Red Wings: Path to playoffs still there after tough OT loss

They allowed a potentially crushing shorthanded goal, rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final seven minutes, got a good look in overtime and lost on the last shot.

The Detroit Red Wings’ emotions swung back and forth Thursday before Erik Karlsson scored 1:20 into overtime to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-5 victory at PPG Paints Arena.

Getting two points would have been huge, but settling for one keeps their playoff hopes alive.

“I give our guys a ton of credit,” coach Derek Lalonde told Bally Sports Detroit. “You don’t come back and get a point in this league with being down with seven minutes left. The guys fought. We had our look in overtime. We battled, gave ourselves a chance.

“I know it doesn’t feel good right now but there’s still a path there. I told the guys that was a huge point, I know it doesn’t feel very good right now, but the path is still there and we kept it alive.”

The Penguins moved into the second wild card spot with 86 points, one more than the Red Wings, Capitals and Flyers. Pittsburgh, Detroit and Washington have three games remaining, Philadelphia has two.

The Red Wings (38-32-9) visit Toronto Saturday (7 p.m., BSD) and close with pair against Montreal (Monday at home, Tuesday away).

They need to win and they need some help from other teams.

“There’s a path,” Dylan Larkin told reporters at the game. “We got to go into Toronto and get two points. I don’t think there’s a better place to do it on a Saturday night. They’re going to be gunning for us after what happened the last time we were in there (4-2 win on Jan. 14). To pick ourselves up and regroup, come back and have a performance like we did tonight in Toronto, it’s going to be difficult but I know this group has it in us.”

Larkin’s line had it in them, leading the comeback. Larkin scored his 32nd goal with 7:04 remaining in regulation before Lucas Raymond tied with 5:03 to play, completing his second career hat trick and equaling a career high with four points. Alex DeBrincat, who had just one goal and seven points in 19 games, contributed three assists.

“Our season’s on the line, our backs are to the wall and for us to push like that in the last few minutes, a lot from that line,” Lalonde said. “Good on them. It kept us in this fight.”

Raymond has elevated his game, this season and in recent weeks. He has 12 goals and five assists in the past 15 games. He has 29 goals and 68 points, career highs.

“I think it’s a lot about not getting too high, not getting too low, trying to stay as steady as possible, especially now with three games left we still have a shot at this,” Raymond told reporters at the game. “It’s just about learning from this game and come out flying against Toronto.”

Said Larkin: “The positive is the no quit. It hurts, but one thing our group has done is we picked ourselves up and we’ve come out and kept fighting. It’s an emotional roller coaster this time of year and the position we’re in. To build yourself up again after the Washington game (2-1 loss Tuesday) and come out and play like that tonight says a lot about our group.”

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