How the Flyers will beat the Penguins 

March, 29, 2011

Last week, a pair of shootout losses dropped me from a possible 8-2 mark to 6-4. I really can't complain, though. After struggling through the last few Tuesdays, I was pleased to get back over the .500 mark.

On the season, I'm still 18 games over that standard. I'm pretty pleased about that, too.

I'm faced with a monster 11-game slate tonight. There's a lot on the line in rinks across North America. In the East, the Pens and Flyers figure to get under each other's skin in Pittsburgh, while the Stars are treading on must-win territory out west in Phoenix. It's a good night to find a comfy chair and a big-screen TV.

Here are the Hradek selections for another Tuesday night on ice:

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

These days, the Penguins are really digging the shootout. They established a quirky league mark with four consecutive shootout wins. Can they make five? Well, the Pens and Flyers needed the tiebreaking skills competition Thursday, and the Flyers have gone to the one-on-one showdown in four of their past six games. So I guess I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up there again tonight.

The Flyers have been a pretty inconsistent bunch over the past few weeks, so much so, in fact, that the Penguins -- surviving life without Sid and Geno -- can match the Flyers in points with a regulation win tonight. While Marc-Andre Fleury gives the Penguins a significant edge in goal, I'll pick the Flyers to take a stand.

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.