While Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings meet for the final time in the regular season as members of the same conference Friday night, it might not be the last the Original Six rivals face each other over the next few weeks.
In a potential first-round playoff preview, the NHL-leading Blackhawks look to complete their first season sweep of their archrival in 36 years with a seventh consecutive victory over the visiting Red Wings.
When the NHL's newest realignment plan debuts in 2013-14, Detroit (19-15-6) will move to the Eastern Conference while Chicago (30-5-4) remains in the West. The Red Wings, along with Columbus, welcome the change as the only two teams currently in West from the Eastern time zone.
Though the Blackhawks won't see much of their biggest rival in future seasons, they could meet this postseason with Chicago atop the West and Detroit owning the conference's eighth and final playoff spot.
That might be an ideal matchup for Chicago, which has won six straight...