It was the 100th game-winning goal of Shanahan's career. He's fourth all-time behind only Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito and Brett Hull.
"It's a nice milestone. I don't really care about most of them. But that's a big build-up," Shanahan said.
Detroit, which snapped a two-game losing streak, also got a goal from Nicklas Lidstrom and had a 35-15 shots advantage. Red Wings goalie Manny Legace held off a Vancouver scramble in front of the net with 41 seconds to play to preserve the lead. The puck actually went over the goal line. But it was ruled that the whistle had
blown before it went in.
"They blew the whistle and we just have to live with that call," Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said. "That's what they saw and it's probably what happened. They were pretty adamant about it."
Anson Carter scored for Vancouver, which lost its third straight.
Shanahan beat Canucks goalie Alex Auld, who was screened by Steve Yzerman, low on the short side with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.
"I saw Auld peek around him [Yzerman]," Shanahan said. "So I knew he was distressed, so I let it fly."
Shanahan took a pass from Jason Woolley after Yzerman had won a faceoff.
"I was caught looking around the wrong way," Auld said. "I was trying to look over, and I don't know if as I looked over his [Yzerman's] shoulder he [Shanahan] sort of came of came down the wall a little bit, out of my sight. Next thing I knew, they were
cheering. I didn't hear the shot. That happens some times."
Shanahan's 23rd goal of the season came with Vancouver's Brendan Morrison in the penalty box for hooking.
Detroit has 114 shots on goal in its last three games but only five goals to show for it. But the Red Wings also have limited their opponents to only 57 shots and six goals in those same three games.
"We're playing real strong in our own end," Lidstrom said. "We're not giving up a lot of shots and Manny only has to make one save and we're clearing the rebound."
Lidstrom's five-on-three power-play goal for Detroit tied it at 1 with 8:57 left in the second period. He beat Auld with a one-time slap shot from the top of the left circle off a pass from Robert Lang.
Carter's goal opened the scoring with 7:50 left in the first period. After taking a pass from Daniel Sedin, Carter cut in on Legace off the left wing and slid in a backhand shot as he skated across the crease.
Vancouver defenseman Ed Jovanovski missed the game because of a groin injury. ... Canucks center Matt Cooke missed his fifth game with an ankle injury. ... With an assist on Lidstrom's goal, Detroit defenseman Mathieu Schneider stretched his point streak to five games (4-2-6).
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Joe Louis Arena Location: Detroit, Michigan
Referees: Don Koharski, Mike Leggo Linesmen: Mark Pare, Dan Schachte
Attendance: 20,066 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Anson Carter (19)
Assists: Daniel Sedin, Mattias Ohlund
Nicklas Lidstrom (10)
(Power Play) Assists: Robert Lang, Mathieu Schneider
Brendan Shanahan (23)
(Power Play) Assists: Jason Woolley, Steve Yzerman