Red Wings face LA Kings in quest for playoff berth
Updated On: Apr 24 2013 07:21:00 PM EDT
The Detroit Red Wings attempt to climb back into a playoff spot when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.
Detroit sits in ninth place in the Western Conference, one point behind the Central Division-rival Columbus Blue Jackets for the final postseason berth. The Red Wings have one game in hand and can secure their 22nd consecutive playoff appearance by winning each of their final three contests.
Los Angeles already has clinched a spot in the postseason but is jockeying with the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues for fourth place and home-ice advantage in the first round. The Kings are even in points but own the tiebreaker against the Sharks and are one ahead of the sixth-place Blues.
The reigning Stanley Cup champions missed a golden opportunity to better position themselves on Tuesday, when their road losing streak reached five games with a 2-1 setback against the Minnesota Wild.
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ABOUT THE KINGS (26-15-5): Captain Dustin Brown may have a disciplinary hearing in his near future after elbowing Minnesota's Jason Pominville in the head late in the second period. No penalty was called on the play, but Pominville did not return after the incident. Brown defended himself after the game, stating he had the puck on his stick at the time of the hit.
"He's coming to hit me and I'm just bracing myself," Brown said.
Los Angeles' streak of eight games with a power-play goal came to an end Tuesday. Jonathan Bernier was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (21-16-8): Detroit could receive a boost Wednesday as Todd Bertuzzi appears ready to return from his back injury. If Bertuzzi is deemed not ready following Wednesday morning's skate, he could be in the lineup Thursday against the Nashville Predators in the Red Wings' regular-season home finale. Bertuzzi has not played since Feb. 7 at St. Louis. Jimmy Howard has posted two of his four shutouts this season over his last four starts.
1. Kings C Anze Kopitar has collected nine assists over his last 10 contests but has gone 14 games without a goal.
2. Los Angeles has captured only five of its last 27 visits to Detroit.
3. The home team has won each of the last five games in the all-time series.