Red Wings Solidify Top-3 Seed With Another Central Division Title

Heading into the weekend, there was a very real chance that the Detroit Red Wings could fall out of the Central Division title. Two games and four points later, and the Red Wings have that nice little Y next to their name in the standings. It's not a big deal or anything -- just the ninth time in 10 years that's happened. 

By virtue of their win over rival Nashville in overtime on Saturday, the Wings had a chance to clinch the title with a win in against lowly Minnesota on Sunday. That was probably a foregone conclusion.

Most importantly, though, the Wings earned the two points with help from Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard, who each returned from injury to assist the cause. As the playoffs approach, now just a week away, the emphasis for a team like Detroit isn't whether or not they finish with the 2-seed or the 3-seed. It's that they have all their important parts back in the lineup by the time Game 1 rolls around.

But speaking of that race for the second spot, the San Jose Sharks do control their own destiny. They haven't clinched the Pacific title just yet, but should they win their remaining four games, they'll leap the Wings and hold off both Los Angeles and Phoenix for the division. 

For more on the NHL's tight playoff picture, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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