On Tuesday night, the Philadelphia Flyers loss to the New York Rangers leaves them in a very precarious position. The defeat, coupled with a Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins, puts the Flyers on the brink of home-ice elimination for the opening round.
The standings are as follows in the East:
1) New York - 109 points
2) Boston - 98 points
3) Florida - 92 points
4) Pittsburgh - 104 points
5) Philadelphia - 101 points
6) New Jersey - 98 points
7) Ottawa - 92 points
8) Washington - 88 points
Philadelphia can't fall any further than sixth, but only needs one point in either of the final two games to ensure a fifth place finish or better.
To catch the Penguins, the Flyers need to beat a very desperate Buffalo Sabres team on Thursday. The Sabres are tied with Washington for the final spot in the East.
If Philadelphia does defeat Buffalo and Pittsburgh only gets a point or less on Thursday against the Rangers, then Saturday's head-to-head tilt with Sidney Crosby and the boys is for home-ice advantage in the first round.
The potential playoff opponents in the opening round are Washington, Florida and Pittsburgh for the Flyers.