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Western Conference playoff field set; pairings TBD @NHL

The eight Western Conference teams in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been determined, although the pairings have not.

The Calgary Flames earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2009 by defeating the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday, eliminating the defending Stanley Cup champions. The victory assured the Flames of finishing no worse than third in the Pacific Division.

Calgary's victory also assured the Winnipeg Jets of their first playoff berth since 2007, when the franchise was known as the Atlanta Thrashers. The Jets earned one point in a 1-0 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche, a game that ended five minutes before the Flames finished the Kings.

Winnipeg is locked into the second wild card from the West and will play the higher finisher of the two division champions after the season ends Saturday, when all 30 teams play.

The St. Louis Blues clinched first place in the Central Division with a 2-1 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks, combined with the Minnesota Wild's 4-2 victory at the Nashville Predators. The Blues and the Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks each have 107 points; the Ducks have the tiebreaker edge with 41 regulation/overtime wins to 40 for the Blues.

Nashville is assured of finishing second in the Central. The third-place Blackhawks are two points ahead of the Wild.

The Vancouver Canucks, who are second in the Pacific Division, will play the Flames in the first round. The Canucks lead the Flames by two points and can assure themselves of the home-ice advantage in their series by earning one point in their season finale against the Edmonton Oilers. Calgary ends at Winnipeg.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin April 15.

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