Detroit at Dallas
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 27, 2013
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The Detroit Red Wings attempt to extend their streak of consecutive postseason appearances to 22 when they visit the Dallas Stars on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams. Detroit needs to earn just one point to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 1989-90, as it begins the day one point ahead of both the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets. The Red Wings are heating up at just the right time as they've won three straight games and earned points in seven of their last eight contests (4-1-3).
Dallas made a surprising run toward a postseason berth as it posted a five-game winning streak after dealing Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy at the trade deadline. But the Stars were unable to sustain their strong play and have missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season after going 1-4-1 over their last six contests. Dallas would love nothing better than to end Detroit's postseason streak and win the season series as the clubs split the first two encounters.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, FSN (Detroit)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (23-16-8): Detroit was ravaged by injuries in the lockout-shortened season as 18 different players missed more than 240 combined games. In the last 48-game campaign in 1995, the Red Wings only lost 102 contests due to injury. After watching long-time captain Nicklas Lidstrom hang up his skates, this Red Wings team does not want to be known as the one that failed to keep the franchise's postseason streak alive. "We take a lot of pride in that streak," Johan Franzen told the Detroit News. "We're playing the way we should have been playing the whole season."
ABOUT THE STARS (22-21-4): Dallas was eliminated from playoff contention when Detroit defeated the Nashville Predators on Thursday. So don't think for a second that the Stars wouldn't love to return the favor on Saturday. "We need to grind out this last game and play as well as we can," goaltender Kari Lehtonen said. Defenseman Aaron Rome sat out Thursday's game and also could miss the season finale. "He's been battling a hip that needs surgery," coach Glen Gulutzan said.
1. Even with a regulation loss, Detroit can clinch a playoff spot if Nashville defeats Columbus.
2. Dallas is 12-1-1 in the final home game of the season since 1997.
3. The Red Wings have won five of their last six meetings with the Stars.
PREDICTION: Red Wings 3, Stars 2
Stats and Records