Detroit easily has the NHL’s longest active postseason streak, surpassing the second, third and fourth longest runs. San Jose has been to eight straight postseasons, Pittsburgh six while Boston, Philadelphia and Washington are tied with five each.
The Red Wings are on the best postseason roll since the St. Louis Blues were in 25 straight from 1980-2004, and if they make it to 22 later this month, the franchise will break a tie with the 1948-69 Montreal Canadiens for the fifth-longest postseason run in NHL history .
The regular season ends April 27 with 13 games scheduled before the playoffs.
“I’m sure it’s going to come down to the last day for us _ and a lot of teams,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
The Stars have certainly done their part to add intrigue to the race as well by winning five straight games going into Monday night’s game on the road against the NHL-leading Chicago Blackhawks. Dallas has surged into contention, a week after it ranked among the worst teams in the West.
“A lot of people counted us out at the trade deadline,” Stars goaltender Richard Bachman said. “I think we had two choices. One was to just give in and go through the motions and hopefully get some points down the stretch and get ready for summer. Or, to try and prove people wrong.”
The Sharks, the only team other than Detroit to be in every postseason since the 2004-05 lockout, seemed to put themselves in a great position to make their usual appearance in the playoffs by winning seven straight recently. But since then, a little skid has put the Sharks in a logjam with the Blues, Minnesota, Detroit, Dallas and Blue Jackets.
“We control our destiny,” Sharks star Joe Thornton said. “If we play well, we get in. If we don’t, we don’t.”
AP Sports Writer John Wawrow in Buffalo, N.Y., and freelance writer John Tranchina in Dallas contributed to this report.
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