The Chicago Blackhawks didn't have to wait until the final game of the season to clinch a spot in the playoffs this year. Now they have three more games to improve their starting position in the postseason.
The Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night in the first of two meetings between the teams in the next five days.
Chicago clinched a fourth straight playoff berth after holding on for a 5-4 win at Nashville on Saturday.
Unlike last year, when the Blackhawks (44-26-9) didn't earn a spot in the postseason until the final day of the regular season, this year they'll have time to improve their seed.
Saturday's win moved Chicago into a tie with Detroit for fifth place in the Western Conference - one point behind the Predators for fourth and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
"We'll see how it works out,'' coach Joel Quenneville said. ''Where we're at, we've got to catch two pretty good teams right in ...