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Red Wings gut out regulation win against Maple Leafs

Mar 18, 2014, 10:36 PM EDT

Gustav Nyquist AP

With key players including Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on the mend for what could be the rest of the stretch run, the Detroit Red Wings will go as far as lesser known players such as Gustav Nyquist will take them.

He took them far enough to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Tuesday, and almost as importantly, he helped Detroit do so in regulation.

That’s not to say that the Red Wings are running on the energy of players anonymous to casual fans alone; Jimmy Howard played a strong game by stopping 31 out of 33 shots while Daniel Alfredsson notched the game-winner. Still, the Red Wings’ staggering playoff streak may come down to guys who would normally play a far smaller role.

(Some might see it as a blessing in disguise for a team heavy on veterans, but those claims may be fainter if Detroit misses the playoffs.)

It doesn’t hurt Detroit’s odds that teams like the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators lost tonight, either.

From Toronto’s perspective, they’ve now lost two in a row and fall below .500 on the road (14-15-7 in that regard). They have 80 points in 70 games played, leaving them vulnerable against Detroit and other bubble teams.

The Maple Leafs probably want Jonathan Bernier back as soon as possible; bad luck or not, James Reimer now only has one win in his last seven appearances (1-4-0 with two non-decisions).

  1. LampyB - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    All the Reimer fans have disappeared. My god does anyone remember how many Leafs fans were pissed about the Bernier transaction?

    I guess it goes to show how ignorant they are in Toronto. No way Quick’s understudy could pose a threat to the guy who coughed up 4 goals in a game 7 last year!!!

  2. 13datsyuk13 - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    Go Wings!

  3. wingsfan13 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    Good win for boys last night, but we are down another player this time a D-man Ericsson. The wings need to get healthy in a hurry or the 22 year streak ends !

    • joey4id - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Winning 9 of their last 14 games is going to be near impossible considering the injuries to their key players. That’s unfortunate for such a great organization.

  4. pastabelly - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    Detroit got themselves back in the discussion for one of the two wild cards with Toronto, Columbus, NY, and Washington.

  5. pwshrugged - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Given that they have 2 more games remaining than some of their Wild Card competition, the Wings actually have a measure of control over their playoff destiny. But they need to win to maintain it. It’s really that simple now: win games.

    14 games left. Unless someone ahead of them goes on a major skid, I think they need to win at least 10, and they definitely need to win their games against Toronto/Columbus/Montreal coming up.

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