SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -From early on this season, the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks seemed to be on a collision course to meet in the Western Conference final.
With 14 Olympians, seven gold medalists, two silver medal winners and plenty of other talented players, these two teams spent much of the season battling for the top spot in the conference.
The best-of-seven series opens Sunday in San Jose, all because the Sharks beat out the Blackhawks by one point for the top spot in the conference on the final weekend of the regular season.
This is just the sixth time since the current playoff format began in 1994 that the top two seeds reached the conference final. That's in contrast to the East where seventh-seeded Philadelphia is facing eighth-seeded Montreal.