LARRY LAGE, AP Hockey Writer
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings shook up their shootout plan and it paid off.
Riley Sheahan scored in a shootout and had a tying goal in the second period, helping Detroit beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Tuesday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
Andreas Athanasiou sealed the victory by scoring in the shootout after Petr Mrazek stopped two shots in one-on-one duels, deeming the Blue Jackets’ final attempt unnecessary.
Sheahan and Athanasiou, both of whom didn’t have a previous shootout attempt this season, essentially replaced Brad Richards and Gustav Nyquist, and the Red Wings won for just the second time in seven shootouts.
“We’ve obviously gone with the guys who have the best numbers historically and recently and in recent years, but it hasn’t worked,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “It was a bit of a hunch.”
Athanasiou acknowledged being surprised when he heard Blashill say his name behind the bench.
“I think he just went off a feeling,” the rookie said.
Columbus’ Boone Jenner broke a scoreless tie late in the first period. Sheahan tied it in the second with Detroit’s first short-handed goal this season.
Mrazek made 28 saves for the Red Wings. Curtis McElhinney stopped 27 shots for the Blue Jackets.
Both goaltenders were strong in overtime, making saves that sent the game to a shootout.
“I have absolutely no complaints about the way we played,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “I thought that we were the better team in the third period. The thing that came back to bite us was that we had so many odd-man opportunities where we wound up not even getting a shot.”
Detroit avoided a season-long, five-game skid in its one game back at home after a winless trip and before playing in an outdoor game Saturday at Colorado and then at Dallas on Monday night.
Columbus, the last-place team in the Metropolitan Division, had won three straight on the road. The Blue Jackets earned a point for the 11th time in 13 games, playing one day after beating Boston on the road.
“We got points in a back-to-back,” McElhinney said. “So it’s not that bad.”
The Blue Jackets went ahead 1-0 18:18 into the game when Jenner outmuscled and outhustled Alexey Marchenko to a loose puck. Jenner then skated to the bottom of the left circle and slipped a wrist shot from a sharp angle between Mrazek and the post on his short side.
Columbus had a chance to take a two-goal lead with its third power play but let Detroit pull into a tie 13:59 into the second.
Marchenko made up for his mistake by passing the puck up the ice into open space where Sheahan skated to it and scored, ending his team’s scoreless streak that spanned the equivalent of about two games.
“Marchy made a great play there at the line,” Sheahan said. “He does a great job of breaking up plays like that. He just put it into space and I had a step on the guy and saw the lane and got a fortunate bounce.”
NOTES: The Red Wings activated Niklas Kronwall (knee) from long-term injured reserve before the game, sending D Jakub Kindl to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and putting him on waivers. … Jenner’s 22nd goal put him into a tie with Brandon Saad for the most on the team. … The Red Wings honored defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last fall and will play for their alumni team Friday night against former Colorado Avalanche players. .. Columbus had won eight of the previous 10 matchups with Detroit. … Red Wings F Tomas Tatar has gone a career-long eight games without a point.
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