The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 to move into the final playoff spot in the National Hockey League’s Western Conference.
The Red Wings (22-16-8) have 52 points, one more than the Columbus Blue Jackets (22-17-7). The Minnesota Wild are seventh in the standings, one point ahead of Detroit.
The Red Wings haven’t missed the postseason since 1990 and brought the Stanley Cup back to Detroit for a U.S. record-extending 11th time in 2008.
Detroit has two games left in the regular season, tonight at home against the Nashville Predators and on April 27 at the Dallas Stars.
Minnesota hosts the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow and completes its schedule the following night at the Colorado Avalanche. The Blue Jackets are at the Stars, who have 48 points for 10th place in the standings, tonight and wrap up their regular season on April 27 against the visiting Nashville Predators.
Kyle Clifford put the Kings ahead in the second period at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit last night and Pavel Datsyuk tied it five minutes later. Goals from Jordin Tootoo and Johan Franzen in the third period gave the win to the home team.
Tonight, the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets, who are battling for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, are in action.
The Rangers, who are tied with Ottawa on 52 points for seventh place in the standings, can clinch a playoff berth with an eighth consecutive win against the Carolina Hurricanes. New York also would advance to the postseason if the Jets lose their regular-season finale in regulation play to the Montreal Canadiens, or if both the Jets and Rangers earn a point.
The Senators will also reach the playoffs with a win at the Southeast Division-champion Washington Capitals.