It was an overall good night for the Minnesota Wild despite losing 3-1 in Anaheim to begin their season-ending three-game road trip.
The loss doesn't matter because because the Wild clinched third place in the Central Division thanks to a loss by the St. Louis Blues.
Minnesota is now assured a first-round playoff series against Winnipeg or Nashville, whoever doesn't win the division. Regardless, Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau says it will be a "monumental" test.
“The great thing is you know if you can beat either one of those teams, then you can beat any team in the league,” Boudreau said after Wednesday's game, via Wild.com, “because those are two of maybe the top-three teams in the NHL.”
Both teams have two games to play and Nashville leads the division by 3 points.
Winnipeg hosts Calgary Thursday night and then plays at home against Chicago on Saturday. Nashville plays at Washington Thursday before hosting Columbus on Saturday.
Minnesota's loss did matter for Colorado or St. Louis because Anaheim clinched a playoff berth with the win, leaving just one playoff spot remaining with Colorado and St. Louis fighting for it.
The official Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule will be released on Sunday.
The Wild play again Thursday night in Los Angeles.