With how well they've played this season, a playoff berth seems like a foregone conclusion for the Chicago Blackhawks, and the team can officially clinch a spot Sunday night.
If they are able to clinch, it would make them the first Western Conference team to punch their ticket to the postseason, and the second in the NHL to do so after the Columbus Blue Jackets wrapped up a spot with a win over New Jersey Sunday.
For the Blackhawks, there are three different scenarios that could play out and secure their playoff spot. The first is the simplest, as a regulation or overtime win and a Los Angeles Kings loss of any kind, or even a Kings shootout win, would put the Blackhawks in the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season.
If the Blackhawks win in a shootout over the Avalanche, a loss of any kind by the Kings would also allow Chicago to clinch a berth.
Surprisingly enough, even if the Blackhawks suffer an overtime or shootout loss on Sunday against Colorado, they could still get into the playoffs. If they get one point in the standings and the Kings lose in regulation against Calgary, Chicago would be heading to the postseason.
The Blackhawks will drop the puck at 6 p.m. against the Avalanche, while the Kings and Flames will get underway at 8:30pm Central time.