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NHL: Detroit 3, Los Angeles 1

April 24, 2013 at 10:40 PM

DETROIT, April 24 (UPI) -- Jimmy Howard made 23 saves Wednesday to bring Detroit a 3-1 win over Los Angeles that moved the Red Wings into the Western Conference's last playoff spot.

Detroit vaulted over Columbus into the No. 8 position in the playoff race. The Red Wings have 52 points, one more than the Blue Jackets, and both teams have two games to play.

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Detroit will host Nashville Thursday and will travel to Dallas Saturday. Columbus will be in Dallas Thursday and will play at home against Nashville Saturday.

Howard, who has gone 3-1-1 in his last five starts, gave up a goal to Kyle Clifford 5:28 into the second period and then shut down the Kings.

Pavel Datsyuk tied it midway through the second and Detroit came up with third-period goals from Jordin Tootoo and Johan Franzen.

Los Angeles began the night tied with San Jose for fourth place in the Western Conference. St. Louis is just one point behind the Kings and Sharks. They are all battling for home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

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