PHILADELPHIA —The Flyers , a team that was among the NHL 's worst after a 10-game losing streak earlier in the season, punched their ticket into the Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday afternoon at the charged-up Wells Fargo Center .
Captain Claude Giroux scored his first career hat trick and went over the 100-point mark as the Flyers trounced the New York Rangers , 5-0, and earned a playoff berth in their regular-season finale.
"MVP..MVP..MVP," fans chanted late in the second period after Giroux's second goal of the game and 33rd of the season, put the Flyers ahead, 4-0.
The chants became louder after Giroux scored on a breakaway to complete his hat trick with 9:49 left in the third.
"It feels great. The fans really made me feel special and I'm pretty happy about it," said Giroux, who finished the season with 19 goals and 44 points in the last 29 games.
His final totals: 34 goals, 68 assists, 102 points, and a plus-28 rating.
The Flyers, who needed a point to eliminate Florida, may know their first-round playoff opponent after Saturday's night games. They can finish as high as third in the Metropolitan Division - if that happened, they would face their old pals from Pittsburgh in the opening round - or as low as the second wild-card team.
At the moment, the Flyers are in third place with 98 points, one point ahead of Columbus and New Jersey. On Saturday night, Columbus plays at Nashville, and New Jersey is at Washington.
Brian Elliott , who collected his first shutout with the Flyers, wasn't tested much as his teammates kept the puck in the Rangers' end most of the game. The Flyers outshot New York, 40-17.
With his second-period power-play goal, which gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead, Giroux became the 11th player in NHL history to reach the 100-point mark for the first time at age 30 or older. He also became the first Flyer to reach the century mark since Eric Lindros in 1995-96.
The Flyers scored three goals in a 5:35 span late in the second period to build a 4-0 lead. The Flyers had an 18-5 shots domination in the second, one of their best periods of the season.
"We're playing some good hockey right now," Giroux said.
From deep in the right circle, Giroux zipped a saucer pass out front, where Nolan Patrick was causing havoc in front. The pass apparently missed Patrick's stick, but the rookie center distracted goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the puck went through his legs to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead with 7:36 left in the second.
With 2:07 to go in the second, Michal Raffl made it 3-0, pouncing on a rebound and scoring on a spin-around shot to the far side.
Just six seconds later, Giroux scored from the high slot, increasing the lead to 4-0 and igniting MVP chants.
Ivan Provorov had given the Flyers a 1-0 lead when Sean Couturier 's pass bounced off his chest and into the net with 13:26 left in the first period. Provorov became the fifth defensemen in franchise history to reach the 17-goal mark, and it was his fourth goal in six games.
With a delayed penalty called on the Rangers, the Flyers controlled the puck in the offensive end for about 50 seconds before Couturier took a through-traffic-pass from Jake Voracek and was denied by Lundqvist from the doorstep. Couturier then threw the rebound out front and it bounced off Provorov and into the empty net.
"I was trying to get it over Lundqvist," Couturier said of the pass. "I didn't have much of an angle. I was just trying to get it over him and hopefully have someone put it in."
The Flyers had a 13-7 shots advantage in the first period, and goalie Brian Elliott looked much sharper than he did in Thursday's 4-3 win over Carolina, his first game since Feb. 10. Elliott had missed nearly two months after undergoing core-muscle surgery.
"We came out ready to complete . and knew we had to build on it," said Couturier, who had two assists and finished with 76 points - 37 more than his previous career high (39 points) before this season.
Four minutes into the game, the Flyers committed a costly turnover and were fortunate that Jimmy Vesey fired wide from close range while staring at an empty net.
With the win, the Flyers have the fourth-most points in the NHL since Dec. 4, the night they won in Calgary, 5-2, to end their 10-game losing streak. Before that, only two NHL teams had fewer points than the Flyers.