How the Rangers take down the Panthers 

January, 25, 2011

I thought I was headed for a big week last Tuesday, after hitting on five of the six early games. My good fortune ran out during the later tilts, however, and I finished with my second straight 6-4 night. Still, I'll take it.

There are eight games on tonight's slate, highlighted by a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference final series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Philadelphia Flyers in Philly. In a scheduling quirk, Peter Laviolette's team will be playing its third straight game against a team it faced during 2010 playoffs.

In the West, the Chicago Blackhawks will try to get back on the winning track against the Minnesota Wild tonight at the United Center. Will they? Here are the Hradek NHL selections for another Tuesday night on ice:

Florida Panthers at New York Rangers
Here's a tough one. The two teams split 3-0 decisions in South Florida earlier in the season. The injury-riddled Rangers are coming off a hard-fought 2-1 shootout win over the Washington Capitals in D.C. last night. How much will the Rangers have in the tank for tonight's game? The Panthers haven't been playing well of late, going in 0-1-3 in their last four games. To make matters worse, as of this writing I'm not sure if top starter Tomas Vokoun will be ready to return to his crease. I do know that Henrik Lundqvist is ready to go for the Rangers. That's why I'll take New York.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.