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Blackhawks become first team to clinch playoff berth (Update: Pens clinch too)

Apr 7, 2013, 9:46 PM EDT

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 7: Andrew Shaw #65 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after scoring against the Nashville Predators in the first period during the NHL game on April 07, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

Granted, there wasn’t much doubt after the Chicago Blackhawks got off to a 21-0-3 start this season, but now we know for sure: The Blackhawks will participate in the 2013 NHL Playoffs.

They became the first team in the NHL to earn that distinction on Sunday when they secured a 5-3 win against the Nashville Predators.

For a brief time though, it looked like the Blackhawks would have to wait at least a little longer to clinch.

Predators forward David Legwand netted his 11th goal of the season at 6:54 of the third period to give his team a 3-2 lead. However, the Blackhawks were only down for 2:43 minutes before 20-year-old rookie Brandon Saad found the back of the net for Chicago.

Then, appropriately, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews buried the game winner 55 seconds later.

Chicago is now 29-5-4 this season and don’t have much left to play for. They’ve all but won the first seed in the Western Conference, so the biggest question left is if they’ll get the Presidents’ Trophy.

All the same, the Blackhawks will want to avoid becoming complacent. They still have 10 games and about three weeks left before their season is over and they won’t want to lose any momentum in that time.

Update: The New Jersey Devils lost to the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, which means the idle Pittsburgh Penguins are the second team to secure their playoff spot.

  1. blackhawks2010 - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Nice win Hawks, onto Minnesota.

  2. thomasvanek - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Oh thank god I wasn’t sure for a little bit there

  3. sjsharks66 - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Hot now, cold during playoffs.

    • c0sm0b0z0 - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      I think that’s the Sharks slogan

  4. kcprof926 - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Jonathan Toews is amazing at all parts of the game and his desire the win is tremendous . He needs to be in the talk for the Hart or Selke award.

  5. operwapitsai - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    boy it seems the penguins get tied into every subject on this site. I wonder what team the writers are fans of. anyways congrats to hawks and pens tonight

    • mmmpierogi - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:35 AM

      The article is about teams clinching playoff berths — the Hawks and the Pens were the first two teams to clinch. It would have been more redundant to draft a second article that basically clones this one entitled “Pens become second team to clinch playoff berth.” Not really that controversial.

  6. Stiller43 - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:03 AM


    The article is about teams clinching a playoff spot, which two teams did on sunday…why are you so butt hurt one of them happened to be the penguins (which by the way were a throw in mention compared to what the hawks got for clinching earlier)?

    If you want more news on the last place avalanche and whats happening with them, check out their local papers site and click on “sports.”

    If you want to visit a page about the most relevant items in sports now, come to this site. Nobodys forcing you to be here.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:23 AM

      If you look at the article it really is a snub at the Pens and praising the Hawks for such a great year ! PHT words it like the Pens backed into the playoffs !

  7. canucks30 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    Interested to see if Detroit finishes 8th and plays Chicago in round 1. Similar to last years series between Vancouver and LA where LA wasn’t a prototypical 8th seed.

    It would also be a nice send off to this rivalry with Detroit moving East next year.

  8. kingsforever - Apr 8, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    First round exit

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      Kingsforever, Congrats on predicting your team’s demise. IF they even make the playoffs, that is.

  9. dt58 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    “Hot now, cold in playoffs”. I guess that’s better than “stink it up all year and work on golf swing during playoffs”… With your ability to predict the future you must be a rich psychic, why are you eating your time here?

  10. kingsforever - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Yeah man dynasty….pretty sure you need more than 1 cup in 50 years to be called a dynasty.
    I know the irony of that comment but hence that I don’t claim the Kings are a dynasty

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