Because the Florida Panthers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday, the Flyers did not clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth.
However, the result was not exactly bad news for the Flyers. Pittsburgh would have moved into a three-way tie with the Flyers and Carolina for the No. 4 spot if the Pens had won last night.
So the Flyers, who would have clinched a playoff berth with a Florida loss, and Carolina remained tied for fourth with 95 points. Pittsburgh (93) and Montreal (92) are close behind.
The Flyers and Canadiens have four regular-season games left - one more than the Penguins and Hurricanes.
The fourth seed will face the No. 5 seed and get home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Here are the schedules of the teams in contention for the No. 4 seed:
Flyers: vs. Florida tomorrow; at New York Rangers on Thursday; at New York Islanders on Saturday; vs. Rangers on Sunday.
Carolina: vs. Islanders tomorrow; vs. Buffalo on Thursday; at New Jersey on Saturday.
Pittsburgh: at Tampa Bay tomorrow; vs. Islanders on Thursday; at Montreal on Saturday.
Montreal: vs. Ottawa tonight; at Rangers tomorrow; at Boston on Thursday; vs. Pittsburgh on Saturday.
If the Flyers go 3-0-1 the rest of the way, they would wrap up the No. 4 seed regardless of how their opponents fare. The Flyers did not have the home-ice advantage in any round last year, when they were seeded sixth and reached the conference finals.
The Flyers' magic number for clinching a playoff spot is one point. . . . Jeff Carter leads the NHL with 11 game-winning goals. . . . Simon Gagne has seven goals in his last 11 games. . . . The Flyers have the same number of wins (42) and points (95) that they had at the end of last season. . . . The Flyers are 4-6 in shoot-outs this season, 7-12 in the last two seasons, and 12-24 in their history.
- Sam Carchidi