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Blackhawks clinch third consecutive postseason berth

by Chicago Blackhawks / Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks have clinched a spot in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the franchise’s third consecutive postseason berth, as a result of the Dallas Stars loss to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday evening.

The Blackhawks will launch the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs when they face the Vancouver Canucks in the best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinals beginning at Rogers Arena. Dates, times and broadcast information will be released later tonight by the National Hockey League.

The 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs mark the first time in 14 years the Blackhawks will make three straight postseason appearances.  Last season the Blackhawks defeated Philadelphia four-games-to-two to capture the organization’s first Stanley Cup Championship since 1961. Chicago has advanced to the Western Conference Final in each of the last two postseasons.

Chicago posted a 2-2-0 record against the top-seeded Canucks during the regular-season, which includes identical 1-1-0 marks at the United Center and Rogers Arena. The Blackhawks outscored Vancouver, 12-9, during the season series.

This marks the fifth all-time Stanley Cup Playoff meeting between the Blackhawks and Canucks, which includes matching up in each of the last two years. The Blackhawks have captured three of the four previous series, sweeping the Canucks, 4-games-to-0, in the 1995 Western Conference Semifinals, earning a 4-games-to-2 series win in the 2009 Western Conference Semifinals and a 4-games-to-2 series victory in the 2010 Western Conference Semifinals en route to capturing the Stanley Cup. Vancouver earned a 4-games-to-1 series win over Chicago in the 1982 Campbell Conference Finals in the first-ever playoff matchup between the teams.
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