NHL announces additional playoff tiebreaking procedure for Flyers and Panthers
Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere (53) and Florida Panthers center Derek MacKenzie (17) battle for the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Sunrise, Fla. The NHL has never held a tiebreaker game for a playoff spot, but the ground rules have been set in the event one is needed this season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Wilfredo Lee
April 06, 2018 - 2:51 PM
NEW YORK - The NHL has never held a tiebreaker game for a playoff spot, but the ground rules have been set in the event one is needed this season.
The league announced Friday the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers will take part in a play-in game if the teams sit knotted in three separate tiebreaker categories at the conclusion of the regular-season schedule.
The NHL uses combined regulation and overtime wins as its first tiebreaker, followed by points in a season series — excluding the first extra home game for a team — and then goal differential for the entire campaign.
Philadelphia (41-26-14) currently occupies the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with one game left on its schedule, while Florida (42-30-8) has two games remaining.
Both the Flyers (96 points) and the Panthers (92 points) have 39 combined regulation and overtime victories, and tied with two points apiece in the teams' season series when eliminating Philadelphia's 5-1 home win on Oct. 17.
The Flyers head into their final contest with a plus-3 goal differential, while the Panthers are at minus-1.
So if Philadelphia loses in regulation by exactly two goals to New York Rangers on Saturday, and Florida picks up back-to-back shootout wins over the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins this weekend, the NHL will hold its first-ever play-in game Tuesday.
The league said there would be an equally weighted draw to decide home-ice advantage, and that playoff overtime rules would apply should the game remain tied after 60 minutes.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2018