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Hossa's late goal lifts Red Wings over Wild

DETROIT (AP) -- Marian Hossa not only ended the Detroit Red

Wings' skid, he more than likely took care of any playoff

chances the Minnesota Wild may have had.

Hossa scored with 55 seconds left to lift Detroit to a 3-2 win

over Minnesota on Sunday, snapping the Red Wings' three-game

losing streak.

Detroit also got a goal and an assist from Pavel Datsyuk, a goal

from Jiri Hudler and a pair of assists from Tomas Holmstrom.

Chris Osgood made 20 saves.

"We knew how desperate they are. They need to win every game to

get into the playoffs," Hossa said. "We felt an urgency in the

dressing room, too, that this was a playoff game."

The Red Wings became only the third team in HHL history to win

50 games in four straight seasons. The Boston Bruins did it from

1971-74 and the Montreal Canadiens from 1976-79.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and former Detroit coach Scotty

Bowman are the only coaches to win 50 games in four consecutive


Niklas Backstrom made 41 saves, Cal Clutterbuck had a goal and

an assist and Marian Gaborik also scored for the Wild, who are

10th in the Western Conference and needed at least a point to

retain a realistic chance of reaching the playoffs.

Minnesota was less than a minute left from overtime and getting

that point when Hossa broke their hearts.

"We came here to play good and try and take two points,"

Backstrom said. "We came close to getting one, but we didn't

come out with anything."

Gaborik, who has seven goals and 10 points in eight games since

returning from groin problems that forced him to miss 65 games

this season, tied it with 2:03 left in the second period when he

scored his 10th goal from the slot during a goal-mouth scramble.

Hossa scored his 38th by beating Backstrom from the right circle

after taking a pass from Holmstrom.

"Pasha (Datsyuk) got the puck and he just chipped it to Homer

(Holmstrom), and Homer took the puck to the middle and he just

serve it to me perfectly," Hossa said. "I just tried to make

sure the puck was stable on my stick and tried to shoot it high

glove and it worked."

That left the Wild mulling what could have been. They're three

points out of the final playoff spot with three games remaining.

"The only thing we can do is work as hard as we can,"

Clutterbuck said. "The rest is out of our hands."

Detroit is trying to get dialed in as the playoffs approach.

"I think the third period was the kind the kind of hockey you're

going to have to play come playoff time," Nicklas Lidstrom said.

Detroit led 2-1 after a wild first period.

Hudler opened the scoring with 8:39 left with his 23rd goal,

putting in a one-timer from the slot off a pass from Henrik

Zetterberg, and Datsyuk made it 2-0 just 1:04 later when he

moved across the slot and finally backhanded a high shot over a

sprawling Backstrom.

Minnesota took advantage of Osgood's gaffe to get on the board

with 1:26 left in the opening period. Clutterbuck intercepted

the goalie's pass along the right wing boards and put a shot

through as Osgood scrambled to get back into position.



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