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Red Wings win last game at Joe Louis Arena

Riley Sheahan scores first two goals of season to lift Detroit past Devils in finale at iconic rink

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings won their final game at Joe Louis Arena with a 4-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

Fans gave the Red Wings a standing ovation when they took the ice for pregame warmups. Steve Yzerman, the former Red Wings captain, was cheered when he dropped the ceremonial first puck between Henrik Zetterberg of Detroit and Andy Greene of New Jersey.

"There are so many memories that all of us will take away from today, starting with walking in on a red carpet with all the Red Wings legends and seeing (Yzerman) back on the ice at the Joe," Justin Abdelkader said. "The crowd was incredible all night. We'll never forget this."

The Red Wings will begin play at Little Caesars Arena next season.

 

WATCH: All Devils vs. Red Wings highlights

 

"We talk all the time about how lucky we have been to work for the Detroit Red Wings and play in this building," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We're moving to a beautiful new building, but this whole day was unlike anything I've experienced in hockey, and it was a fitting ending for this arena."

Riley Sheahan, who hadn't scored in 79 games this season, scored twice for Detroit (33-36-13), and Zetterberg had a goal and an assist in his 1,000th career regular-season game.

"I've never had goosebumps that many times during a hockey game in my entire life," said Zetterberg, who received a Rolex watch from the Red Wings in a pre-game ceremony. "It was an incredible night."

Sheahan gave Detroit a 1-0 lead at 7:09 of the first period with a wrist shot into the top of the net. It was his first goal since April 9, 2016.

Video: NJD@DET: Sheahan nets second, last goal at The Joe

"It is kind of a blur," he said. "Frans made a great pass and I just tried to stay patient and get it into the net. It was such a relief to finally get one. I just wish it had come a lot earlier in the season."

Tomas Tatar made it 2-0 at 11:19, knocking a rebound past Cory Schneider for his 25th goal.

Zetterberg's 17th goal put the Red Wings ahead 3-0 at 10:18 of the second.

John Moore made it 3-1 at 1:15 of the third with his 12th goal of the season. Taylor Hall put the puck in the net 14 seconds later, but a video review ruled it was kicked in.

Sheahan ended the scoring with a power-play goal at 17:27 of the third.

"There are a lot of things I will remember about my career, and scoring the last goal here will definitely be one of them," he said. "I'll have that for the rest of my life."

Jimmy Howard made 24 saves for Detroit. Schneider made 31 for the Devils (28-40-14).

"When we pulled up to the arena and saw all of the fans lined up at the red carpet, we knew this was going to be a special day," Schneider said. "I think this was good for our young guys, because it gave them a chance to experience what a playoff game will be like."

Video: NJD@DET: Howard makes a nice sprawling save on Hall

 

Goal of the game

The Red Wings led 2-0 in the second period when Gustav Nyquist intercepted a clearing attempt and slid the puck to Zetterberg at the side of the net. He immediately shot it past Schneider to send the crowd into another ovation.

Video: NJD@DET: Zetterberg buries wrister in 1,000th game

 

Save of the game

There was almost another milestone in the first 90 seconds of the game, but Schneider was able to get his left shoulder in front of what would have been Red Wings forward Matt Lorito's first NHL goal.

Video: NJD@DET: Schneider shoulders away Lorito's wrister

 

Highlight of the game

With Nielsen battling for the puck along the boards, Sheahan moved toward the front of the net, took a pass and beat Schneider on his 107th shot of the season.

"I almost jumped out of my skates I was so excited," Howard said. "I'm sure he could see my grin through my mask."

Video: NJD@DET: Sheahan roofs first goal of the season

 

Unsung performance of the game

Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen had three blocked shots and three hits in 19:23 of ice time.

 

They said it

"I'm not sure what to say except that this was the worst year of my career. We've all got to spend a lot of time working to make sure this doesn't happen again." -- Devils goaltender Cory Schneider.

 

"I thought all the old guys came back to see me for my 1,000th game, but it is good to see them anyway." -- Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg, about the amount of former players gathered for a post-game ceremony.

 

Need to know

The Devils finished last in the Eastern Conference for the first time since 1985-86. … Sheahan would have become the first forward in NHL history to take at least 100 shots in a season without scoring. ... Former Red Wings players Larry Murphy, Darren McCarty, Dino Ciccarelli, Tomas Holmstrom and Joe Kocur came onto the ice with shovels during one TV timeout to clean the ice.

 

What's next

Devils: Season over

Red Wings: Season over

 

Video: Red Wings win final game at Joe Louis Arena

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