Apr 29, 2013, 10:53 AM EDT
In Detroit, “The Streak” lives on.
The Streak, of course, is a string of consecutive playoff appearances that reached 22 seasons thanks to Saturday’s 3-0 victory over the Dallas Stars.
The win was largely due to captain Henrik Zetterberg.
Zetterberg, in his first year wearing the “C”, scored two goals against the Stars — including the game winner — and avoided the ignominy of captaining the first Detroit team to miss the playoffs since 1989-90.
“This is why he’s captain,” Pavel Datsyuk told MLive.com. “He just played hard the whole season. When we needed, he stepped in and pulled the team.”
Detroit won its final four games of the season to get into the postseason, and Zetterberg played a key role in all four.
He had 10 points (2G-8A) as the Wings matched their season-long winning streak at the timeliest part of the year.
In other weekend action…
– On Sunday, the Ottawa Senators came up with a key 4-2 win over Boston in the NHL’s regular-season finale to sort out playoff matchups in the Eastern Conference.
The victory put Ottawa into the No. 7 seed, one spot higher than it had last year.
That result was important to captain Daniel Alfredsson.
“We talked about mostly finishing better than last year,” Alfredsson explained. “We were eighth last year, so to win here the last game and finish seventh it feels really good.
“We improved on last year, and that’s what we wanted.”
The Senators will now take on the Canadiens in Round 1, while the Bruins will face the Leafs. In the other Eastern matchups, No. 1 Pittsburgh will take on the eighth-seeded Islanders, while the Caps and Rangers will meet in the 3-6 series.
– Saturday night was a rough one for Roberto Luongo.
The Canucks netminder was shelled for five goals in just under four minutes during the third period of a 7-2 loss to Edmonton.
Some suggested the loss could affect Luongo mentally, especially if he has to relieve injured No. 1 netminder Cory Schneider in the playoffs.
Alternate captain Kevin Bieksa said the entire Canucks team had to shake off the loss.
“It was not the ideal way to finish the season, but we’ll have to put this one behind us and get ready for the first game of the playoffs,” he told TSN. “There is never an excuse for seven goals against. We were playing well for 50 minutes and felt good about our game and made a couple of mistakes and it snowballed.
“You’re not going to win too many playoff games unless you put forth a 60-minute effort, so we have to be better.”
The Canucks will now take on the Sharks in the opening round. In other Western action, top-seeded Chicago will face Minnesota, LA will battle with St. Louis and the Red Wings will take on the Ducks.
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