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Isles face tough test against Penguins

Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, right, smiles on the bench

Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, right, smiles on the bench with Pascal Dupuis in the third period of a 6-3 win over Atlanta. Crosby extended his points streak to 25 games with two goals and two assists in the game. (Dec. 28, 2010) Credit: AP

The Islanders will look to bounce back from Monday's humiliating 7-2 blowout loss to the Rangers against the most dominant  team in hockey right now, the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins, 7-3-0 in their last 10 games.

"This will be a good test for our team to see where our guys are at," head coach Jack Capuano said.

The Islanders defense will match up against the Penguins high-octane offense without one of their top defenseman James Wisniewski, who was traded to Montreal Tuesday for a compensatory 2nd round pick and a 5th round pick as well.

"Obviously he was a big veteran presence back there. He brought leadership and a sense of calmness on the ice," rookie defenseman Travis Hamonic said. "Whenever you're missing a player like that in your lineup it's a big void to fill. As a whole unit we can all step up and play better."

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby rolls into Nassau Coliseum riding a league-best 25-game scoring streak. He extended the streak with four points -- two goals and two assists -- during the Penguins' 6-3 win over Atlanta Tuesday night.

Former teammate Mark Eaton was asked this morning if he was surprised with Crosby's latest achievement. His response?

"You can't be surprised at anything he does. With his work ethic and God-given talent -- the combination of the two -- he never ceases to amaze."

Rick DiPietro will make his first start since being placed on the injured reserve last Tuesday with knee swelling in his surgically-repaired left knee.

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