The first pairing of the opening round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs was confirmed Saturday when the Vancouver Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0 in overtime.
The victory clinched the Northwest Division title for the Canucks -- and dropped the Calgary Flames to fifth place in the Western Conference, assuring them of an opening-round meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Chicago swept the four-game season series with the Flames, winning 6-1 and 5-2 at the United Center and 3-2 in overtime and 5-2 at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The teams haven't played since Hawks' second win at Calgary on Feb. 5.
The teams have met three times in the playoffs, with Calgary winning twice. The Hawks swept the last meeting, winning all four games in the 1996 Western Conference quarterfinals.
The Flames have one regular-season game remaining -- they host Edmonton on Saturday night. The Hawks won 4-2 at Detroit on Saturday and host the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
Check NHL.com Sunday night for the complete first-round playoff schedule.
Author: NHL.com Staff