Brendan Shanahan scored his second goal of the game on the power play with 10:21 remaining as the Red Wings extended their winning streak to six games with a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Ranked first in the league on the power play, the Red Wings went scoreless on their first three tries with the extra attacker before breaking through.
Shanahan skated into the left faceoff circle and unleashed a wrist shot that went through the legs of a Blue Jackets defenseman and between the pads of goaltender Marc Denis, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 lead. It was Shanahan’s 23rd goal of the season.
“Sometimes you have to play games like that,” Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said. “It was a funny game right from the start. It started with some good flow early and then we got ourselves into some penalty problems.
“We killed a lot of penalties and then killed some more penalties, had some power plays and it was a power-play goal that wound up winning the hockey game for us.”
Pavel Datsyuk had three assists, helping to set up both of Shanahan’s goals. The Russian center registered two goals and two assists in Sunday’s 5-2 win over Phoenix.
Brett Hull also scored for the Red Wings, who have picked up points in 10 straight games (9-0-0-1) and have opened a four-point lead over second-place St. Louis in the Central Division.
While the Red Wings cashed in on the power play at an opportune time, the Blue Jackets struggled. They went 1-of-5 in the first period and finished 1-of-9.
“We took two retaliation penalties against the best power play in the NHL,” Blue Jackets coach Doug MacLean said. “They are too good of a team to retaliate against. It was a hard-fought game and we deserve to win just as much as they did.”
Manny Legace got the start in goal in place of Curtis Joseph for the Red Wings and responded with a solid game, finishing with 31 saves. He turned aside all 10 shots he faced over the final 20 minutes.
“He played well and was there every time we needed him to be there tonight,” Shanahan said.
Legace’s biggest stop in the third came with just over two minutes remaining when he made a pad save on Jason Allison’s shot from the left circle.
Less than three minutes into the contest, Legace came up big while the Red Wings were shorthanded when he stopped Ray Whitney on a breakaway.
Moments later, Shanahan opened the scoring. Datsyuk skated into the left circle and made a beautiful pass to Shanahan, who tapped the puck past Denis from just to the right of the net.
Shanahan’s goal was just one of two shots in the period for the Red Wings. Columbus peppered Legace with 13 shots, with most of them coming on the power play.
Legace enjoyed the work.
“It was good to get in there early and face some shots,” he said. “The last game I didn’t face many shots. A lot of shots really get you back in the game and get you into a rhythm. It was good to get 13 shots.”
The Blue Jackets cashed in on the power play at 10:13 to tie it. Whitney exacted a measure of revenge on Legace, beating the netminder with a one-timer from the slot for his 19th goal.
Hull gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead 2:02 into the second period. Working down low, defenseman Jason Woolley found Hull in the slot, where he beat Denis with a one-timer for his 28th goal.
Former first-round pick Rostislav Klesla tied it at 10:19 when his shot from down low caromed off the skate of Red Wings center Boyd Devereaux and past Legace. It was Klesla’s first goal in 55 games this season and initial tally since March 14.