Chicago Blackhawks' Viktor Stalberg, right, of Sweden and Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise chase the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in St. Paul. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Despite the Colorado Avalanche giving them everything they could handle in the third period, the Minnesota Wild locked up the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 3-1 victory at the Pepsi Center on Saturday night.
The victory ensured that the Wild will be making their first playoff appearance since 2008, and as a prize, they will get to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.
The Columbus Blue Jackets ended up beating the Nashville Predators 3-1 in Ohio on Saturday night, but the Wild victory, along with the Detroit Red Wings’ shutout win over the Dallas Stars in Texas, ended the Jackets’ potential Cinderella run. The Wings will face the Anaheim Ducks in the first round.
The schedule for the series will likely be announced on Sunday evening.
We’ll have plenty more coverage on the blog over the next few days with reactions from all corners about the Hawks’ upcoming series with the Wild.