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Detroit Red Wings Are All but Eliminated from the Playoffs

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The Anaheim Ducks once again have the momentum in their favor as they won Game 5 in overtime to take a 3-2 series lead against the Detroit Red Wings.

While the Red Wings have played their best hockey when their backs are up against the wall, this series is all but over.

Asking the Red Wings to win two games in a row -- one at home and one on the road -- is asking a lot.

They've shown they can beat the Ducks, but they haven't been able to establish any sort of momentum in this series. After a win, they always drop the next game.

The Red Wings had every opportunity to win Game 5, but couldn't convert on a 5-minute power play and took a penalty on said power play that resulted in the game-tying goal for the Ducks.

Jimmy Howard stood on his head for the Red Wings, especially in the first period when the Ducks outshot the Red Wings 18-9.

Another factor that hurts the Red Wings going into Game 6 is they haven't fared well after returning from the West Coast. Including Game 3 against the Ducks, the Red Wings are 0-4 in their first game back at Joe Louis Arena after a West Coast road trip.

The stakes are a lot higher for this game than they were for the previous four, but I don't see trends changing in the next few days.

The youth and inexperience is too much to overcome. With that being said, without guys like Gustav Nyquist, Damien Brunner, Brendan Smith and Joakim Andersson, the Red Wings probably wouldn't even be in the playoffs.

It's nice to have those young guys on your team, especially for the future, but trying to rebuild on the fly makes it tough to win playoff games.

Justin Abdelkader will be back in the lineup for Game 6 after his two-game suspension. I expect Todd Bertuzzi to be scratched as he hasn't been much of a factor and, with Mikael Samuelsson scoring in Game 5, coach Mike Babcock will want to leave him in.

The Red Wings will win Game 6, and they'll put up a fight in Game 7, but the Ducks will win this series.

Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Red Wings for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can find Tom on Twitter @tom_mitsos.

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