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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Flyers blow chance vs. Rangers

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason (35) and teammate Luke Schenn (22) react after New York Rangers' Dominic Moore scored a goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in New York. The Rangers won 3-1
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Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason (35) and teammate Luke Schenn (22) react after New York Rangers' Dominic Moore scored a goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in New York. The Rangers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night stalled their push for home ice in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. But more than that, it inched open the door to the possibility that the Flyers could miss the dance altogether.

Oh, the odds are still very much in their favor: a 92.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Sports Club Stats. And there’s still a 48-percent chance they finish third in the Metro and get another shot at the Rangers.

However …at 83 points, they have a 3-point lead over the Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Capitals and Maple Leafs. They have 4-point swing games left against the Leafs (on Friday night) and the Jackets. They have Boston twice on their schedule, a game against the Blues and a late-season showdown with the Penguins. And since the Flyers have an odd number of points (83), their regulation win tie-breaker advantage over the quartet loses a little significance.

Again: They’re safe. For now. But losing their second in a row, in frustrating fashion, at the very least has some of the bubble teams looking higher than the current wild card teams in their playoff scenarios.

All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their "Tragic Number" hits 0.

Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1st Wild Card

% Chance of 2nd Wild Card B

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 1/80/32 (5H/5A)

-

25

21

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 2/80/28 (5H/5A)

-

32

24

Washington Capitals

9th/80/25 (4H/5A)

18

9

17

Toronto Maple Leafs

10th/80/27 (4H/4A)

16

10

15

New Jersey Devils

11th/75/31 (6H/4A)

15

5

11

Ottawa Senators

12th/72/25 (7H/3A)

12

0

0

Carolina Hurricanes

13th/71/30 (4H/6A)

11

0

0

New York Islanders

14th/65/22(4H/6A)

5

-

0

The Red Wings host Montreal tonight, which will be fun.

The Habs have a 2-point lead over Tampa Bay, but the Lightning have two games in-hand. The Wings, with a victory or an overtime loss, can leap over idle Columbus into the first wild card slot, but the Jackets will remain in the second wild card with tie-breakers against the Caps and Leafs.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/85/30 (4H/5A)

-

54

31

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/82/30 (5H/4A)

-

32

36

Dallas Stars

9th/79/31 (4H/6A)

17

12

28

Vancouver Canucks

10th/78/29 (6H/2A)

12

1

4

Nashville Predators

11th/73/30 (4H/5A)

9

0

0

Winnipeg Jets

12th/73/26 (3H/6A)

9

0

0

Calgary Flames

13th/67/24 (3H/6A)

3

-

0

The Wild’s loss dropped their playoff probability down by 7.1 percent to 85.3 percent. They still have over a 50-percent chance of finishing in the first Wild Card, and the only team that has a legit chance to catch them are the Coyotes, who are dealing with the loss of Mike Smith. So the Wild are OK.

They are in St. Louis tonight, while Phoenix is at the Devils.

Vancouver, ever the tease, closed to within four points of the Coyotes but will have just seven games left after they face the Colorado Avalanche tonight.

The Presidents’ Trophy race sees the Blues (105 points, vs. Wild), Bruins (104 points, vs. Chicago) and San Jose (103 points, vs. Winnipeg) in action. The Sharks have eight games remaining, while the Blues and Bruins have 10. The Bruins (47) have a significant regulation win lead on the Blues (41) and Sharks (37).

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