The Blackhawks' task is clear: win all their remaining games and they're in the playoffs no matter what. That may not be easy, as four of the five games left are against playoff teams, including a pair back-to-back to finish the regular season against the Detroit Red Wings.
That also includes tonight's home match at the United Center against the Tampa Bay Lightning; the Hawks lost to the Lightning in Tampa in a shootout about four weeks ago in the only other meeting between the two teams this year. Tampa Bay has clinched a playoff spot and is riding a four-game winning streak. For the Blackhawks, Friday night's win against Columbus was critical. The Hawks hold the tiebreaker advantage over both the Stars and Flames; Calgary trails by three points after a win last night, but has played two more games, so they can max out at 95 points. The Blackhawks can max out at 102. Dallas has played the same number of games as the Blackhawks, so with five games left they can max out at 97.
It's going to be a wild final week. Tune in tonight at 6 p.m. on WGN (Chicago viewers only) to see the fun begin.