April 7, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom (96) battles with Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell (29) for the puck during the first period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Blackhawks Vs. Red Wings: Chicago Ends Regular Season With Shootout Victory

The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

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18 Total Updates since March 31, 2012
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2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Postseason Begins Wednesday; Blackhawks The No. 6 Seed In The West

The Chicago Blackhawks finished up the regular season with a shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings, but they were not able to improve their seeding. They finished in sixth place in the Western Conference, and they'll face the No. 3 seed Phoenix Coyotes in the first round. The Coyotes finished the regular season with fewer points than Chicago but earned a higher seed by virtue of winning their division.

Related: NHL Playoffs Schedule And Bracket 2012: Blackhawks To Face Coyotes In Round One

Here's the Western Conference playoff picture:

No. 1 Vancouver Canucks vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Kings

No. 2 St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks

No. 3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. No. 6 Chicago Blackhawks

No. 4 Nashville Predators vs. No. 5 Detroit Red Wings

The Blackhawks will open up their playoff run on Thursday.

For more on the playoffs, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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NHL Playoffs Schedule And Bracket 2012: Blackhawks Face Coyotes In Round 1

The NHL released the official schedule for this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday afternoon following the end of the regular season. The Chicago Blackhawks, having landed the sixth seed in the Western Conference, will face off against the third-seeded Phoenix Coyotes in the first round.

Here's the full schedule for the seven possible games:

Game 1: 10:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, April 12

Game 2: 10:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, April 14

Game 3: 9:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday, April 17

Game 4: 8:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, April 19

Game 5: 10:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, April 21

Game 6: TBD, Monday, April 23

Game 7: TBD, Wednesday, April 25

Chicago actually finished the season with a better record than Phoenix, but the Coyotes landed the third seed by winning the Pacific Division. The Coyotes finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak.

For more on the playoffs, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs Red Wings Update: Chicago Escapes With Shootout Victory

For the first two periods of the regular-season finale, it seemed like the Chicago Blackhawks were on their way to a comfortable victory. However, the Blackhawks saw their two goal lead evaporate in the final 20 minutes, as a Pavel Datsyuk goal with less than a minute remaining tied the game at two and forced overtime.

Despite the late rally from the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago kept its composure throughout the overtime period and was able to emerge with a 3-2 (SO) victory. Although he couldn't find the back of the net in the shootout, Patrick Sharp was instrumental in the win. Sharp assisted on both of the goals in regulation, with Viktor Stalberg and Andrew Shaw each scoring.

Although the Red Wings were able to rally in the third period, courtesy of goals from Johan Franzen and Datsyuk, Corey Crawford played well between the pipes for Chicago. Crawford made 30 saves in the victory and didn't allow a goal in the shootout.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Red Wings Score Update: Chicago Leads 2-0 After Two Periods

With the playoffs just around the corner, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to build all the momentum they can. If the first two periods of the regular-season finale are any indication, the Blackhawks seem to be clicking on all cylinders, as they lead the Detroit Red Wings, 2-0.

The Blackhawks built on their first period lead thanks to the 12th goal of the season from Andrew Shaw. Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane teamed up for the assist, with this being the second assist of the game for Sharp. The Chicago offense has been able to attack the Red Wings throughout the opening 40 minutes, as it has attempted 21 shots.

One of the key stories from the first two periods has been the play of Corey Crawford between the pipes. Crawford has saved all 21 shots he has faced and has looked comfortable and confident. If Crawford can find a groove heading into the postseason, the Blackhawks could be a tough out.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Red Wings Score Update: Chicago Leads After Opening Period

With potential playoff ramifications on the line, the Chicago Blackhawks came out in attacking fashion in their regular-season finale and hold a 1-0 lead over the Detroit Red Wings after the opening period. The Blackhawks currently hold the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference, but with a win, could move as high as No. 5.

Both teams were able to find some success in creating offensive opportunities, with each team attempting nine shots in the opening period. However, the lone goal was scored by Viktor Stalberg, who netted his 22nd goal of the season on an assist from Patrick Sharp and Marcus Kruger.

Corey Crawford looked strong in the net for the Blackhawks, stopping all nine shot attempts from the Red Wings and handling some bouts of intense pressure in impressive fashion.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Red Wings: NHL Standings Alter Chicago's Incentive To Win

When the Chicago Blackhawks (44-26-11, 99 pts) take on the Detroit Red Wings (48-28-5, 101 pts) on Saturday afternoon, the 2012 NHL Standings are the one thing everyone will be watching. The Blackhawks currently hold the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoff bracket, but they still have the opportunity to jump up to the No. 5 slot with a win on Saturday, because they own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Red Wings.

However, they may actually want to lose in Saturday's game to avoid a first-round matchup against the Nashville Predators, who have given the Hawks fits with their neutral zone traps and grinding style. If Chicago does lose, the Red Wings could get home ice against the Predators (if Nashville loses in regulation on Saturday) and the Blackhawks would take on the winner of the Pacific division, which will either be the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks or Phoenix Coyotes -- Phoenix currently holds a one-point lead over the Kings and Sharks for that No. 3 slot.

Because it's all that really matters at this point, here is a complete look at the Western Conference playoff standings heading into Saturday's games:

WESTERN GP W L PTS
1 y - Vancouver Canucks 81 50 22 109
2 y - St. Louis Blues 81 48 22 107
3 x - Phoenix Coyotes 81 41 27 95
4 x - Nashville Predators 81 47 26 102
5 x - Detroit Red Wings 81 48 28 101
6 x - Chicago Blackhawks 81 44 26 99
7 x - Los Angeles Kings 81 40 27 94
8 x - San Jose Sharks 81 42 29 94

Game Time: 12:00 p.m. CDT

TV/Radio: NBC, WGN-AM 720

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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NHL Standings 2012: Blackhawks In An Odd Position Heading Into Final Game

The Chicago Blackhawks (44-26-11, 99 pts) currently hold the No. 6 seed in the NHL's Western Conference playoff bracket, but they still have the opportunity to jump up to the No. 5 slot in their final game of the regular season against the Detroit Red Wings (48-28-5, 101 pts). The Hawks own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Red Wings, but they may actually want to lose in Saturday's game to avoid a first-round matchup against the Nashville Predators, who have given the Hawks fits with their neutral zone traps and grinding style.

If Chicago loses on Saturday, the Red Wings would get home ice against the Predators and the Blackhawks would take on the winner of the Pacific division, which will either be the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks or Phoenix Coyotes.

Here is a complete look at the Western Conference playoff standings heading into Friday's games:

WESTERN GP W L PTS
1 y - Vancouver Canucks 81 50 22 109
2 y - St. Louis Blues 80 48 21 107
3 x - Los Angeles Kings 81 40 27 94
4 x - Nashville Predators 81 47 26 102
5 x - Detroit Red Wings 81 48 28 101
6 x - Chicago Blackhawks 81 44 26 99
7 x - San Jose Sharks 81 42 29 94
8 x - Phoenix Coyotes 80 40 27 93

For more on the playoff race, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Wild Final Score: Chicago Blows Lead In Regulation, Loses In Shootout

The Chicago Blackhawks led for most of the game, but they couldn't come through in extra time of a 2-1 defeat against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. The Wild won the game in a shootout after a goal late in the third period forced the two teams into a scoreless overtime.

After scoring early in the first period, it almost looked like the Blackhawks would be able to ride defense to a rare shutout victory on Thursday, but then things fell apart. Chicago's offense went totally silent in the third period, landing just a single shot on goal, and Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford couldn't hold out.

With less than five minutes left in the game, the Wild's Cal Clutterbuck scored his 15th goal of the season during a power play to tie things up. Chicago's offense was already stagnating at this point, so things looked a bit dire.

After a scoreless overtime period, the two teams traded failed attempts in the shooutout until Minnesota's Devin Setoguchi scored the game-winning goal. Chicago's Viktor Stalberg couldn't match the score, preserving the victory for the Wild.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Wild Score Update: Chicago Maintains 1-0 Lead After Two Periods

The Chicago Blackhawks were able to hold steady in the second period, maintaining their 1-0 lead over the Minnesota Wild going into the third period on Thursday night. The Blackhawks took the lead early in the game and have been holding on since then with a strong defensive effort.

Since Jamal Mayers' goal in the first period, neither team has been able to get a shot past either goaltender. The Blackhawks' Corey Crawford has been perfect so far on the night, saving all 13 shots that have come his way so far. Minnesota's Josh Harding has also played well, saving 19-of-20 shots that he's seen.

The Wild have one of the weakest offensive units in the NHL, so the Blackhawks may actually have a decent shot at finishing off this shutout even on the road. It would be the first shutout of the season for Crawford.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Wild Score Update: Chicago Up 1-0 After 1st Period

The Chicago Blackhawks are trying to improve their playoff positioning with just a couple of games to play in the regular season, and they've jumped out to a 1-0 lead on the Minnesota Wild after 20 minutes of play.

Related: NHL Standings 2012: Western Conference Playoff Picture Is Cluttered With Two Games Remaining

Jamal Mayers scored the goal for Chicago, which came at the 11:37-mark of the period. Chicago out-shot Minnesota 10-3 and had a pair of power play opportunities, though they were unable to convert on either of those.

The Blackhawks are in sixth in the West and can finish no lower than that; they're two points behind fifth place Nashville and three points behind fourth place Detroit.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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NHL Standings 2012: Western Conference Playoff Picture Is Cluttered With Two Games Remaining

The Chicago Blackhawks (44-26-10, 98 points) have clinched a spot in the NHL's Western Conference playoff bracket, but with two games left heading into Thursday's games, there is still the possibility they could improve upon their current position as the No. 6 seed. Chicago is just two points behind Nashville and three points behind Detroit, and their hold on the sixth seed is safe with the Coyotes trailing them by five points.

Here is an updated look at the NHL Western Conference playoff picture heading into Thursday's games:

WESTERN GP W L PTS
1 y - Vancouver Canucks 80 50 21 109
2 y - St. Louis Blues 80 48 21 107
3 Los Angeles Kings 80 40 27 93
4 x - Detroit Red Wings 80 48 27 101
5 x - Nashville Predators 80 46 26 100
6 x - Chicago Blackhawks 80 44 26 98
7 Phoenix Coyotes 80 40 27 93
8 San Jose Sharks 80 41 29 92

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Wild: Chicago Continues Playoff Push Without Jonathan Toews

The Chicago Blackhawks (44-26-10, 98 points) are currently the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoff race, and on Thursday night they get a chance to avenge Sunday's 5-4 shootout loss in their rematch with the Minnesota Wild (34-35-11, 79 points). The Hawks are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and sit only two points behind the Nashville Predators for the No. 5 seed, so they still have plenty of incentive to continue their winning ways.

Defenseman Duncan Keith is expected to return to the lineup after serving his five-game suspension for striking Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks in the head with his elbow back on March 21, but captain Jonathan Toews (concussion) had his return pushed another day and has been ruled out. Even so, Blackhawks fans are getting excited about Toews' eventual return to the lineup, but Sam Fels of Second City Hockey thinks the scoring talent needs to be spread out a bit, rather than consolidated:

There's been some talk of putting Kane, Hossa, and Toews together, forcing one of Hossa or Kane to flip to the left side -- more likely Kane as he can still pass from off his forehand from there while not forcing Hossa to not be squared up to shoot from the right. Again, this doesn't totally matter, as the Hawks like to cycle and move in the offensive zone and everybody ends up everywhere if they're on. But I'm not down with this. I've never liked the idea of loading up one line unless it's the 3rd and you need a goal. It makes the Hawks too easy to counter, even if you think Sharpie and the Swedes can maintain what we've seen the past couple weeks for a good while longer. I'm not so convinced, as much as I've loved it.

GAME TIME: Thursday, April 5, 7:00 p.m. CT

LOCATION: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

TV: CSN-Chicago

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Blackhawks be sure to visit Second City Hockey. Wild news and notes are available at Hockey Wilderness. Visit SB Nation NHL for more news and notes around the league.

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NHL Standings 2012: Blackhawks Sit In 6th In Western Conference

The Chicago Blackhawks are in the playoffs. With two games remaining before the end of the regular season, Chicago has 98 points. The 'Hawks won't finish worse than sixth in the conference, which is currently where they sit. The 'Hawks can get as high as fourth place. The current fourth place holder, the rival Detroit Red Wings, have 99 points. The Nashville Predators sit in fifth and also have 98 points.

The rest of the regular season for Chicago looks like this: the opposite back-end of a home-and-home against he Minnesota Wild on Thursday (Chicago lost 5-4 in a shootout on Sunday), followed by a trip to Joe Louis Arena for a meeting against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. That's it. Then Chicago will be begin its quest for its second Stanley Cup in three seasons.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Wild Final Score: Chicago Loses In OT, 5-4

The Chicago Blackhawks rallied on Sunday night to force overtime against the visiting Minnesota Wild, but neither team could break through in the overtime period, and Minnesota eventually captured the game with a 2-1 win in the shootout.

Chicago entered the third down 4-3, and the Blackhawks were down until the late stages before Patrick Kane broke through with the equalizer. After neither team scored in the five-minute overtime period, they went to a shootout to decide the victor.

Both teams scored in the first round of the shootout and then came up dry in the second round. Chicago couldn't score in the third frame, either, but Devin Setoguchi would not be denied, and Minnesota took the game.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Wild Score Update: Chicago Down 4-3 After 2 Periods

The Chicago Blackhawks out-shot the Minnesota Wild 16-12 in the second period and hold a 26-21 edge overall, but it's MInnesota with the lead on the scoreboard, 4-3.

Devin Setoguchi struck first with his 19th goal of the season for Minnesota, and Patrick Sharp answered shortly thereafter to knot the score at one midway through the opening period. Dany Heatley got the lead back for the Wild later in the period, but Chicago was once again able to rally.

Viktor Stalberg scored about five-and-a-half minutes into the second period to tie the game up at two, but the Wild responded with two goals to extend the lead to 4-2. Patrick Kane's 22nd goal of the season brought the Blackhawks back to within one as they head to the third period.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey.. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Predators Final Score: Chicago Wins 5-4, Clinches Playoff Spot

The Chicago Blackhawks (44-26-9, 97 PTS) clinched a postseason birth on Saturday night, beating the Nashville Predators (45-26-8, 98 PTS) in a narrow 5-4 contest.

Chicago took a lead early with on a RW Patrick Sharp power play goal, but the 1-0 lead from first period quickly ballooned to a 4-0 lead in the second when C Dave Bolland, RW Patrick Kane and LW Viktor Stalberg each scored. But the Predators kept the Blackhawks stymied at 4 goals and then scored four of their own, including a pair of scores from D Shea Weber.

With the game knotted at 4-4 in the third period, D Brent Seabrook redirected a pass for a 10-foot goal and the decisive 5-4 'Hawks lead. With the win, the Blackhawks have secured their place in the 2012 NHL Playoffs. Here is a list of the Western Conference teams currently poised for playoff appearances:

Clinched Division

Clinched Playoff Birth

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey and for more on the Predators vist On the Forecheck. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Predators Score Update: Chicago Leads 4-2 Going Into 3rd Period

The Chicago Blackhawks, looking to secure a playoff spot, find themselves leading the Nashville Predators 4-2 in their final matchup in Tennessee.

The Blackhawks jumped to a 4-0 lead after a trio of goals from C Dave Bolland, RW Patrick Kane and LW Viktor Stalberg. But the lead lasted less than 60 seconds as LW Martin Erat fired a 37-foot wristshot put the Predators on the board 4-1. D Shea Weber then snapped a 48-footer past G Corey Crawford for a 4-2 game.

Chicago got a pair of late opportunities against Nashville when Erat and LW Gabriel Bourque each drew seprate penalties, but the Predators successfully killed the power plays and preserved their two-goal deficit. Seconds before the period ended, though, the Blackhawks incurred an uncommon bench penalty -- too many men on the ice -- and enter the third period shorthanded.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Blackhawks, visit Second City Hockey and for more on the Predators vist On the Forecheck. For more news, notes and analysis around the league head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Blackhawks Vs. Predators Preview: Chicago Hopes To Clinch Playoff Spot On Saturday

The Chicago Blackhawks (43-26-9, 95 pts) visit the Nashville Predators (45-25-8, 98 pts) on Saturday night. Chicago can clinch a playoff spot if they earn at least one point and the Phoenix Coyotes lose to the Anaheim Ducks in regulation.

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