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The Flyers can clinch a playoff spot tonight

We wrote yesterday in the Two O'Clock Number that the Flyers could have clinched a playoff spot. We were wrong, corrected it, etc. Thanks to getting a point last night in Atlanta, though, the Flyers are actually able to clinch a playoff spot tonight, despite the fact that they're probably spending the evening at a Dallas hotel.

For the record, with a win on Saturday night, regardless of what happens tonight, the Flyers will officially be playoff bound.

But sticking with tonight: in the simplest terms, the Flyers will clinch a playoff spot with an Islanders regulation win over Carolina in regulation tonight AND a New Jersey loss in regulation, OT or the shootout. A New Jersey win in the shootout AND an Islanders regulation win over Carolina would get the job done too.

Now, the complicated explanation.

As of right now, the Carolina Hurricanes can still pass the Flyers in the standings should they win the rest of their games and should the Flyers fail to get a point the rest of the season. If that happened, the Flyers would end up with 94 points while Carolina would end up with 96 points.

If the Hurricanes lose tonight in regulation against the Islanders, they'd only be able to reach a maximum of 94 points, meaning they could at best tie the Flyers. The first tiebreak this year is non-shootout wins, of which the Flyers have 41 to Carolina's maximum of 39. Thus, the Flyers win the tiebreak.

Should Carolina lose tonight in regulation, the Flyers are guaranteed to finish ahead of them.

Now only one other team is in the mix here, since Toronto and Atlanta (or FLA, NYI and OTT obviously) cannot pass the Flyers no matter what happens.

New Jersey can't pass the Flyers, but they can tie them and win the tiebreak.

The Devils have a maximum of 94 points, but with 12 games remaining, they can reach 42 non-shootout wins. By virtue of that tiebreak, NJD would pass the Flyers if they fail to win again the rest of the season. But if New Jersey fails to earn two points tonight, that all goes out the window.

If New Jersey wins tonight in the shootout, they'll max out at 94 points and 41 non-shootout wins. That could tie the Flyers, but the Flyers win the second tiebreak thanks to success in the season series. Even with one game left in that season series, the Flyers have earned seven points against the Devils to the four points NJD has earned against the Flyers. They can't win that tiebreak.

So, to recap, here's how the Flyers can clinch tonight:

  • NYI regulation win vs. Carolina AND a NJD loss in regulation, OT or SO
  • NYI regulation win vs. Carolina AND a NJD win in the shootout

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