The Chicago Blackhawks will face off against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Final, marking the franchise’s first appearance in the National Hockey League’s conference finals since 1995. Detroit will host Games 1 and 2 of the series, with dates and times to be determined.
The fourth-seeded Blackhawks reached the conference finals after eliminating the fifth-seeded Calgary Flames, 4-games-to-2, in the quarterfinals, and the third-seeded Vancouver Canucks, 4-games-to-2, in the semifinals. The second-seeded Red Wings swept the seventh-seeded Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-games-to-0, in the quarterfinals, before eliminating the eighth-seeded Anaheim Ducks, 4-games-to-3, in the semifinals.
This marks the 15th time the Blackhawks and Red Wings are squaring off in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the first time since the 1995 Western Conference Finals when Detroit earned a 4-games-to-1 series win. Chicago has won eight of the 14 previous postseason meetings between the clubs, which includes twice in the Stanley Cup Finals (1934 and 1961). The franchises have matched up seven times with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line, with Detroit posting five series wins in those situations.
The Blackhawks earned a point in four of their six regular-season meetings against the Red Wings (2-2-2), which includes a pair of victories to close out the series on April 11 and Joe Louis Arena (4-2) and April 12 at the United Center (3-0) after going winless in the first four matchups. Detroit (112 points) finished with an eight-point advantage of over the second-place Blackhawks (104) in the Central Division this season.
Chicago and Detroit have faced off 703 times during the regular season, the most between any opponents in National Hockey League history. The 701st matchup took place at Wrigley Field in NHL Winter Classic 2009 on January 1, which the Red Wings won, 6-4.