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Sheahan scores two goals, helps Red Wings hold off Canadiens 4-3

Detroit Red Wings center Riley Sheahan (15) scores on Montreal Canadiens goalie Ben Scrivens (40) in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 24, 2016 in Detroit.

Paul Sancya/AP

Riley Sheahan scored a career-high two goals to help Detroit take a four-goal lead into the third period and the Red Wings held on to beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 Thursday night.

Sheahan's second goal came 12 seconds after Luke Glendening scored early in the second, then Anthony Mantha's first NHL goal gave the Red Wings a 4-0 lead late in the period.

Montreal's Tomas Plekanec scored in the opening minute of the third. Paul Byron and Max Pacioretty followed with goals to pull Montreal within a goal.

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Petr Mrazek kept the lead and had 26 saves for the Red Wings, who are in a tightly contested race for a wild-card spot in the hopes of extending their post-season streak to 25 seasons.

Ben Scrivens stopped 36 shots for the Canadiens.

Montreal has lost nine of 13, moving closer to being eliminated from the playoff race.

The Canadiens were in the playoffs the previous three years, winning a total of three series, but they have not been able to overcome the loss of Carey Price. The reigning Hart and Vezina Trophy winner has been out four months with a lower-body injury.

Montreal's All-Star defenceman, P.K. Subban, missed his seventh straight game with a neck injury.

Mrazek started for the first time since March 15, returning from an illness.

He had a big cushion after two periods.

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Sheahan broke a scoreless tie with 1:14 left in the first period after Detroit failed to take advantage of two power plays.

The Red Wings matched a season high with 21 shots in the second period and scored three times.

Mantha, who is from Longueuil, Quebec, scored his first goal in his fifth NHL game. He had a lot of family at the game, including his grandfather, Andre Pronovost. He was a four-time Stanley Cup champion and four-time All-Star with the Canadiens and also played for Detroit for three seasons toward the end of his career in the mid-1960s.

The Red Wings seemed to set themselves up for an easy victory with three goals in the second period and a 4-0 lead.

Montreal had other ideas, scoring three times within the first 7:50 of the third period. The Canadiens had a 6-on-4 advantage with Scrivens pulled for the final 16 seconds, but couldn't get the puck past Mrazek.

NOTES: Detroit, which is 19-12-6 at home, hosts Pittsburgh on Saturday and Buffalo on Monday night. ... Canadiens C David Desharnais played, returning from a 17-game absence because of a foot injury. ... Detroit had given up the first goal in nine of its previous 10 games, losing six of them.

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