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Blackhawks-Flames set for first round

Saturday, 04.11.2009 / 5:43 PM / NHL Insider

By NHL.com Staff

The first pairing of the opening round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs was confirmed Saturday when the Vancouver Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0 in overtime.

The victory clinched the Northwest Division title for the Canucks -- and dropped the Calgary Flames to fifth place in the Western Conference, assuring them of an opening-round meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago swept the four-game season series with the Flames, winning 6-1 and 5-2 at the United Center and 3-2 in overtime and 5-2 at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The teams haven't played since Hawks' second win at Calgary on Feb. 5.

The teams have met three times in the playoffs, with Calgary winning twice. The Hawks swept the last meeting, winning all four games in the 1996 Western Conference quarterfinals.

The Flames have one regular-season game remaining -- they host Edmonton on Saturday night. The Hawks won 4-2 at Detroit on Saturday and host the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

Check NHL.com Sunday night for the complete first-round playoff schedule.
Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals