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Wings score season-high eight goals, win sixth straight over Caps

Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News on

Published in Hockey

DETROIT — The playoffs aren't here yet for the Red Wings but with each passing game it's becoming to feel like it.

The importance increases each game, as the standings get tighter and the games simply feel more important. It's as if there's a sprint to the finish line.

There's still a bit to go, 23 games after Tuesday's 8-3 victory over Washington, the eight goals a season-high for the Wings and the most Washington has allowed in a season. But the Wings are looking ready for whatever the future holds.

Tuesday's win was the Wings' sixth consecutive victory — the longest since general manager Steve Yzerman took over in 2019 — and further widened the gap between themselves, in the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, and the teams below the cutoff line, Washington being one of them. The Wings now lead Washington by nine points.

The Wings have won 16 of their last 22 games (16-4-2) and are establishing themselves as one of the dangerous teams in the NHL right now.

The Wings have the New York Islanders (Thursday), chasing for a wildcard spot, and division-leading Florida (Saturday) to finish this three-game homestand.

 

Shayne Gostisbehere had two Wings goals (he now has nine), and Lucas Raymond (17th), Joe Veleno (11th) and J.T. Compher (15th, shorthanded), Robby Fabbri (15th, power play), Alex DeBrincat (23rd) and Dylan Larkin (26th) supplied the offense, while goaltender Alex Lyon stopped 18 shots. David Perron and Patrick Kane both had two assists, Kane stretching his point-streak to nine games (five goals, nine assists, 14 points).

After missing the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons, the Wings are beginning to learn the difference in these late-season games.

"It's a different challenge," said coach Derek Lalonde after Tuesday's morning skate. "We're going to start running some of these four-point games, if you will, and not only are they four-point games, they are teams that are chasing us.

"Their desperation is different. It's one thing to be playing games against teams you battle. It's another thing to play a team that's fighting for their season."

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