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Avalanche clinch Central crown with Blues' loss @NHLdotcom

The Colorado Avalanche have gone from 29th-best in the NHL to division champions.

One season after finishing last in the Western Conference, the Avalanche clinched the Central Division title on Sunday when the St. Louis Blues lost 3-0 to the Detroit Red Wings. It is the first division title for Colorado since 2002-03.

By winning the Central and finishing second in the conference, the Avalanche will play the top wild card in the West, the Minnesota Wild, instead of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, in the first round of the playoffs.

This is the franchise's first trip to the postseason since 2009-10. The Avalanche have not won a playoff series since 2008.

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