Stanley Cup Champion Makes Playoffs on Final Day of NHL Season

The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks made it into the playoffs on the final day of the National Hockey League’s regular season.

Although the Blackhawks lost to the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 yesterday, they clinched the Western Conference’s final postseason berth when the Minnesota Wild beat the Dallas Stars 5-3. Dallas finished two points behind Chicago in the West and could have overtaken the defending champions with a win.

Chicago will open the playoffs against the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks in a best-of-seven first-round series that starts April 13 in Vancouver.

The Washington Capitals are the top seed in the Eastern Conference and play the New York Rangers in the opening round, with Game 1 scheduled for April 13.

Philadelphia meets Buffalo, Boston faces Montreal and Pittsburgh plays Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference’s other first-round matchups. Elsewhere in the West, it’s San Jose against the Los Angeles Kings, Detroit versus Phoenix and Anaheim against Nashville.

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