Why the Flyers will beat the Lightning 

February, 15, 2011

With the playoff races in both conferences so tight, the games are growing tougher and tougher to pick. That's why I was fairly content with splitting six games last week.

With seven games on Tuesday night's schedule, there will be no split for me.

The Philadelphia Flyers-Tampa Bay Lightning confrontation in Florida tops the marquee. If Guy Boucher's team can complete a four-game sweep of the season series, it will move to within just two points of the Flyers, who should have newly acquired winger Kris Versteeg in their lineup.

In the West, the Dallas Stars need a victory over the last-place Edmonton Oilers to regain the top spot in the Pacific Division, while the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators will battle for positioning in the Music City.

I suspect we're in for a night of close games. With that said, here are the Hradek selections for another Tuesday night on ice:

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins

Although there is a 17-point gap between these Northeast Division rivals in the standings, they've played three tight games. The Bruins collected 2-1 and 2-0 wins, while the Leafs scored a 3-2 overtime victory. Both teams bring short two-game losing streaks into Tuesday night's tilt. In recent years, the Leafs haven't enjoyed success in Boston, losing their past six at TD Bank Garden. The Bruins will get back on the right track.

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.