By Brad Vandenberk
After clinching their fourth consecutive playoff appearance on Saturday night, the Chicago Blackhawks were back in action Sunday evening to face the playoff-eliminated Minnesota Wild. The night earlier the Hawks blew a 4-0 lead to a Nashville Predators quad which the Hawks could see in the first round of the playoffs. The Hawks came out victors with a 5-4 win. With a win Sunday, the Hawks could leap frog both the Predators and the Detroit Red Wings for 4th place in the Western conference. The Hawks sat in 6th in the West with home ice advantage in sight. The question is – Do the Hawks want to face the Wings or Preds in the first round? With Jonathan Toews now cleared for contact, the good ship Blackhawk will be cruising, heading into the first round no matter which foe they encounter. After Corey Crawford stole a Hawks win last night in the country music capital, Ray Emery started between the pipes for this match. This would give Emery a chance to get some game action in, in case he is called upon during the playoffs. Andrew Brunette was replaced by Michael Frolik as the top line winger. Brunette was seen limping around the arena early Sunday. He was later declared out with a lower body injury. The Wild played the night before as well, beating the LA Kings in a shootout. Josh Harding got the start for the Wild. Duncan Keith was serving the last game of his five game suspension. He will return to the line up on Thursday, when the Hawks travel to Minnesota to face the Wild.