Blackhawks Defeat Red Wings; On Verge Of Playoff Spot

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Blackhawks Score Three In First, Beat Red Wings 4-2

The Blackhawks did their part to show everyone they’re serious about defending their Stanley Cup title, scoring three goals in the first nine minutes of the game and holding on for a 4-2 win over their Central Division rival Detroit Red Wings, in a game that meant little to the Wings because they clinched the division title earlier this week.

The Dallas Stars, the only team that can still take the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot from the Blackhawks, defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 Friday night, and are still alive going into this Sunday’s final regular season games.

The Blackhawks’ path is simple: they need only one point Sunday to clinch the spot. If they get the game to overtime, they’re in. If they win Sunday, they’re in. The only way the Stars get in is by winning Sunday while the Blackhawks lose.

So the Hawks control their destiny. The game Sunday has been moved to an 11:30 a.m. CDT start on NBC.


Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Detroit Red Wings: Crunch Time

The Blackhawks' task is clear: win both the games against the Detroit Red Wings this weekend and they're in the playoffs. Sure, that's likely going to be the No. 8 seed against the Vancouver Canucks, a team bound for revenge after the Hawks bounced them from the playoffs last year. But the Canucks have the best record in the league. Last year's top team, the Capitals, got rudely eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. So you never know.

If the Blackhawks win only one of these two, or lose both, though, they'll have to have help from non-playoff teams defeating the Dallas Stars this weekend.

The Hawks got Patrick Sharp back for their game on Wednesday, before they expected him to be available, and now there's more good news about the injured Dave Bolland:

"Bolland is progressing at a different pace than he was before which is encouraging," Quenneville said following the Hawks' morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. "In fact, he could be on the ice (Friday). I'm not sure if he's on (Friday) or not but he could be."

As for Troy Brouwer, who injured his shoulder against the Canadiens on Tuesday, Quenneville said the winger "is still day-to-day but we like his progress."

It'll be a wild weekend. Tonight's festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. CDT and it'll be televised on CSN Chicago.

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