PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Detroit Red Wings clinched a playoff spot for the 23rd consecutive year Wednesday night when Riley Sheahan scored at 18:45 in the 3rd period to force overtime with the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-3.
The Penguins went on to win in a shootout, 4-3, but one point was all the Red Wings needed to secure a spot in the postseason.
Pittsburgh will be the No. 2 seed in the playoffs while Detroit is in a battler for the 7th spot with the Columbus Blue Jackets, meaning this could be a first-round matchup.
The Red Wings opened the scoring about halfway through the 1st period when Tomas Jurco got his stick on a rebound that hit the end glass and bounced in front where he sent it to the back of the net. The Wings held the Penguins scoreless through the 1st with just four shots on goal.
Pittsburgh took advantage of a power play and responded in the 2nd period on a nifty backhand pass from Sidney Crosby to James Neal, who deked around goalie Jonas Gustavsson and put it home.
Neal scored another power play goal in the 2nd period but not before Detroit's Jakub Kindl blasted a shot from the point past Marc-Andre Fleury, who complained of being interfered with by Riley Sheahan. Sheahan made contact with Fleury in the crease after a push from Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik.
The game remained 2-2 until Jussi Jokinen scored just before the halfway point in the 3rd. He tapped home a loose puck behind Gustavsson to make it 3-2.
In a last-minute flurry, the Red Wings tied the game at 18:45 when Riley Sheahan scored, pushing the game into overtime and clinching a playoff spot for Detroit.
The teams exchanged chances in the overtime period, but a shootout was needed to decide which team picked up a 2nd point.
Fleury stopped all three Red Wings shooters. Gustavsson stopped two of three. Jokinen's goal in the 3rd round of the shootout held up to be the winner as Fleury turned away Tomas Tatar.
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