The Detroit Red Wings finished the 2010-11 regular season in third place in the Western Conference standings with 104 points. The Phoenix Coyotes finished sixth with 99 points, meaning they will be the Red Wings' opponent in the first round of the 2011 NHL playoffs for the second year in a row.
In the 2010 NHL playoffs the Red Wings were actually the fifth seed. The Coyotes were the fourth seed, meaning they had home-ice advantage. Well, I should say that in theory they were the home team. In reality there were seemingly as many Red Wings fans as Coyotes fans at games in Phoenix, and I'm sure this year will be no different.
The series last year between these two teams went seven games. The Red Wings opened the playoffs with a 3-2 loss on the road, but they followed that up with a 7-4 win. After suffering a 4-2 defeat at home in game three, the Red Wings responded with a big 3-0 win in game four. Game five was a 4-1 Red Wings victory, but Phoenix won by a score of 5-2 in game six at Detroit. That set up game seven in Phoenix, and the Red Wings dominated the Coyotes for a 6-1 win to take the series.
This year, game one of the series will be played on Thursday, according to FS Detroit's Trevor Thompson. Game two will be on Saturday and NBC will have the broadcast. A full NHL playoffs schedule will be released later on Sunday.