Red Wings snatch 1st place with SO win over Coyotes

Chicago, St. Louis both 1 point behind Detroit

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DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings edged their way into first place in the Central Division and Western Conference thanks to a 3-2 shootout win on Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues both lurk one point behind Detroit.

Thursday night's win was Detroit's second shootout victory over the Coyotes this month, and their third in the past week -- the Red Wings topped the Dallas Stars 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday night.

Thursday's win also put Detroit's road record (13-13-0) back at .500.

The Wings host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena. On Monday, the Blues roll into town.

The Western Conference's top eight teams now look like this:

1. Detroit Red Wings -- 63 points
2. Vancouver Canucks -- 60 points
3. San Jose Sharks -- 57 points
4. St. Louis Blues -- 62 points
5. Chicago Blackhawks -- 62 points
6. Nashville Predators -- 58 points
7. Los Angeles Kings -- 56 points
8. Colorado Avalanche -- 52 points

Detroit, Vancouver and San Jose all lead their divisions, which is why Chicago and St. Louis sit at 4th and 5th places.

From a points perspective, three of the top four teams in the Western Conference are of the Central Division.

The Red Wings will have their work cut out for them heading into the second half of this season. They will play Nashville, St. Louis and Chicago a good number of times each.

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