Jimmy Howard made 34 saves and Johan Franzen continued his late season surge as the Wings took another step towards the playoffs with a 4-0 over the Phoenix Coyotes Monday night from the Joe.
With their first win in six games, Detroit moved to 50 points on the season, one behind Columbus and Minnesota for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Dallas remains two back of Detroit while Phoenix finds themselves in a very difficult hole with 46 points.
Here’s how things look on the bubble of the Western Conference playoff race (via ProHockeyTalk.com)
7. Minnesota – 51 points with three games left (20 regulation/OT wins)
8. Columbus – 51 points with two games left (17 ROW)
9. Detroit – 50 points with three games left (19 ROW)
10. Dallas – 48 points with three games left (20 ROW)
11. Phoenix – 46 points with three games left (15 ROW)
The Wings still essentially control their own playoff destiny with a game in hand on Columbus and a head to head with Dallas to finish out the season. It also certainly helps playing two of their final three at home against Los Angeles and Nashville before taking to the road for what could be a postseason deciding game against the Stars.
Brunner and Filppula added the other Red Wing tallies while Henrik Zetterberg had three assists on the night. The Wings also scored three of their four goals on the power play with their fourth goal coming on the empty net in the final moments of the third period.
h/t: NBC Sports, AP (photo)