Sheahan, Mrazek lift Wings over Ducks
Anaheim, Calif. — He didn’t get credit for one he may have scored earlier, but there weren’t any issues Sunday with the goal Riley Sheahan scored later on.
Sheahan, whose apparent goal in the first period was erased because of inconclusive video, broke a tie at 16:16 of the third period giving the Red Wings a 2-1 victory in Anaheim.
The victory was the Red Wings’ fourth straight, all on the road, and yet another one-goal game.
“When you can get wins like this in close games, we really work hard to get them,” Sheahan said. “It’s huge for us, it builds your confidence.”
Goalie Petr Mrazek made 30 saves to earn his fourth straight win, all on this current Red Wings’ streak.
On the winning goal Sheahan forced a turnover on Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf in the Anaheim zone. Dylan Larkin got control of the puck, and centered a pass in the high slot to Sheahan, who cleanly beat goalie John Gibson for his seventh goal.
“A broken play,” Sheahan said of the sequence. “We had a chance to get some possession in the offensive zone and Larks made a great pass. I don’t think the goalie was really ready for it. I tried to get it off as quick as possible and luckily it went in.”
But then there was the goal that wasn’t for Sheahan.
In the first period Sheahan launched a shot from the top of the circle that appeared to be snug in the net, under the crossbar, and seemed to hit the interior camera and fly out undetected.
Fox Sports Detroit found a view of it between periods, but video available immediately after the play showed no conclusive goal.
Larkin, who was behind the net, felt it was a goal immediately.
“I saw the net jump so I thought it went in,” Larkin said. “I looked at the last second. We saw the overhead look and obviously it looked like it went in. You just never know.”
Sheahan saw the puck “hit off something and go up” but couldn’t tell if it was a goal.
Nor did coach Jeff Blashill.
“It was weird, from the bench it looked like ‘how did it not go in,' ” Blashill said. “We couldn’t tell where the puck went and then our guys in the back here thought it went in based on what they saw.
“I looked at it between periods and I didn’t see it a definitive view. I still haven’t seen a definitive view. Someone told me they thought it went in but I haven’t seen that yet.”
What Blashill did see, though, was another impressive win by his team.
“It was an unreal hockey game,” Blashill said. “Both teams pushed back and forth. It ebbed and flowed and there were great chances both ways.
“Both goalies were really good and certainly Petr was a big factor in the win.”
Tomas Tatar — on the game’s first shift 16 seconds into the game — and Anaheim’s Corey Perry traded first-period goals.
The Red Wings raised their record to 17-3-7 in one-goal decisions.
“So many of them,” Mrazek said of the one-goal games. “I don’t even think you realize it, you just play. You try to be focused and don’t let in any goals.”
And with Tatar’s goal, and the victory, the Red Wings built on another impressive statistic: they are now a staggering 20-4-4 when scoring the game’s first goal.
“The way the game is going, the way every game is a one-goal game, anytime you can get the lead and in the end the longer you have the lead, the better you are,” Blashill said. “We feel comfortable, obviously they came back and tied it, but the longer it’s tied we feel comfortable in those spots, too.”
The four-game win streak is a season-high for the Red Wings, and comes after the team had a three-game losing streak.
“The thing about this team, and I talked about it when I got the job, we have a great culture and leadership group,” Blashill said. “We understand there’s an ebb and flow to the season and you’re going to go through stretches where you win and lose.
“You have to make those win streaks as long as you can and quell the losing streak as quick as you can. We’ve done a good job of that.”
One drawback from the victory — forward Drew Miller sustained a lower-body injury in the third period and will have an MRI Monday.