DETROIT -- It's a number that usually astounds those who aren't very familiar with it.
The number 21 is how many consecutive seasons the Detroit Red Wings have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Usually it's a secondary thought around Detroit and it keeps growing by one each year almost automatically.
Then this season came along. Suddenly the Red Wings' playoff streak is in jeopardy with three games left in the regular season. Detroit (21-16-8) is ninth in the Western Conference with 50 points, one back of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final postseason spot, and the Red Wings have a game in hand on the Blue Jackets heading into the NBC Sports Network's Wednesday Night Rivalry Game against the Los Angeles Kings (7:30 p.m. ET) at Joe Louis Arena.
"I don't think anyone's thinking about it, but it would be sad to have the streak not continue," Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said after Wednesday's morning skate. "If we win all three, we know we're going to be in [the playoffs], so we don't want to take any chances."