NHL playoff picture: Flyers are down and almost out

John Boruk
NBC Sports Philadelphia

NHL playoff picture: Flyers are down and almost out originally appeared on nbcsportsphiladelphia.com

It was a disastrous weekend for the orange and black after they were swept in a back-to-back against the Islanders and Capitals, missing out on a pivotal four points.

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In three days, the Flyers saw their tragic number go from 11 to five. They could be officially eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs as early as this week.

During a crucial stretch with little margin for error, the Flyers are now 4-6-0 over their last 10 games.

Wild-card standings

Carolina       42-26-7    91 points    7 GR        40 ROW
Montreal      40-28-8    88 points    6 GR         38 ROW
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Columbus   41-30-4    86 points    7 GR         39 ROW
Flyers          35-29-8    80 points    6 GR         34 ROW



Sunday's games

PHI L 3-1 at Washington
CAR W 2-1 (OT) vs. Montreal
CBJ W 5-0 at Vancouver

Braden Holtby stifled the Flyers, stopping 35 shots as the Capitals swept the orange and black for just the second time in franchise history.

• In a game pitting the two teams currently occupying wild-card positions, the Hurricanes outlasted the Canadiens as rookie Andrei Svechnikov scored the game-winner in overtime. Carey Price made 38 saves in a losing effort.   

Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and the 31st of his career as the Blue Jackets remained in striking range of the Canadiens for the final wild-card spot in the East.

What lies ahead

The Flyers have a light week with a Wednesday game against the Toronto Maple Leafs before another weekend back-to-back against Carolina and the New York Rangers.

The Canadiens have three games on the slate starting Tuesday against the Panthers and a crucial game against the Blue Jackets in Columbus that could determine the final wild-card spot.

Aside from a head-to-head with Montreal Thursday, Columbus takes on the Islanders at home Tuesday with a weekend back-to-back against the Predators and the Sabres.

Playing the lottery?

As it stands right now, the Flyers are 14th out of the 15 lottery teams that would qualify for the No. 1 overall pick. 

Sad as it may seem, the Flyers have better odds of earning the top pick in the draft (1.5 percent) at this stage of the season than reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As the team with the 14th-worst record in the NHL, the Flyers have a 5.0 percent chance of receiving a top-three selection.

Two years ago, the Flyers had just a 7.3 percent shot of earning a top-three draft pick when they landed at No. 2 overall and selected Nolan Patrick.

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