Red Wings can clinch playoff spot with 1 point in Pittsburgh

Detroit needs 1 point to punch ticket to franchise's 23rd consecutive playoff appearance

Headline Goes Here AP Photo/Duane Burleson

Detroit Red Wings' Tomas Tatar (21) watches his goal in the net that was shot past Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) to tie the NHL hockey game at 3-3 during the third period Thursday, March 20, 2014 in Detroit. The Red Wings…

DETROIT - One point is all the Detroit Red Wings need in their final three regular season games to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

It would be the franchise's 23rd consecutive trip to the postseason.

The Wings will be in Pittsburgh Wednesday night to take on the Penguins, the same team they could end up facing in the first round.

The last time these teams met was March 20 when Daniel Alfredsson scored his second goal of the game with 1 second left in overtime to give the Red Wings a 5-4 victory at Joe Louis Arena.

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ABOUT THE RED WINGS (38-27-14): The Red Wings held off the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night to win 4-2 and capture another important two points. Pavel Datsyuk put the game away with an open net goal.

It was coach Mike Babcock's 414th win with Detroit, surpassing legendary Red Wings coach Jack Adams' 413 wins.

The Wings have three games remaining on their schedule. After Pittsburgh they are back in Detroit to host the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. They wrap up the season on Sunday in St. Louis.

Jimmy Howard is expected to get the start Wednesday night. It would be a back-to-back appearance.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (50-24-5): The Penguins beat the Colorado Avalanche in a shootout Sunday night, 3-2.

Otherwise, things have been rather unstable the past few games for the Metropolitan Division champs. The Penguins have endured some late-season injuries, something they and the Red Wings have dealt with all season.

But Pittsburgh's 105 points are enough to lock up the No. 2 playoff seed.


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