The Chicago Blackhawks have clinched a spot in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the franchise’s second consecutive postseason berth, as a result of the Calgary Flames 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs will mark the first time in 13 years the Blackhawks will make consecutive postseason appearances. Chicago currently leads the Western Conference and ranks second overall in the NHL with 99 points. The Blackhawks currently hold a 10-point lead in the Central Division as the team closes in on their first division title in 17 years, and are on the verge of consecutive 100-point seasons for the first time since 1970-71 and 1971-72.
Last season, the Blackhawks finished the regular season as the fourth seed in the Western Conference, marking the first time since 2002 the club saw postseason action and the first time since 1996 the franchise had home-ice advantage in a playoff series. Chicago reached the National Hockey League’s Western Conference Finals for the first time in 14 years.
The Blackhawks host the Blue Jackets at the United Center on Sunday at 6:00 P.M. The game can be seen on WGN-TV and heard on Chicago’s WGN Radio.