With Philadelphia, Carolina and Pittsburgh all tied for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference with 97 points, it’s clear that with the end of the regular season just around the corner, the winner of home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs could very well come down to who wins today.
With two games remaining to Carolina and Pittsburgh’s one, the Flyers could avoid depending on a tiebreaker by winning out. The tiebreaker consists of which team has more wins and that is something the Flyers want to avoid, since they will not win.
The Hurricanes have 45 wins to the Flyers’ 43, making today’s afternoon game against the New York Islanders, crucial to securing the fourth spot. If the Flyers lose to the Islanders and Carolina wins against the New Jersey Devils, the Hurricanes will clinch fourth. If the Penguins and Hurricanes both win and the Flyers lose, the Flyers, who will also have less wins than the Penguins, will sink to sixth in the conference, only able to tie both teams, but will lose the tiebreaker, even with a win in their final game against the New York Rangers.
However, it also works the other way. If Carolina loses to the Devils and the Flyers defeat the Islanders, Philly will be in the driver’s seat in stealing the fourth spot with one game remaining to clinch the spot.