The Detroit Red Wings' quest for a 22nd straight playoff berth appears to be going down to the wire.
The visiting Red Wings know they probably can't afford to lose to the NHL's worst team Friday night when they try to complete their first season sweep of the Colorado Avalanche in five years.
Detroit (18-14-5) is in seventh place in the crowded Western Conference. Eighth-place St. Louis has 40 points and four other clubs have either 39 or 38.
The Red Wings could have distanced themselves from one of those teams, but fell 4-2 at Phoenix on Thursday. Detroit has dropped three of four since winning five of six.
"It's a huge game for us tomorrow in light of what we did tonight, so we've got to respond," coach Mike Babcock said Thursday.
The lone victory in the Red Wings' last four games was a 3-2 win over Colorado (12-20-4) on Monday, although the lowly Avalanche nearly rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period.
Detroit also beat Colorado 2-1 at home March 5. The Red Wi...