One season after finishing last in the Western Conference, the Avalanche clinched the Central Division title on Sunday when the St. Louis Blues lost 3-0 to the Detroit Red Wings. It is the first division title for Colorado since 2002-03.
By winning the Central and finishing second in the conference, the Avalanche will play the top wild card in the West, the Minnesota Wild, instead of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, in the first round of the playoffs.
This is the franchise's first trip to the postseason since 2009-10. The Avalanche have not won a playoff series since 2008.
It's an incredible feeling just to see it go in and see the Joe go pretty crazy. Ever since the introduction there, I was kind of feeling the nerves, and to put that one home, I started to feel comfortable and I thought my play started to pick up.
— Nineteen-year-old Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin after scoring a goal in his NHL debut
TONIGHT ON NHL NETWORK
6:30 ET: Hockey Central Saturday: Hockey Tonight 7:00 ET: NHL Hockey: MTL @ BOS (Live Game) 10:00 ET: NHL Tonight