With the Rangers' win over the Flyers in a shootout today, here are the scenarios that are potentially in play as a result of tonight's game.
Canes win in regulation: Tie Buffalo in points and regulation or overtime wins (ROW). Third tiebreaker is season series, and if the Canes win today they will hold that tiebreaker, putting them into 8th with a magic number of 7. This is the only outcome that ensures the Canes have control of their own destiny.
Canes win in overtime: One point back of Buffalo, still in 9th but tied with Buffalo in ROW. Tragic number drops to 6.
Canes win in shootout: One point back of Buffalo, still in 9th and still a win behind the Sabres in ROW. Tragic number drops to 6.
Sabres win in regulation: Sabres go four points up on Canes, drop Rangers back to 8th place where they would be three points ahead of Carolina. Tragic number drops to 3. (If this happens, barring a long losing streak by either BUF or NYR, it's likely over.)
Sabres win in overtime: Sabres go three points up, take 7th from Rangers who would be two points ahead of Carolina. Tragic number drops to 4. If the Canes and Sabres go to overtime, the Canes want to make darned sure they either win or get to the shootout. A Sabres win before the shootout puts them up by two wins in ROW.
Sabres win in shootout: Same as above, tragic number at 4 but the Canes would trail the Sabres by one in ROW rather than two.