The Red Wings look to earn at least a point for a 13th consecutive game when they visit the sputtering Flyers on Sunday afternoon.
Detroit (41-23-14) hasn't lost in regulation since a 4-2 defeat to Calgary on March 9. Since then, the Red Wings have put together a 10-0-2 stretch that has vaulted them into sixth in the Western Conference, seven points ahead of the eighth-place tie between the Flames and Colorado with a week left in the regular season.
Detroit needs just a point against the Flyers (38-34-6) combined with a Calgary loss at Chicago on Sunday to clinch a playoff spot. The Wings are also looking to improve their position, as they're only two points back of fifth-place Nashville.
They failed to pull even with the Predators on Saturday when Jimmy Howard gave up a goal to Ryan Suter 16 seconds into overtime in a 4-3 loss that halted Detroit's season-high seven-game winning streak. Pavel Datsyuk, however, got the Red Wings a point by forcing the extra session when he found the net with 36 seconds left in regulation.
"We battled back and got a point," said defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who scored his ninth goal of the season in the second period. "On the other hand it's disappointing losing in the first shift of overtime."
Detroit is mathematically still alive in the Central Division race, but it trails first-place Chicago by seven points and will likely see its string of eight straight division titles come to an end.
While the Red Wings are thriving, the Flyers have dropped seven of eight (1-6-1) to fall into a tie with the New York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, one point ahead of Atlanta with four games to play.
Philadelphia lost 1-0 to Montreal on Friday, despite outshooting the Canadiens 35-23.
"We have to play this exact same way the next four games," defenseman Chris Pronger said. "(Friday) was the blueprint. We've got to get it done."
Part of the Flyers issues could be attributed to the absence of Jeff Carter, the team leader with 33 goals and 60 points. The center has missed six games -- five losses -- while recovering from left foot surgery, and he's not expected back until the playoffs.
With Carter out, Philadelphia has totaled 13 goals from 11 players with Arron Asham and Simon Gagne netting a team-high two each.
The Flyers could get a boost with the return of enforcer Daniel Carcillo, who was suspended two games for a high stick on New Jersey's David Clarkson during last Sunday's 5-1 win. The left wing has 11 goals and nine assists while ranking among the league leaders with 196 penalty minutes.
Datsyuk has been one of the catalysts behind the Red Wings' surge, getting 10 goals and 11 assists during a 14-2-2 stretch. The center had one goal and one assist in a 3-2 win over the Flyers in the teams' last meeting March 17, 2009.
Chris Osgood, who had 24 saves in last season's win over the Flyers, is scheduled to start Sunday for the first time since a 5-2 loss at Minnesota on Jan. 27.
Osgood is 0-3-0 with a 4.03 goals-against average in his last five games -- three starts. He has been supplanted as Detroit's No. 1 goaltender by Howard, who has started 25 consecutive games.