PREVIEW: Penguins Game 79 vs. Red Wings

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It’s nearly impossible to overstate the importance of Thursday’s game. Let’s set the stage:

The Pittsburgh Penguins (36-30-12) and the visiting Detroit Red Wings (38-32-8) each have 84 points with four regular-season games left, and they sit one point behind the Washington Capitals, who hold the second Eastern Conference wildcard spot, and three points behind the New York Islanders, who sit third in the Metropolitan Division.

Third in the Metro and that second wildcard are the only two remaining playoff spots left in the East.

Talk about an intense situation.

Penguins Preview

The Penguins are 6-0-3 in their past nine games to get to this spot, but they took themselves out of being in control of their destiny when they came away with just one point Monday in a 2-1 overtime loss at Toronto.

While the Penguins and Red Wings are duking things out in such an important showdown, Washington will be playing at Buffalo, which has been eliminated from playoff consideration.

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