The Chicago Blackhawks have clinched the 15th division championship in franchise history, earning a 3-2 shootout victory over the Detroit Red Wings tonight at the United Center. The game was Duncan Keith’s 600 career NHL game.
The Central Division championship, Chicago’s first since 2009-10, ensures the Blackhawks home-ice advantage for the first two rounds of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blackhawks currently lead the Western Conference with 66 points (31-5-4) with eight games remaining in the regular season. Chicago will be making its fifth consecutive trip to the postseason.
Keith Relief is excited to announce that Official Autographed items have been added to the store. Items include Official Autographed Pucks and Keith Relief Hats. All autographed items come with an Official Certificate of Authenticity from the Chicago Blackhawks. Proceeds from the store benefit Keith Relief.
The Blackhawks suffered their first regulation loss since last March 25 when they were defeated 6-2 by the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night. The loss snapped three streaks for the Blackhawks, who had won their previous 11 games, had started the season by getting at least one point in 24 consecutive games, and were unbeaten in regulation in 30 straight dating to last season.
Before Friday’s game, the last time the Blackhawks had gone home empty-handed was a 6-1 home loss to the Nashville Predators nearly 12 full months ago.
Chicago finished the 2011-12 season with a 3-0-3 run before its historic 21-0-3 start to this one. In all, the Blackhawks went 30 consecutive regular-season games (24-0-6) without a loss in regulation or overtime.
The only team in NHL history to have enjoyed a better run is the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers, who set a record for North American professional sports when they went 35 games without a loss, 25-0-10. Overtime had not yet been implemented, and a game that was even after 60 minutes ended in a tie.
Both teams will be remembered for their respective historic runs.
With their 4-3 shootout win against the rivals from Vancouver, the Blackhawks have tied an NHL record with 16 straight games to begin a season without a regulation loss.
The mark, which tied the eventual Stanley Cup champion 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks, can be surpassed on Friday, when the Hawks face off against San Jose for a third and final time in the shortened 2012-13 season.