Is this the end?
The Red Wings visit the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight for Game Five of their Atlantic Division Semifinal matchup, one loss from elimination. After consecutive virtual-must-win games, Detroit now faces an actual must-win to keep their season alive.
With a loss, the Red Wings’ season comes to a close with just a single playoff victory to their credit for the second time in three years.
With a loss, Pavel Datsyuk‘s NHL career could end.
The Wings are in a bad position. They’ve never won a Game Five on the road after going loss-loss-win-loss in the first four games. They haven’t looked good in three of the previous four games. They haven’t won in this arena all season.
Win and force a Game Six at home. Maybe all that does is give Datsyuk a proper send-off. Maybe it’s the start of something more. A win opens up possibilities. A loss is the end.
Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD/NBCSN/CBC.