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Islanders vs. Penguins matchups

Travis Hamonic of the Islanders defends against Sidney

Travis Hamonic of the Islanders defends against Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at Nassau Coliseum. (March 22, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

1 Sidney Crosby vs. Travis Hamonic
The Penguins’ superstar will return from a broken jaw and it will be Hamonic’s (and Andrew MacDonald’s) job to contain Crosby and his linemates. Hamonic has the capability to be physical with Crosby, but he’ll have to be careful not to overdo it. The Islanders likely won’t get many calls when matched up against Sid the Kid.

2 John Tavares vs. Brandon Sutter
The Penguins don’t have a shutdown checking line, but Sutter might fit that bill in the task to clamp down on Tavares. The chess match between Jack Capuano and Dan Bylsma will be focused around Tavares, with Capuano trying to get his top scorer out against Evgeni Malkin’s line, while Bylsma may be looking for Sutter’s line to break even and keep the Penguins’ scoring lines free.

3 Isles’ penalty killers vs. Pens’ power play
Crosby, Malkin, James Neal, Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz form one of the most fearsome power-play units around. The Isles’ penalty-kill ranked 21st this season and will have to be active and energetic to keep the Pens from wheeling and dealing around them.

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