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Flyers loss hurts them in the race for home ice in the first round

Scott Hartnell, Zbynek Michalek

Philadelphia Flyers’ Scott Hartnell, left, shoves Pittsburgh Penguins’ Zbynek Michalek, of the Czech Republic, in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, March 18, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


The Flyers are in the hunt for the fourth seed in the East and earning home ice advantage for the first round. Problem there, however, is the team in front of them are the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Even worse for Philly is their comeback from a 3-0 hole to Ottawa today fell short losing in a shootout. The Flyers are three points back of Pittsburgh and that suddenly makes tomorrow’s game a big one for Philly.’s Jeremy Roenick, who knows a thing or two about this rivalry having been a Flyer, says that getting home ice for this likely first round match-up will make all the difference.

“That’s why you saw Philly care so much in Toronto on Thursday,” Roenick said, referring to the Flyers 7-1 pounding of the Maple Leafs. “I believe they are focused that Pittsburgh is going to be their first-round matchup and their main goal is to get home-ice advantage. I think they feel they can beat them in their own building, which they showed last game coming back from two goals down (to win 3-2 in overtime). “If you’re going to play a team like Pittsburgh in the first round, home-ice advantage becomes so critical. That might be the Flyers mentality right now.”

If that’s their mentality, they’d better pull off a win tomorrow, or else they’ll be spending the majority of the first round on the wrong side of the state.