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Red Wings get boost from Sheahan, Glendening

by Paul Harris /

DETROIT -- Veteran center Pavel Datsyuk scored the Detroit Red Wings' first goal Tuesday in their 3-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series.

It was the 41st career Stanley Cup Playoff goal for the 36-year-old.

Detroit's other goals came from relatively young centers Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening.

Sheahan's first career playoff goal and point came on the power play early in the third period, and Glendening scored into an empty net with less than a minute left.

The development of Sheahan and Glendening, each in his second NHL season, was a big reason for the Red Wings' success during the regular season.

Sheahan, 23, who centers the third line when Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are apart and the second unit when the two veterans play together on the top forward group, had 13 goals and 23 assists in 79 games.

He was back centering the third line in Game 3, when Justin Abdelkader's return gave Zetterberg a big wing, after playing on the second line and struggling while matched up against Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos in the first two games.

"I think [Sheahan's] a real good player, and anytime you don't play the way you want, sometimes your confidence can be a bit shaken," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said after Game 3. "It was a good opportunity for him tonight. It was nice to see him score a goal. The other thing that happened is he had good shifts."

Glendening's goal was his second of the series. He centers the fourth line with Drew Miller and rookie Landon Ferraro on his wings; they have played well in the series, particularly against the Lightning's dangerous second line in Game 3.

"[Glendening's] an ultra-competitive guy; he's a great player," Babcock said. "He's a good man and he just knows what the right thing is and he does the right thing and he's really competitive,"

Glendening, 25, walked on at the University of Michigan and ultimately became the team captain. He signed a minor-league tryout agreement with Detroit's American Hockey league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, after going undrafted and learned to play center in the AHL.

Glendening had 12 goals and 18 points in 82 games during the regular season. He and Miller are also the Red Wings' top penalty-killers.

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