The Detroit Red Wings continued to show they're determined to extend their playoff run, resolutely grinding away for their longest winning streak in over three months.

The Wings edged the Minnesota Wild, 3-2, today at Xcel Energy Center, surfacing in the last wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference after a week that included victories over Pittsburgh and Toronto. It’s the first time since Nov. 24-Dec. 1 that the Wings have won three games in a row.

“That’s what I like about our group the most, we’ve got some determined, determined people,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ve got enough veterans, and then we’ve got a whole bunch of kids that really compete hard.”

David Legwand and Brendan Smith each had a goal and an assist. Jakub Kindl and Riley Sheahan each had two assists. Gustav Nyquist scored for the fifth time in four games.

Jimmy Howard was tremendous for stretches, making a handful of saves in the third period immediately after Nyquist had broken a 2-2 tie early in the third period, and when the Wild got a power play with 3:27 to play.

“Howie played really good for us again, which is positive,” Babcock said. “We had excellent specialty teams. We got a contribution from everybody. It was a muddy track — I mean, there was no room for either team. It was check, check, check, check. We found a way to get it done.”

The Wings had to close out the Penguins game with a penalty kill, prompting Nyquist to joke, “Yeah, we’re talking about that on the bench, how to make it more interesting. No, that’s the way it goes some times, but the killers the last two games have done a great job killing those off.”

It’s easier to see the lighter side of things after such a winning week. The Wings were 1-3 the week before, and now have a chance to go 4-0 if they beat the Wild again Sunday night in Detroit.

“It’s just, go, go, go,” Niklas Kronwall said. “This is what we have to do.”

Kronwall scared his team when it looked as if he wouldn’t be going after sliding headfirst into the boards in the first period, so when he came back after it was 1-1, “It jump-started everybody a little bit to see him come out,” Howard said.

Mikko Koivu made it 1-0 on a Minnesota power play when he ripped a shot between Smith and Brian Lashoff, beating Howard cleanly. Smith replied 5 minutes later, when he collected Legwand’s rebound and threw a backhand shot past Darcy Kuemper.