(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) — In a 4-3 shootout loss to Pittsburgh, the Detroit Red Wings clinched a playoff spot for the 23rd consecutive year. That streak is the longest active such mark in North American pro sports, six years longer than the San Antonio Spurs’ streak in the NBA.
Detroit (38-27-15, 91 points) cemented their spot in the postseason by picking up one point when the game was tied at the end of regulation.
The Red Wings had to comeback to force overtime, despite leading after one period.
Tomas Jurco netted his eighth goal of the season in the first period to open the scoring, but Pittsburgh scored twice in the second period.
The Penguins (51-24-5, 107 points) tied the game on a James Neal power play goal late in the second before Jussi Jokinen gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead halfway through the third. That advantage would hold until the final two minutes Riley Sheahan to force the extra session. After a scoreless overtime, Pittsburgh won the shootout, 1-0, when Marc Andre-Fleury stopped Tomas Tatar to clinch the win.
With the Red Wings now into the playoffs, it sets up a potential first-round matchup with the Penguins. Pittsburgh is locked into the No. 2 seed while Detroit is a three-way tie with Philadelphia and Columbus for the six spot. The two teams played each other in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2009 with the Red Wings winning the first meeting before Pittsburgh captured the Cup a year later.
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Jill Martin, CNN