After Rare Shootout Win, Flyers Playoff Chances Look Really Good

According to several prediction systems, the Flyers make the playoffs just under 90 percent of the time. They’re two points up on Detroit with six left.

The other day we wrote about how bad the Flyers are in shootouts. Last night, a third-period tip-in goal from Brayden Schenn helped the Flyers tie the Washington Capitals at 1 in regulation. The game was scoreless through the 3-on-3 overtime, and so the Flyers were headed to a shootout.

The Caps have already clinched the President’s Trophy for the best record in the league. They were 4-1 in shootouts going into last night’s game; the Flyers were 2-8. Wouldn’t you know: Nick Cousins and Sam Gagner scored for the Flyers in the shootout and the Flyers upset the Capitals last night.

Flyers shootout goal - Sam Gagner

Philadelphia Flyers center Sam Gagner (89) scores a goal against Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) during the shootout at Wells Fargo Center.

Gagner had the game-winner. As he noted on Twitter this morning, Jakub Voracek was actually already over the boards to celebrate before the puck went in.

Gagner’s game-winner gave the Flyers 89 points on the season. They’re two ahead of Detroit, who lost to the Canadiens, 4-3, last night. The Flyers also have six games left; the Red Wings have just five. The Flyers are also two points behind the 7th place Islanders, who have seven games left.

So can they make it? Absolutely. The Flyers were 26-22-11 after a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on February 22nd. Since then, they’ve been 12-3-2 to vault from missing the payoffs and into positioning. ESPN says the Flyers play 5 “quality teams” in their remaining six games, though the Red Wings play 4 such teams in their last 5 games.

Broad Street Hockey compiled some playoff odds, and the lowest statistical system gives the Flyers an 87.2 percent chance of making them. That’s the highest they’ve been all season. Now if the Flyers miss the playoffs, we can call them chokers!

The Flyers play the Senators at home on Saturday, followed by a tilt in Pittsburgh the next day. They play the Red Wings next Wednesday, April 6th.

Follow @dhm on Twitter.