Wednesday night’s lone Game 7 was a dramatic tease for the Flyers, who are salivating to learn their next opponent for the second round.
Washington’s surprising overtime road win, knocking off the defending Stanley Cup champs in Boston, gave the Flyers two valuable pieces of information:
1. Boston is no longer a possible opponent. (Duh)
2. The Flyers cannot face the New York Rangers in the second round, even if they beat the Senators in Game 7 on Thursday night.
After breathing a small sigh of relief, not having to face the team they've lost 8 straight games to over the last two seasons until at least the Conference Final, there are still vast possibilities.
Even with one out of three Game 7’s in the books, the Flyers can still face four different opponents in the second round – and the earliest they will know their fate is 11 o’clock on Thursday night.
Only one scenario, in Florida, would require the Flyers to open on the road over the weekend. Amazingly, the Flyers – as a No. 5 seed - would host any of the other three remaining teams.
Here are the scenarios to watch:
If NYR & FLA win – Flyers face Florida (5 vs. 3)
If NYR & NJD win – Flyers face New Jersey (5 vs. 6)
If OTT & FLA win – Flyers face Washington (5 vs. 7)
If OTT & NJD win – Flyers face Ottawa (5 vs. 8)
If both the Devils and Senators win, the Flyers would have home-ice advantage in each of the next two rounds.
For the record, if the two favorites (Rangers -170, Devils -120) are to win, the Flyers would face the Devils in the second round. New Jersey finally broke a five-game losing streak when facing elimination on Tuesday night. Florida is the home underdog for Game 7.
Here are the game times:
Ottawa at N.Y. Rangers – 7:00 p.m. – Madison Square Garden – NBC Sports Network
New Jersey at Florida – 8:30 p.m. – Bank Atlantic Center – NHL Network, joined in-progress on NBC Sports Nework
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers