Blackhawks Clinch Playoff Spot After Tough Week

After a tough week, the Chicago Blackhawks clinched a spot in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Minnesota Wild's win against the Phoenix Coyotes allowed Chicago to grab the spot, marking the franchise’s sixth consecutive postseason berth.

Zach Parise scored two of Minnesota's three third-period goals and the Wild rallied to beat the Coyotes Saturday night.

With the win, the Wild pulled three points ahead of Phoenix for the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference. The Coyotes are just a point ahead of Dallas for the No. 8 spot. The Stars won at St. Louis 4-2 Saturday.

This isn't the first time in recent memory that the Wild have helped the Blackhawks clinch a playoff spot. Back in 2011, the Blackhawks lost on the final day of the regular season, and only a Wild victory over the Dallas Stars later that evening allowed the Hawks to reach the postseason. They lost to the Vancouver Canucks in an epic seven-game series in the first round that year. 

For right now, the Hawks are currently sitting in third place in the Central Division, one point behind the Colorado Avalanche. If the current results were to hold, the Hawks would have to head to Denver for the first two games of the playoffs, as Colorado would have home ice advantage in their first round series. 

The 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs marks the first time since 1992-97 that the Blackhawks will make six consecutive postseason appearances, the team said. Over the current stretch, the Blackhawks have won two Stanley Cups in 2010 and 2013, reached the Western Conference Final in 2009, and were eliminated in the first round of the postseason in 2011 and 2012. 

Chicago faces off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

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