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Detroit Red Wings vs. St. Louis Blues

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GAME: Detroit Red Wings (47-20-11-2) at St. Louis Blues (38-28-11-2).

TIME: Thursday, 8 p.m. EST.

The St. Louis Blues look to clinch their 25th consecutive playoff berth as they host the Detroit Red Wings at the Savvis Center.

The Blues' 24-year playoff run is the longest current streak in professional sports. St. Louis has won four straight games, including a 1-0 victory over Edmonton on Tuesday night.

The win gave the Blues 89 points with three games remaining, tying them with the Oilers for seventh place in the Western Conference standings. Edmonton has just one game left, meaning St. Louis needs just two points to lock up a postseason berth due to the fact that they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Oilers (2-1-1).

The Blues, 9-2-2 in their last 13 games, are hoping veteran left winger Keith Tkachuk continues his solid play against the Red Wings. He has 27 goals and 22 assists in 52 career games against Detroit.

Detroit will have the best record in the West heading into the playoffs, as Robert Lang's first goal as a Red Wing was the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Columbus on Wednesday. Lang played his first game after missing 11 with a rib injury. He hadn't scored since Feb. 25, two days before he was traded from Washington to the Red Wings.

The Red Wings' fourth straight win gave them 107 points, clinching the top seed in the conference. They also have a three-point lead over Tampa Bay in the race for the NHL's best record.

"We're really thrilled to win the West," Detroit coach Dave Lewis said. "It's one of the goals we talked about right around the All-Star break. To go through some of the trials and tribulations we've gone through, I think it's a real reward for our guys."

STANDINGS: Red Wings - 107 points, 1st place, Central Division. Blues - 89 points, 2nd place, 18 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Pavel Datsyuk, 30 goals; Lang, 49 assists and 78 points; Brendan Shanahan, 113 PIM. Blues - Tkachuk, 33 goals and 71 points; Doug Weight, 49 assists; Mike Danton, 141 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 30): Red Wings - Datsyuk, 30 goals; Lang, 49 assists and 78 points; Brendan Shanahan, 113 PIM. Blues - Power play: 18.1 percent (60 for 331), 8th. Penalty killing: 84.1 percent (297 for 353), 15th.

GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Manny Legace (23-9-5, 3 SO, 2.07 GAA); Marc Lamothe (0-0-1, 0, 0.92). Blues - Chris Osgood (30-24-8, 3, 2.24); Reinhard Divis (4-3-2, 0, 2.84).

SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 3-1-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 20; Red Wings, 5-1. At Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg had two power-play goals and Whitney added a goal and two assists as the Red Wings powered past the Blues.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 17-14-7-2 on the road; Blues - 23-10-7-0 at home.


Associated Press
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