Upset odds for Round 1 matchups
Why Penguins, Blackhawks should fear Islanders, Wild
No one wants to play the Pittsburgh Penguins. They dominated the Eastern Conference with a 35-12-0 record and had the season's longest winning streak when they won all 15 games they played in March. They are also getting healthy.
Forwards James Neal and Evgeni Malkin, along with blueliners Kris Letang and Paul Martin, are back on the ice. But most importantly, captain Sidney Crosby -- who finished third in the points race despite not playing since breaking his jaw on March 30 against the New York Islanders -- resumed practicing on Friday.
That gives Pittsburgh one of the most potent lineups in the league, but an upset by the New York Islanders is still possible.
To see the rest of Neil Greenberg's piece on upset picks in the first round of the playoffs, plus Insider's complete NHL coverage, sign up for ESPN Insider.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Howe's family: Stem cell effect 'miraculous'
- Hawks' Crawford back Saturday after 8 games
- Maatta 3rd Penguin to test positive for mumps
- Pens' Crosby returns from mumps vs. Avs