It took until the very last day of the NHL regular season to determine that these teams would meet in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Colorado Avalanche became the 2013-14 Central Division champions when the St. Louis Blues lost 3-0 to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon. Led by first-year coach Patrick Roy, it was yet another remarkable achievement by the Avalanche this season after they finished with the second-fewest points in the NHL in 2012-13.
The Minnesota Wild have qualified for the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. After signing forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter to identical 13-year, $98 million contracts in the summer of 2012, the Wild ended a four-year playoff drought but were eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round in five games.
When the puck drops on Game 1, it will be the first time the Avalanche and Wild have shared the same sheet of ice since Jan. 30. They played five games against each other in a two-month span, with two of the games requiring shootouts. Colorado finished 4-0-1 against Minnesota; rookie Nathan MacKinnon had two game-winning goals.