Flyers coach Peter Laviolette knows the numbers make his team the longest of playoff longshots.
“We’re in a hole. We put ourselves here and we accept it,” Laviolette said after the Flyers jolted the New York Rangers, 4-2, on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.”
The Flyers have five games left and are five points behind the eighth-place Rangers in the Eastern Conference; they are also five behind Winnipeg.
Technically, the Rangers are in eighth over the Jets because they have played one fewer game. The Rangers have six games left, all against non-playoff teams.
It would take an epic collapse by the Rangers _ and a long winning streak by the Flyers _ for Philly to sneak into the playoffs.
“I think it’s important that we keep fighting. So, I think the guys have done an outstanding job,” Laviolette said of their consecutive wins over Montreal and the Rangers. “They played a really tough game in Montreal (Monday). It was a very fast, very competitive game which you have to play against Montreal. I’m sure they didn’t go to bed until 3, 4 in the morning by the time they fell asleep, so to come back and play a team that needs to be successful tonight and to compete and continue to push, I’m proud of the guys.”
The Flyers, their defense depleted because of injuries, won Tuesday despite having four blue-liners who have either been AHL callups (the emerging Erik Gustafsson, feisty Oliver Lauridsen, newcomer Brandon Manning) or primarily a healthy scratch (Kurtis Foster) this year.
On Thursday, the Flyers will host New Jersey, a team that has lost 10 straight.
During the Flyers recent four game losing streak _ a skid that figures to cost them a playoff spot _ they lost to two teams, Ottawa and Winnipeg, that had dropped five in a row.
Goalie Steve Mason (38 saves), who has been brilliant in four appearances since being acquired from Columbus, stole the win over the Rangers and probably earned the start against the Devils.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.