Tuesday NHL Picks

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their hockey picks and predictions for Tuesday, January 27.

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Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins, 7:05PM ET

For all the Boston Bruins' surprising success before the All-Star break, one thing the East's top team couldn't do was beat the conference's second-best club.

But after losing twice in the nation's capital in the first half, the banged-up Bruins return to action Tuesday by hosting the Washington Capitals, who will try to correct their season-long struggles on the road and chip away at Boston's conference lead.

The Bruins looked like a team on the upswing after ending a two-year playoff drought last season and pushing top-seeded Montreal to a seventh game in the first round, but even starting goalie Tim Thomas didn't figure they'd be tied with San Jose for the NHL points lead at the All-Star break.

After teaming up to lead the East to victory in Sunday's All-Star game, Thomas and Ovechkin will now face off. Ovechkin scored the clinching shootout goal in the 12-11 win, while Thomas was the winning goalie for the second straight season.

NHL Free Pick: UNDER  View Game Matchup | Best Line: O/U 5.5 Sportsbook.com

Philadelphia Flyers at Florida Panthers, 7:35PM ET

The Philadelphia Flyers were tied for the Atlantic Division lead at the All-Star break last season, but finished the regular season in fourth place.

This season, they'll hope to head up the standings in the second half.

The third-place Flyers - just two points out of first - will look to improve their position when they open a three-game road trip Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers, who will resume play on the fringe of playoff contention.

Philadelphia (25-12-9) has 59 points, the same amount it had last year when it was tied for the Atlantic lead with New Jersey at the break. But after going 27-16-5 in the first half in 2007-08, the Flyers were a mediocre 15-13-6, winding up in fourth place in the division and sixth in the Eastern Conference.

They lost 10 straight in February, a skid that left them fighting to even make the playoffs in the final week of the season.

Florida is 6-2-1 in its last nine games against Philadelphia.

NHL Free Pick: UNDER View Game Matchup | Best Line: O/U 5.5 Sportsbook.com

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Posted: 1/27/09 9:42PM ET

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