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Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Detroit Red Wings: One Goal

Here's how the Blackhawks' playoff chances and positioning break down today:

If the Blackhawks either get today's game to overtime or win it (i.e., get at least one point), they're in the playoffs regardless of what the Dallas Stars do in their game against the Wild later today.

One point only would leave the Blackhawks at 98 points; they hold the tiebreaker over the Kings, so in that case they'd be the No. 7 seed and play the Sharks in the first round.

A win for the Blackhawks would give them 99 points, leap them over three teams and make them the No. 5 seed, in which case they'd play the No. 4 seeded Ducks in the first round.

If the Blackhawks lose, they're still in at the No. 8 seed (playing the Canucks in round one) unless the Stars beat the Wild in regulation or overtime (if the Stars and Wild get to a shootout, the Blackhawks are in no matter what they do today). In that event, the Stars win the tiebreaker and the Blackhawks are out.

That's... reasonably clear, right? Today's Blackhawks/Red Wings game, originally scheduled for midafternoon, has been moved to 11:30 a.m. CDT at NBC's request for national TV. The Stars/Wild game is the last regular season NHL game; it will begin at 5 p.m. CDT.