The Chicago Blackhawks clinched the third seed in the Central Division as the Minnesota Wild lost to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday afternoon. The Blackhawks will play the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Predators, who were one of the NHL'S most surprising teams this season under new head coach Peter Laviolette, have stumbled a bit down the stretch, going on a lengthy losing streak and falling out of the top spot in the Central Division in the season's final weeks.
As for the Blackhawks, they dropped three straight games as they fumbled away a chance to have home ice advantage to open the postseason, and they will open their first series away from home next week.
The two teams have met before in the postseason, tangling in the first round of the 2010 playoffs. The Predators led late in Game 5 of the series, but Patrick Kane scored a late goal to tie things up and Marian Hossa scored the game winner in overtime.
The Blackhawks ultimately prevailed in six games as they made their way to the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship in almost half a century.