- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Red Wings moved back into the playoffs and into the No. 8 spot with their 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. As of Thursday, the Red Wings, who will play in the Eastern Conference next season, would open the playoffs against the Blackhawks.
The two rivals have met in 15 playoff series throughout their history. The Blackhawks hold an 8-7 series advantage. They've played in four playoffs series in the last 25 years. The Blackhawks are 4-0-0 against the Red Wings this season.
The Red Wings do still have some work to do to remain in the playoffs. There are four teams still fighting over two remaining playoff spots in the Western Conference, and all four still have a shot at facing the Blackhawks in the opening round.
The Red Wings can move closer to securing a spot with a win against the Nashville Predators on Thursday. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars also meet in a key game on Thursday. The Blue Jackets can move back into the eighth spot with a win coupled with a Red Wings' regulation loss. The Stars need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Minnesota Wild could also clinch a playoff spot with a Blue Jackets' regulation loss.
Here's a closer look at all four of the Blackhawks' potential first-round opponents with their records, ROW (regulation + overtime wins, which is used as a tiebreaker), remaining games and best-and-worst-case scenarios.
Wild, 25-18-3, 53 points (seventh place): 21 ROW, two games remaining (vs. Edmonton Friday, at Colorado on Saturday), best case (57 points, fifth place), worst case (53 points, out of the playoffs)
Red Wings, 22-16-8, 52 points (eighth place): 20 ROW, two games remaining (vs. Nashville on Thursday, at Dallas on Saturday), best case (56 points, seventh place), worst case (52 points, out of the playoffs)
Blue Jackets, 22-17-7, 51 points: 17 ROW, two games remaining (at Dallas on Thursday, vs. Nashville on Saturday), best case (55 points, seventh place), worst case (51 points, out of the playoffs)
Stars, 22-20-4, 48 points: 20 ROW, two games remaining (vs. Columbus on Thursday, vs. Detroit on Saturday), best case (52 points, eighth place), worst case (48 points, out of the playoffs)