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 Playoff Birth
- Nashville Predators
- Detroit Red Wings
- Chicago Blackhawks
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.