Mike Babcock and Henrik Zetterberg want to ensure the Detroit Red Wings' 21-season playoff streak does not end under their watch as coach and captain.

“If you’re one of these players who has a stake in the Red Wings, especially the ones who have put in a ton of time, they don’t want it (to end) on their watch either,'' Babcock said.

“I think everyone feels that,'' Zetterberg said. “It's been a long time since we missed the playoffs and you don't want to be part of that team. Definitely, I take big responsibility in that.''

With four games remaining, this is the closest the Red Wings have been to missing the playoff since 1990, the last year they did not qualify.

The Red Wings have struggled down the stretch (3-5-3), primarily due to their difficulty scoring (19 goals in their past 11 games).

Still, a playoff spot is theirs for the taking. If they win out, they're in. If they don't win out, they'll need some help.

The Red Wings are tied with Dallas for ninth place in the Western Conference with 48 points, and Detroit has a game in hand. Both clubs trail Columbus and Minnesota by three points, but the Red Wings have two games in hand on the Blue Jackets and one game in hand on the Wild.

The schedule is in the Red Wings' favor, to some degree. They play three at home (Monday vs. Phoenix, Wednesday vs. Los Angeles, Thursday vs. Nashville) before closing out at Dallas on Saturday.