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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Playoffs: Handicapping The Race

Big road swing up next for Detroit



Moritz Seider, Red Wings
Leading the Islanders by six points for the final Eastern Conference Wild Card, the Red Wings launch a 4-game road trip on Wednesday.

Chafing from back-to-back home-ice losses, the Detroit Red Wings saw another two points chipped away from their lead for an NHL playoff spot on Sunday night. Continuing their impressive run of late, the New York Islanders were whipping the Boston Bruins 5-1.

The Isles hold a game in hand on Detroit and trail the Red Wings by six points in the standings. It was the Islanders who beat Detroit 5-3 Thursday at Little Caesars Arena. Sunday afternoon, the Wings were spanked 4-0 at home by the Florida Panthers. It was the second time this season they’ve been shut out at home by the Panthers.

Let’s look to the week ahead of the Red Wings chase for a playoff spot.

Detroit Red Wings (33-22-6, 72 points)

Games This Week: Wednesday at Colorado; Friday at Arizona; Saturday at Vegas

Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde is aware that things could get ugly quickly for his team. “The biggest thing to staying in these battles is stopping these momentum slides,” Lalonde said. “We knew this would be a tough stretch. Florida, we’re at Colorado and obviously at Arizona, at Vegas back to back. We’re in the hole a little bit. And if you want to stay in this battle, it’s how you get out of these holes.”

That could be easier said than done. They’ve been the losers of six in a row at Colorado. The Avalanche are holding a 31-14 edge on the scoreboard over that span. Detroit is also surprisngly 0-1-2 in the club’s last three visits to Arizona.

New York Islanders (26-20-15, 66 points)

Games This Week: Tuesday vs St. Louis; Thursday at San Jose; Saturday at Anaheim

A Kyle Palmieri hat-trick was pacing the Islanders to their third successive win, a 5-1 drubbing of the Boston Bruins on Sunday night. After Tuesday’s home date with the Blues, the Isles begin a four-game road trip of their own.

Washington Capitals (28-22-9, 65 points)

Games This Week: Monday vs Arizona; Thursday at Pittsburgh; Saturday vs Chicago

Just when it looked as though the Capitals were dead in the water following Tuesday’s 8-3 smacking at Detroit, they rose up and smacked the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Friday. Washington is 5-2 over the past seven games. The Caps are playing three winnable games this week, facing the Coyotes and Blackhawks at home and Penguins on the road.

New Jersey Devils (30-26-4, 64 points)

Games This Week: Monday at Los Angeles; Tuesday vs Florida; Thursday vs St. Louis; Saturday vs Carolina

New Jersey wraps up a road swing Monday at LA. The Kings were 2-1 winners Feb. 15 at New Jersey. The up and down Devils are 1-2 in their last three games and 2-4 over the past six. Latest NHL trade rumors put the Devils in hot pursuit of Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom.