The Chicago Blackhawks have clinched home ice advantage for the first round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs as a result of the Calgary Flames’ 5-1 road loss against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.
The Blackhawks, who will be making their first postseason appearance since 2002, are locked into the Western Conference’s fourth seed and will face either the Vancouver Canucks or Calgary when the playoffs begin next week, with dates and times to be determined. The opening round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs will mark the first time Chicago will have home ice advantage in a postseason series since 1996, when the squad swept the Flames, 4-games-to-0, in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
The Blackhawks (44-24-12) have reached the 100-point mark for the seventh time in franchise history and first since the 1992-93 club racked up 106. The Blackhawks return to the ice on Saturday at 2:00 P.M., when the visit the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena (WGN Channel 9, News/Talk 720 WGN Radio). The club can match a franchise record with its 22nd road victory of the season on Saturday (21-15-4).