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How the second round can shape up for Flyers

by Adam Kimelman /

Philadelphia Flyers center Danny Briere was asked after finishing their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins if he had any rooting interest in which team he would play next.

"We can't control that," he said. "And I'm not going to root for anyone. It is what it is. Yes, I'm going to watch, but we'll take whatever is going to be present. It's always the way we've approached it."

Of the remaining six teams in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt, the Flyers have a chance to play any of them in the next round.

So let's take a look at how each scenario would play out, look back at how the Flyers matched up with them in the regular season, and check out any playoff history that might exist.

New York Rangers-- The Flyers would face the top-seeded Rangers if they beat Ottawa, Boston beats Washington and Florida eliminates the Devils.

This would be the least desirable matchup for the Flyers from a regular-season perspective. The Rangers won all six games in 2011-12, and the Flyers are winless in eight straight against them.

However, playoff history slants things the Flyers' way. Philadelphia has won six of the teams' 10 all-time playoff series, including three straight. However, they haven't faced off since the Flyers won the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals in five games.

Boston Bruins-- If the Bruins win Game 7 against Washington, the Rangers beat Ottawa and New Jersey beats Florida, the Flyers would face the second-seeded Bruins.


Flyers top Penguins 5-1 to win series

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer
The Flyers had dropped two straight games after taking a 3-0 series lead, but they closed the door on Pittsburgh in Game 6.

Philadelphia ruined Boston's opening-night Stanley Cup celebration, but the Bruins made up for it by winning the next three games. However, the final two went to shootouts, something the Flyers -- among the worst teams in the League in the history of the post-overtime tie-breaker -- won't have to worry about in the postseason.

The teams' postseason history has been just that -- historic. The Flyers were the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup when they beat the Bruins in six games in the 1974 Final. And the Flyers made history in 2010 when they became just the third team in League history to win a series after trailing 3-0 when they won in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Last year, however, the Bruins gained revenge by sweeping the Flyers in the conference semifinals. In six all-time playoff series, each team has won three.

Florida Panthers-- If the Panthers eliminate the Devils, the Rangers top the Senators and Washington beats Boston, the Flyers would face the third-seeded Panthers. The same matchup would happen if Ottawa beats the Rangers and Boston eliminates Washington.

Philadelphia took three of the teams' four regular-season meetings, including both games at BankAtlantic Center.

The teams have met in the playoffs only once before, when Florida beat the Flyers in the 1996 Eastern Conference Semifinals en route to the franchise's only Stanley Cup Final appearance.

New Jersey Devils-- If the Devils win their series, the Rangers beat Ottawa and Washington eliminates Boston, the Flyers would host the sixth-seeded Devils. This matchup also would occur if Ottawa beats the Rangers and Boston eliminates Washington.

The teams split their six regular season games, with the road team winning twice in each building.

The Flyers and Devils have met in the playoffs four times, but that history certainly has been memorable. Twice the Devils eliminated the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Finals en route to winning the Stanley Cup (1995, 2000). The 2000 series is remembered for the Devils' rally from a 3-1 series deficit capped by the massive hit Devils captain Scott Stevens laid on the Flyers' Eric Lindros. However, the Flyers have won the last two times the teams have played -- five-game first-round series wins in 2004 and 2010.

Washington Capitals -- If the Caps beat the Bruins and the Senators upset the Rangers, the Flyers would host the seventh-seeded Capitals if Florida beats New Jersey.

The Flyers won three of four regular-season meetings, but swept the final three, all coming after Dale Hunter replaced Bruce Boudreau as coach. Two of the Flyers' three wins came in Washington.

The teams have split four all-time playoff meetings, but the Flyers have won the two most recent -- in the 1989 Patrick Division Semifinals, and the 2008 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Ottawa Senators-- If all three remaining lower-seeded teams win -- the Senators, Capitals and Devils -- the Flyers would host the eighth-seeded Senators, and have home-ice advantage through the conference finals.

The teams split four regular-season games, with each team winning once at home and once on the road. However, the Senators won the two most recent games, including a 4-3 shootout win in Philadelphia on March 31.

The Flyers have played the Senators just twice all-time in the playoffs, with Ottawa winning each time. In the 2002 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Ottawa's Patrick Lalime held the Flyers to just one regulation goal in the five-game series, and shut them out in Games 2, 3 and 4. Also, Ottawa won in six games in the 2003 conference semifinals.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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