Over the past few years there’s been talk in both the NHL and NBA about expanding the playoffs to include a play-in game. Well, those in favor of the play-in format are basically getting their wish tonight as we’ve got a do-or-die game between the Blues and Avalanche in Denver. If the Avalanche win in regulation, they are in. If the Blues win or get to overtime — they get the final spot.
If that game is the main event, we’ve got a good undercard as Phildelphia can punch its ticket to the playoffs with a point against the Rangers.
New York Rangers (+203) @ Philadelphia Flyers (-245) | O/U: 6
3 p.m. ET, NBC Sports
Stakes: The Flyers need just one point to clinch a playoff spot. If they lose this game in regulation, they leave the door open for the Panthers, who can get into the dance by winning their final two games. The Cats host Buffalo tonight and then travel to Boston on Sunday.
Pace Watch: It will be interesting to see if the Flyers, who rank 30th in the NHL in pace (shot attempts for + shot attempts against) at 5v5, tighten things up even further in this one knowing that they need only to get it to overtime to get into the playoffs. That wouldn’t be a particularly wise move, but it would definitely not be surprising to see Dave Hakstol’s team sit back and try to grind out a point against the Rangers, who have nothing to lose in this one.