DETROIT (AP)—The Detroit Red Wings can now concentrate on the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Detroit won the Presidents’ Trophy, which goes to the team with the NHL’s best record and ensures home ice throughout the playoffs—with 115 points and will face Nashville in the first round.
“It’s helps that the travel isn’t too far. It helps our team not to have those long flights out to the west coast right away,” said Lidstrom. “We’ve seen them a lot. We know their tendencies and I think we know what they’re good at, too.”
Last season the Red Wings reached the Western Conference Finals and played Calgary, San Jose and eventually Stanley Cup-champion Anaheim.
“The thing I like best about them is that they’re an hour and 15 minutes away,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock joked.
“Anytime you play the Red Wings, you’re going to be motivated to play. But it’s tough when you know you’re out of the playoffs,” Kane said. “It’s not an excuse, they didn’t have anything to play for either.”
The Red Wings’ Tomas Holmstrom returned after missing 13 games because of a lower abdominal injury. He’s a big key in the playoffs because of the way he creates traffic and havoc in front of opposing goaltenders and he can retrieve the puck in the corners and hang on to it.
“I thought it was very important to get Holmer back and have him get a game in before the playoffs. He hasn’t played for over a month,” said Lidstrom. “I thought he looked good out there. Before the game, he was really chirping and wanting to get into the games again. He was ready for it.”
Former Red Wing Jason Williams said he liked Detroit’s chances to win the Stanley Cup.
“Obviously, they’re talented, they’ve got four lines and can put them out there at any time. Got a solid defense and two great goaltenders,” he said. “If they can stay healthy, I don’t see why they can’t win it all. But you have to stay healthy.”
Hudler opened the scoring 7:21 into the first period when he converted Darren McCarty’s pass from behind the net. Hudler put in a one-timer from in front for his 13th goal.
Lidstrom made it 2-0 with a 5-on-3 power-play goal with 1:31 left in the second period.
Hartigan scored 6:28 into the second period when he took advantage of a turnover, skated across the slot and put the puck into an empty net for his third goal.
Lidstrom’s second goal, also on the power play, came with 5:58 left and gave him 10 for the season.
Kane’s power-play goal with 2:20 left ended Hasek’s shutout bid. It was Kane’s 21st goal. ^Notes: Detroit played without LW Kirk Maltby (hamstring), D Brad Stuart (finger), C Kris Draper (groin), RW Mikael Samuelsson (groin) and C Tomas Kopecky (knee). … Missing the game for Chicago was D Brent Sopel (ankle, knee), C Dave Bolland (ankle) and D Dustin Byfuglien (back). … Lidstrom, the Red Wings’ captain, was presented with the Presidents’ Trophy before the game.