The Detroit Red Wings beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena, taking another step in the right direction as they try to secure a 22nd-consecutive playoff berth.
If the Columbus Blue Jackets had gotten anything less than a win against the Dallas Starts Thursday night, the Red Wings would have clinched a playoff spot. The Jackets won 3-1.
Detroit's 54 points put them in 7th place, one point ahead of the Minnesota Wild and three points ahead of the Blue Jackets, who closed the gap back to one point with their own win.
The Jackets have another game left to play in the regular season, as do the Red Wings.
Johan Franzen had a goal and an assist Thursday night, and Valtteri Filppula, Patrick Eaves and Justin Abdelkader also scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard stopped 20 shots.
Mike Fisher and Craig Smith each had a goal and an assist for Nashville, which got 33 saves from Chris Mason.