(1) Penguins vs. (8) Islanders
Penguins Leading Regular Season Scorer: Sidney Crosby, 56 points (15 goals, 41 assists).
Islanders Leading Regular Season Scorer: John Tavares, 47 points (28 goals, 19 assists).
Penguins Expected Starting Goaltender: Marc-Andre Fleury (right), 23-8-0, 2.39 GAA, .916 SV%.
Islanders Expected Starting Goaltender: Evgeni Nabokov, 23-11-7, 2.50 GAA, .910 SV%.
Penguins Injuries: Center Joe Vitale ("lower body") is questionable. Defenseman Brook Orpik ("lower body") is doubtful. Center Sidney Crosby (mouth) is out.
Islanders Injuries: The Islanders are reporting no injuries.
Penguins with Stanley Cup bling: Craig Adams, RW; Matt Cooke, LW; Sidney Crosby, C; Pascal Dupuis, RW; Marc-Andre Fleury, G; Mark Eaton, D; Dustin Jeffrey, C; Tyler Kennedy, C; Chris Kunitz, LW; Kris Letang, D; Evgeni Malkin, C; Brooks Orpik, D.
Islanders with Stanley Cup bling: None.Something worthwhile about the Penguins: The Penguins' power play scored at least one goal in its final eight regular season games..
Something worthwhile about the Islanders: Th Islanders have gone 2-12-3 in their past 17 regular season games against the Penguins.
Something useless about the Penguins that is vaguely connected to the Islanders: Former Islanders assistant coach Dan Bylsma is the Penguins' all-time leader in postseason coaching wins with 28.
Something useless about the Islanders that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The Islanders' all-timer leader in postseason scoring is former Penguins center Bryan Trottier with 170 points..
Former Islanders on the Penguins: Dan Bylsma, head coach; Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager; Mark Eaton, D; Bill Guerin, player development coach.
Former Penguins on the Islanders: Eric Cairns, player development; Matt Carkner, D (Carkner is a former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin but never played for the NHL club); Colin McDonald, RW; Matt Moulson (right), LW (Moulson is a former Penguins draft pick but never actually played for the organization); Garth Snow, general manager; Brian Strait, D.
Who needs to be the difference for the Penguins: Brandon Sutter, Brenden Morrow and Matt Cooke. The Islanders get the bulk of their offense from their top line of Tavares, Moulson and Brad Boyes. The Penguins' third line needs to clamp down on them and limit their offensive chances.
Who needs to be the difference for the Islanders: Frans Nielsen. Nielsen has been a thorn in the Penguins' side for many seasons. He needs to elevate his tenacious but subtle defensive game, particularily on the penalty kill, to limit the Penguins' offense.
Best Penguins YouTube Video We Could Find: Former Penguins right winger Rick Kehoe's overtime goal in a 3-2 win against the Islanders in Game 3 of a 1982 preliminary series:
Best Islanders YouTube Video We Could Find: Former Islanders left winger John Tonelli's series-clinching goal in the second overtime in a 4-3 win against the Penguins inGame 5 of that same series:
EN Prediction: The Penguins simply have too much depth. Even with Sidney Crosby sidelined, the Islanders just don't have the bodies to match-up with the Penguins. Every game should be tight but this series will be quick. Penguins 4-1.
(Photos: Fleury-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Moulson-Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)