Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

National Hockey League sets additional tiebreaker procedure to decide final playoff spot

National Hockey League sets additional tiebreaker procedure to decide final playoff spot

This year, it's actually possible.

This would leave both teams tied in all of the major tiebreaking categories (points, regulation/overtime wins, goal-differential, and head-to-head points with the odd home game eliminated) listed above. This number could be the same as the overall win total, but rarely is-ROW purposefully excludes victories in the shootout.

If this tiebreaker game ends up going to overtime, there will be no shootout.

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.

Should the score of that game be tied at the end of regulation, overtime will be conducted under the rules that are in effect for the Stanley Cup Playoffs (i.e., five-on-five skaters, sudden-death, 20-minute periods until a victor is determined).

Should the Panthers win their final two regular season games and the Flyers lose in regulation to the New York Rangers on Saturday, both teams will have 96 points.


The NHL's solution to this potential problem: An 83rd game for both teams.

From here, a few things are clear: if the Flyers record at least one point in their final game (Saturday vs. the Rangers), the playoff spot is theirs. Florida must win its final two contests, but both have to be in the shootout.

If those scenarios play out exactly, Philadelphia and Florida would each have 94 points, 39 ROW and a +1 goal differential on the season.

The Panthers and Flyers played each other three times this year, twice in Sunrise.

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 National Hockey League will hold its first-ever play-in game Tuesday. The league would conduct that drawing this Sunday, and the Flyers and Panthers would face off on Tuesday, April 10, before the postseason kicks off the following night.

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