The NHL announced a new tiebreaker Friday. Should the Flyers and Panthers finish the regular season tied in points, wins, points in their season series and season goal differential, the teams will play one final game to advance to the playoffs: A play-in game for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Of course, the Flyers can avert all this madness and simply get one point vs. the Rangers Saturday, punching their ticket to the postseason.
For the Panthers to catch the Flyers, they must win both of their remaining games, while the Flyers must lose to the Rangers in regulation Saturday.
The only realistic way the play-in game would happen is if the Flyers and Panthers finish with the same goal differential. With two games left, the Panthers are a minus-1 and the Flyers are plus-3 with one game remaining.
So, thanks to the mathematicians at Broad Street Hockey, the Flyers would need to lose by two goals to the Rangers, while the Panthers win their final two games in shootouts. Very unlikely.
And should that game happen, there would (thankfully) be no shootout. The teams would play under the playoff overtime format — 5-on-5 periods until one team scores. The location of the game would be determined by an equal draw Sunday night. The Flyers are 2-2 against the Panthers this season, with both losses coming on the road.
Still, it's exciting to think about a Game 83, but we all remember the last time the Flyers played the Rangers in the final game with a playoff spot on the line.