Hawks will open playoffs against No. 8 seed Minnesota Wild
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org April 27, 2013 9:07PM
Minnesota Wild center Matt Cullen, right, reacts after a goal by teammate Devin Setoguchi as Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, front left, and goalie Semyon Varlamov, of Russia, look on in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Saturday, April 27, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Updated: April 27, 2013 9:08PM
ST. LOUIS — For the Blackhawks, the result of Saturday night’s season-finale in St. Louis wasn’t nearly the most important one of the night.
“We mentioned having a TV on the bench,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville joked before the game.
And by the time the Hawks — with eight rookies and a few usual scratches in the lineup as the top stars got the night off — started the third period, down 3-0, the real news of the day was already out. The Hawks will face the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, likely beginning Wednesday at the United Center.
The Wild staved off the Colorado Avalanche 2-1, rendering Columbus’ dramatic victory over Nashville moot. The Detroit Red Wings beat the Dallas Stars to take the seventh seed. They’ll face the Anaheim Ducks in the first round.
The Hawks are 2-0-1 against the Wild this season. Minnesota handed the Hawks their first loss of the season, 3-2 in a shootout, on Jan. 30. On March 5 at the United Center, Bryan Bickell scored two of the Hawks’ four first-period goals in a 5-3 victory. And on April 9 in St. Paul, Marian Hossa had the lone goal and Ray Emery made it stand up in a 1-0 shutout.