Red Wings clinch Central Division title, beat Minnesota 4-2

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Detroit once again are the kings of the Central Division. After a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, the Red Wings captured the Central Division after a one year layoff and secured a top three seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Darren Helm, Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, and Johan Franzen each scored goals while Pavel Datsyuk returned to action and had an assist to help lead the Wings to the victory. Jimmy Howard won his second straight start making 27 saves in the win allowing a goal and an assist to Brad Staubitz and Carson McMillan’s first NHL goal.

With the win, Detroit has 102 points on the season and sits one point ahead of San Jose in the Western Conference standings for the two seed. The Sharks have a game in hand on the Wings and an inside line on landing the number two seed. Of course, San Jose still has to hold off Phoenix for the Pacific Division title. They can lock that up with just one more point.

For Detroit, closing the season out with wins is important as they are, indeed, still racing with San Jose for the top spot. The Wings will also be in a position to potentially end Chicago’s postseason hopes finishing the season up with a home-and-home series with the Blackhawks.