zone."

Granlund made it 3-2 at 9:43 of the third period. He beat Howard with a wrist shot from the right circle for his 12th goal.

Larkin's power-play goal gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with 7:08 left in the first period. His shot from the right circle deflected off the shaft of the stick of Suter and fluttered over the left shoulder of Dubnyk into the net. It was Larkin's 23rd goal and gave him 45 points, the most for a Red Wings rookie since Nicklas Lidstrom had 60 in 1991-92.

Tatar made it 2-0 for Detroit 2:32 into the second period. He beat Dubnyk on the short side with a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle at a bad angle after a no-look pass from Nyquist. It was Tatar's 21st goal.

Video: MIN@DET: Tatar banks in Nyquist's no-look feed

"We have these kind of plays," Tatar said. "We even talk about it, when you see something, like maybe right behind, just throw it there and I'm going to try to sneak behind the post. It worked today, which is great. He made a beautiful pass."

Brodin made it 2-1 with 3:18 left in the second. He beat Howard with a one-time slap shot from the right point just inside the blue line. It was Brodin's second goal.

"I think until they scored their second goal, we were not playing our game and then we started to play or game," Granlund said.

Sheahan, who was originally credited with Larkin's goal, scored 2:08 into the third when he put in a rebound to make it 3-1. It was Sheahan's 13th goal and fourth in five games. He has two assists in that span.

"I don't know, just kind of building off some points I guess and some puck luck for sure, and playing with some good players," Sheahan said. "I think all of these guys in the offensive zone are capable of making plays, so I thought [Tatar] and [Nyquist] did a great job tonight and it was a lot of fun playing."

Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon didn't play because of a lower-body injury, and forward Tomas Vanek returned after missing a game with an upper-body injury.

Video: Tatar, Larkin and Sheahan score in 3-2 win over Wild

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