NEW YORK --
The Detroit Red Wings
captured the sixth Presidents’ Trophy
of their history tonight, recording a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets
to assure themselves of finishing the 2007-08 regular season with the best record in the National Hockey League. As reward for the regular-season accomplishment, the Red Wings (53-21-7, 113 points) are guaranteed home-ice advantage throughout their participation in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Presidents’ Trophy was presented to the NHL by its Board of Governors in 1985-86 to recognize the team compiling the top regular-season record. The Red Wings captured the trophy in 1995, 1996, 2002, 2004 and 2006. No other franchise has won the award more than twice.
Tonight's triumph capped a campaign in which the Red Wings set an NHL record for most first-half victories, posting a 30-8-3 mark through 41 contests. Detroit went on to record 100 or more points for the eighth consecutive season, equaling the Montreal Canadiens
' record streak from 1974-75 through 1981-82. Detroit also clinched its seventh consecutive division title and qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 17th consecutive season -- the longest active streak of postseason qualification among the major pro sports.