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Detroit Red Wings win finale in historic Joe Louis Arena

By Bob Duff, The Sports Xchange
The Detroit Red Wings went out winners in the final game at historic Joe Louis Arena on Sunday, April 9, 2017. Photo courtesy Detroit Red Wings via Twitter
The Detroit Red Wings went out winners in the final game at historic Joe Louis Arena on Sunday, April 9, 2017. Photo courtesy Detroit Red Wings via Twitter

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings closed out Joe Louis Arena in fine style.

Forward Riley Sheahan scored his first two goals of the season, and Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg, playing his 1,000th NHL game, had one goal and set up another as the Red Wings downed the New Jersey Devils 4-1 in the final game at the arena they called home since 1979.

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The Red Wings will move into the new Little Caesars Arena next season.

Tomas Tatar also scored for the Red Wings, and Frans Nielsen and Gustav Nyquist contributed two assists apiece.

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John Moore scored a third-period goal for the Devils.

Jimmy Howard made 24 saves for the victory. Cory Schneider took the loss, stopping 31 shots.

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The Red Wings (33-36-13) and the Devils (28-40-14) both missed the playoffs -- the Wings for the first time since 1989-90 and the Devils for the fifth successive season.

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New Jersey got on the board 1:15 in the third period when John Moore rifled a shot over the shoulder of Howard.

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Just 15 seconds later, the Devils thought they had scored again, but after video review it was ruled that Devils forward Taylor Hall kicked the puck past Howard and the goal was disallowed.

Sheahan got his second goal of the game on a Detroit power play with 2:33 left in the third period when he chipped Dylan Larkin's cross-crease pass behind Schneider.

Sheahan opened the scoring 7:09 into the game and ended his season-long goal drought in the process. He skated out in front of Schneider and whipped a high shot past him on the glove side for his first goal since April 5, 2016. The goal came on Sheahan's 107th shot of the season.

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Had Sheahan not scored, he would have become the first forward in NHL history to put 100 shots on goal in a season and not score.

It was 2-0 Wings at 11:19 when Tatar slid the rebound of a Nyquist shot through the legs of the sprawling Schneider for his 25th goal of the season.

Just past the midway mark of the second period, Zetterberg took a pass from Nyquist and beat Schneider with a wrist shot from a sharp angle to increase Detroit's advantage to 3-0.

NOTES: The Wings finished the season 17-17-7 on home ice, avoiding their first losing season at Joe Louis Arena since going 10-26-4 in 1985-86. ... Former Wings captain and current Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was the ceremonial puck dropper. ... Former Red Wings players, including Hall of Famers Larry Murphy and Dino Ciccarelli, donned their skates and helped clean the ice during television timeouts. ... Detroit scratches were Fs Andreas Athanasiou (ribs), Anthony Mantha (broken finger) and Luke Glendening (broken ankle). ... Devils scratches were Fs Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body injury) and Blake Coleman and D Damon Severson. ... John Moore's 12 goals were the most in a season by a Devils D since former Red Wings player Marek Zidlicky also scored 12 for New Jersey in 2013-14. .... The Devils finished 13-20-2 all time at Joe Louis Arena.

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