It's going to be close. Really close.

Six points separate the No. 7 team in the standings (Blues) and No. 13 (Predators), meaning the last two spots in the postseason are up for grabs.

That means a 22nd consecutive playoff appearance for the Red Wings could be in jeopardy.

"We know what is going on," Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard said. "We know we need points."

The Red Wings have nine games remaining, five on the road, where they're 9-8-2.

Fortunately for the Red Wings, however, no team behind them has made a charge the last few days.

Columbus (39 points) lost to St. Louis and Minnesota, four points that could have tied it with Detroit.

Edmonton (39 points) lost to Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Nashville (38 points) has lost three in a row to divisional opponents.

"No surprise," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said of the standings. "We all knew it would be like this."

The team closest to Detroit is Phoenix, which beat the Red Wings at home last week.

Then there's Edmonton and Dallas.

Edmonton has seven of its final 10 games at home, where the Oilers are 8-5-4.

Dallas also has 10 games, with five at home, and is gaining momentum after winning at Anaheim and San Jose last weekend.