Red Wings' 25-year playoff streak ends, chase for Stanley Cup won't be the same

It has been a season of goodbyes for the Detroit Red Wings.

On April 9, Motown’s Original Six hockey team will bid farewell to Joe Louis Arena, its home of nearly 40 years and a monument not only to Red Wings but NHL history.

And Tuesday, just under two weeks before that goes down, Detroit bid adieu to another prominent piece of team history -- its 25-year streak of playoff appearances.

Playing their third game in as many days, the Red Wings lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. The Red Wings had won five of seven games coming in, including the first of a back-to-back with Carolina on Monday. But Tuesday’s loss, combined with a Boston Bruins win over the Nashville Predators and a Toronto Maple Leafs victory over the Florida Panthers, officially eliminated the Red Wings from the postseason.

It was the perfect storm for a Detroit elimination, and it unfolded as the Red Wings fell victim to the team they topped in the 2001-02 Stanley Cup Final for the franchise’s 10th title.

The 2016-17 playoffs will mark the first time the Red Wings have not played for a championship since the 1989-90 campaign. Detroit’s absence will be notable, if only because Motor City has been one of the steadiest postseason presences in professional sports -- the Red Wings captured four Stanley Cup titles, made eight conference finals appearances and took 14 division crowns over the course of their incredible 25-year run.

The playoff streak ends as the third longest in league history, tied with the 25-year run by the St. Louis Blues from 1979-80 to 2003-04. Only the Chicago Blackhawks (28 seasons) and Boston Bruins (29 seasons) have had better numbers in that sense.

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