Found April 25, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
DETROIT -- When it counts the most, the Red Wings are finally doing everything they've wanted to do. Now they'll need to do it once more, this time on the road. After a 5-2 victory over the hapless Nashville Predators on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena, the Wings moved into seventh place in the Western Conference with 54 points ahead of the idle Minnesota Wild. The Wild host the Edmonton Oilers Friday and visit the Colorado Avalanche Saturday, so they have a game in hand. The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Dallas Stars, 3-1, Thursday and are tied with the Wild with 53 points. The Wings travel to Dallas on Saturday only needing a point to clinch their 22nd straight playoff appearance because they hold the tiebreaker over the Blue Jackets. "We haven't done anything yet," captain Henrik Zetterberg said before the Blue Jackets had won. "We're not in there still. We got one more game here. Just going to go to Dallas, take care of business." For the first time all season, the Wings have scored more than three goals in three straight games -- all wins. And it couldn't have come at a more opportune time. "Usually the easy play is the smartest play right now -- keeping it straight and simple, and throwing it at the net and look for rebounds," said Johan Franzen, who has seven goals in his last seven games. "Maybe in the beginning of the year, we were trying to make more fancy plays on the outside. "Now when were really desperate, were starting to play like we should." Wings coach Mike Babcock said the Wings have battled through injuries and a transition period after the retirement of future Hall of Fame defenseman Nick Lidstrom to get to this point. "I think we've gotten a lot better as a team," Babcock said. "All you got to do is look back at our first segment -- our penalty killing was 70 percent and our power play for 0-for. "We just continued to get better as a team. That's what happens when you have young people, especially with no training camp." Babcock said he saw positive signs from his team, even when the results weren't necessarily there. "What happened was, you keep getting better so you earn confidence to feel good about yourself," he said. "That's over a long period of time. We were playing real well before we started winning. "... Our team's not the same. We're the first to admit it. That doesn't mean we're not allowed to grow a new product while they're (the fans are) watching us. They've been fantastic in supporting us, and we're grateful for that." Another factor in the Wings' recent success is some consistency in the lineup. Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have found their Euro Twin magic playing together on a line with Justin Abdelkader, who scored his 10th goal of the season Thursday. Valtteri Filppula, who won an astounding 13 of 16 face-offs Thursday and scored his 100th career goal, has clicked with Franzen and Daniel Cleary. "Weve got some good chemistry going, I think, and when (Clearys) at the net and the way Fil was taking draws, it really helps us, as well," Franzen said. "Its a lot easier to play with the puck than to go get it." Joakim Andersson has looked good centering Gustav Nyquist and Damien Brunner. And the fourth line of Cory Emmerton, Patrick Eaves and Jordin Tootoo has been working well together. Eaves got the game-winning goal. "Just contributing feels good," Eaves said. "Our line had a great night (Wednesday) night and then we had another great night (Thursday night), so we're having fun out there." On defense, newcomer Danny DeKeyser and Jakub Kindl have become a reliable pair to go along with top pair Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson. Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey seem to have meshed, too, after playing together a bit last season. If the Wings are able to take what they've done at home to Dallas, then they'll be back in the playoffs. "So far so good," Kronwall said. "We got one more big one to go. We'll take this for what it is. "We put ourselves in a good situation. Hopefully, we can take care of business on Saturday."

Franzen injured, may miss Thursday's game

DETROIT The Red Wings might have to try to win Thursday without one of their top scorers. Wings coach Mike Babcock said Johan Franzen, who is second on the team with 13 goals, was not able to finish Wednesday night's 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. "Don't know a whole bunch," Babcock said. "They just took him off the bench, or made him sit on the bench...

Red Wings playoff scenarios

If you need to know how the Red Wings can clinch a berth to their 22nd straight playoffs, it has been presented to us succinctly by The Detroit News:  *Earn at least one point in Dallas on Saturday, ending regulation time with a tie. *If Columbus loses at home Saturday against Nashville, the Red Wings will make the playoffs regardless of what they do in Dallas. *If the...

Speculation Of Babcock Coaching At U of M Shot Down

Some wild speculation surrounding Mike Babcock's future with the Red Wings and his potential job prospects. More ahead on NHL on TSN. — Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 27, 2013   Suggestions Babcock will be Red Berenson's successor at U of Mich. Babcock says not true. 2 yrs left on deal with Det and he's very happy. — Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger...

Wings move into 7th place

The Detroit Red Wings are playing as though they have no intention of their long streak of playoff appearances ending this year. Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists, and Detroit moved a step closer to its 22nd consecutive postseason berth with a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. The Red Wings, who moved into seventh place in the Western Conference, need...

Fisher scores in return, but Wings overpower Preds

DETROIT -- Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists and the Detroit Red Wings moved a step closer to their 22nd straight playoff appearance with a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. The Red Wings, who moved into seventh place in the Western Conference, need one more point to secure their spot in the postseason. They own the longest current playoff streak in North...

GARTH: Happy Anniversary, May Day

I know where I was, twenty years ago today, at the very moment that Brad May shocked the hockey world. I was at my friend Dave's wedding reception. Me and 100 of the wedding guests were camped out in the hotel bar. All due respect to Dave and his lovely bride and their families, I led the exodus to the smoky bar to watch the "May Day" moment on the Sony Trinitron...

Red Wings-Predators game-day updates: Johan Franzen’s a ‘game-time decision’, but Mule says he’s in

Update: Franzen says he's in: The Detroit Red Wings still face a must-win situation against the Nashville Predators tonight (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/FS Tennessee/97.1 FM) despite defeating the Los Angeles Kings last night, and at least initially, the morning skate gave no indications as to Johan Franzen's status for this evening... Very optional practice this morning at...

Red Wings 5, Predators 2

Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists and the Detroit Red Wings moved a step closer to their 22nd straight playoff appearance with a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. The Red Wings, who moved into seventh place in the Western Conference, need one more point to secure their spot in the postseason. They own the longest current playoff streak in North American...

Red Wings in Playoff Contention Again

    The Red Wings come through once again, pulling themselves into 8th place, and playoff contention by 1 point over Columbus, in a 3-1 victory over the Kings. The Red Wings finally came out and played like a team that has something to prove right off the get-go. While there were no goals in [...]

Red Wings-Stars Preview

The Detroit Red Wings find themselves in an unfamiliar situation as their bid to extend a 21-year playoff streak comes down to the regular-season finale. It's a position the eliminated Dallas Stars definitely envy, though. Detroit looks to clinch yet another Western Conference postseason berth by earning a point on the road Saturday night against a Dallas team hoping to play...

Predators-Red Wings Preview

Now that the Detroit Red Wings control their own destiny, they hope to make it count. After their latest victory moved them back into playoff position, the Red Wings look for a third straight win Thursday night when they face the visiting Nashville Predators, whom they've shut out in the last two meetings. Detroit (22-16-8) has earned at least one point in six of seven games...

Red Wings move back into eighth

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Wings move into 8th with win

The Detroit Red Wings moved a step closer toward extending their postseason streak to 22 with a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night. Jordin Tootoo netted the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and Johan Franzen scored on a power play with 6:26 left, lifting Detroit into eighth place in the Western Conference. The Red Wings, who have won two straight games...

Detroit Red Wings Playoff Tracker, April 26: Minnesota Wild Facing Huge Home Game

As the Detroit Red Wings try to qualify for their 22nd consecutive postseason, we’re taking a daily look at the key games that could impact that pursuit. Those pesky Columbus Blue Jackets just will not go away. The Red Wings could have clinched a playoff spot Thursday night, thanks to a comeback 5-2 win over the Predators, had the Blue Jackets fallen in Dallas. Instead, Columbus...

Mark Spizzirri: JUDGMENT DAY: Predators vs. Wings; Sirius/XM NHL Home Ice at 1:05 ET

Make sure to follow Mark on Twitter! A rock-solid 3-1 victory on Wednesday night for the Detroit Red Wings allowed them to springboard past the idle Columbus Blue Jackets and take sole position of 8th place in the NHL's Western Conference. With all teams remaining in the playoff hunt left with 2 games to play, the Red Wings continue to "control their destiny"...
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