Raleigh, N.C. — The Red Wings’ incredible streak of making the playoffs 25 consecutive seasons could be over as soon as this evening.
If the Red Wings lose in regulation Tuesday night in Carolina, Boston defeats Nashville, and Toronto earns at least one point against Florida, Detroit is officially eliminated.
The Red Wings currently have 74 points with only seven games remaining — meaning the most they can finish with is 88 points.
Toronto has 85 points with eight games left. Boston has 84 points with seven games on its schedule.
Boston (37 regulation and overtime victories) and Toronto (34) also own the tiebreaker over the Red Wings (23), in terms of total amount of victories in regulation and overtime.
The Red Wings have been finishing the season impressively, with Monday’s 4-3 overtime victory marking their fifth win in the last seven games (5-1-1).
“Our guys are playing hard and that’s a credit for the character of this group,” coach Jeff Blashill said.
The Red Wings’ playoff streak is the longest in any of the four major professional North American sports.
The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs own the next longest, having made the playoffs 20 consecutive seasons.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are about to make the playoffs for the 11th consecutive season – the current longest in NHL.
Tonight's game in Raleigh is the third game in three nights for the Red Wings, who have defeated Minnesota and Carolina – both in overtime – the previous two evenings.
The Red Wings will be without forward Luke Glendening (lower body), who was injured Monday against the Hurricanes. The Red Wings recalled forward Ben Street from Grand Rapids Tuesday morning to add depth to the roster.