Here we go again.
The Vancouver Canucks learned they will face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the NHL playoffs, after the final regular season game was played out Sunday.
With the Dallas Stars losing 5-3 to the Minnesota Wild, the Blackhawks clinched the eighth and final postseason spot in the Western Conference. Chicago had lost 4-3 to Detroit earlier in the day and would have been eliminated from playoff contention with a Stars win in regulation or overtime.
Alas, that was not the case, setting up the third straight meeting between Vancouver and Chicago in the playoffs.
And the Canucks, who have home advantage, will hope to finally redeem themselves after being eliminated by the Hawks the past two years.
While Chicago barely sneaked into the playoffs, the Canucks closed out their franchise-best regular season Saturday with a 3-2 overtime win over the Calgary Flames.
With a pair of assists, Daniel Sedin locked up the Art Ross Trophy with 104 points, winning the NHL scoring title one year after his brother completed the same feat. Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider also secured the Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals in the league.
In other Western Conference matchups, the San Jose Sharks face the L.A. Kings, the Detroit Red Wings take on the Phoenix Coyotes and the Anaheim Ducks play the Nashville Predators.