Daniel Cleary’s goal in the third period proved to be the difference as Detroit held on for a 4-to-3 victory over the Blackhawks in the regular season finale Sunday afternoon at Chicago. Jimmy Howard made 33 saves for the Red Wings, who snapped a two game slide.
Detroit starts the playoffs Wednesday night at home against Phoenix. The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks still earned the final playoff seed in the West when Dallas lost at Minnesota.
In the ECHL, the Kalamazoo Wings advanced to the second round in the Kelly Cup playoffs over the weekend, capturing their quarterfinal series against Florida 3-games-to-1 with Saturday night’s win over the Everblades at Wings Stadium.