The magic number is one.
Entering the final weekend of the 2017-18 NHL season, the Flyers control their own destiny when it comes to clinching a playoff berth in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Flyers simply need one point against the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center and they’re back in the postseason for the first time since 2015-16.
The Flyers are currently battling with the Florida Panthers for the the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. All seven other teams in the conference have already clinched, including most recently the Columbus Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils.
If the Flyers fail to get a point Saturday, there’s still another way they can get in.
The Flyers have 96 points, while the Panthers have 92. The Panthers need to win both their games this weekend or else the Flyers make the playoffs. If the Flyers don’t get a point against New York and the Panthers win both games, both teams would be sitting at 96 points. Florida holds the tiebreaker (ROW) and would get in over Philadelphia if the two teams were tied in points.
The Flyers are 2-1-0 against the Rangers this season, emerging victorious in the two most recent matchups in February and March. Even though New York is eliminated from playoff contention, it appears Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t forgotten what happened in 2010.
Lundqvist, who is starting for #NYR tomorrow, said he remembered what happened in Philadelphia in 2010, when #Flyers eliminated them on last day of season. Now, Flyers need one point to make playoffs.
— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) April 6, 2018
The Panthers, meanwhile, face the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday and then the Boston Bruins on Sunday.
Florida has had their way with the lowly Sabres this season, winning all three meetings. The Panthers are also 2-1-0 against the Bruins, earning a critical 3-2 victory over Boston on Thursday.
The Panthers could very well lose one of their remaining two games, but if the Flyers want to be sure and punch their own ticket to the postseason, they’ll need to earn at least a point Saturday afternoon in the biggest game of the year.