If the Flyers Win Their Last 2 Games, They Make the Playoffs

Wayne Simmonds saved the Flyers’ season — at least for a little bit — with a last-minute goal in the third period last night.

The Flyers looked like they were about to crash out of the playoff chase last night. They trailed the worst team in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs, by two goals entering the third period. But Andrew MacDonald scored halfway through the period to cut the deficit to one. Then, with the goalie pulled in the final minute, Wayne Simmonds redirected a Mark Streit shot into the net to tie the game and send it to overtime.

The Maple Leafs ended up winning the game in OT, but Simmonds’ goal was huge: The Flyers now control their own playoff destiny. Regardless of the other results, the Flyers make the playoffs if they beat the Penguins on Saturday and the Islanders on Sunday.

That will be tough, of course. Not only is that a back-to-back to end the season, but both the Islanders and Penguins are also ahead of the Flyers in the standings. Losing to the team with the worst point total in the league last night put the Flyers in this situation.

There are two teams the Flyers, who have 92 points, can pass in the standings on the final weekend: Detroit and Boston, who each have 93 points. But they both only have one game left, so if the Flyers win twice in their final two games they will pass at least one of them.

As a result of their three-game losing streak, Sports Club Stats says the Flyers playoff odds are just about 50 percent. If the Flyers qualify for the playoffs, they’ll face the Washington Capitals in the first round. The Caps have the most points in the NHL this year (118) but the Flyers are 2-2 against them this year. One of those wins was in a shootout; the other was in overtime.

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