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Tuesday, April 16

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Blackhawks Mon Apr 12 2010

Blackhawks & Nashville Face Off Friday, Regular Season Wrap-up

So, here we go. After a successful season, now the real fun begins for the Blackhawks, who face the Nashville Predators in the first round of the NHL playoffs, beginning on Friday. Puck drops at 7:30pm at the United Center.

First things first, due to confluence of reasons, it's been a few weeks since I posted. Quickly wrapping up the regular season:

After a dismal March, the Hawks started to refocus, reeling off 6 straight wins before losing 3-2 in overtime to Detroit yesterday to finish up the season.

Because of that loss, and San Jose's win the previous night, the Sharks claimed the top seed in the Western Conference, while Chicago had to settle for number 2.

Thanks to Detroit's win, and the L.A. Kings shootout victory on Sunday, both teams leapfrogged Nashville in the standings, leaving the Predators as the Hawks' first round opponent.

With Detroit's loss Easter Sunday just before the Hawks' 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames, the Blackhawks claimed their first division title in 17 years. They followed that up by setting franchise records in both wins (52) and points (112), breaking the previous totals of 49 and 107 (though it should be noted, both these totals were before the shootout was introduced, meaning teams could finish a game tied and earn a single point).

Now that that's all covered, it's time to look ahead.

The Hawks beat the Predators 4-2 in the season series, though thanks to some weird scheduling quirks, the two teams haven't seen each other since Dec. 27. There will be a bigger playoff preview later this week, but in the meantime, here's the first-round schedule (with Games 5-7 if necessary, naturally).

Game 1: April 16, 7:30 p.m., United Center (Vs.)
Game 2: Sunday, April 18, 7:30 p.m., United Center (Vs.)
Game 3: Tuesday, April 20, 8 p.m., Bridgestone Arena (Vs.)
Game 4: Thursday, April 22, 7:30 p.m., Bridgestone Arena (Vs.)
Game 5: Saturday, April 24, 2 p.m., United Center (NBC)
Game 6: Monday, April 26, TBD, Bridgestone Arena
Game 7: Wednesday, April 28, TBD, United Center

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