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Top Line: Islanders stun Penguins, Canadiens avenge Eller, more links

okposo-islandersKyle Okposo (center) and the Islanders showcased their toughness in a comeback win over Pittsburgh. (Getty)

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• The Penguins led Game 2 with their strength, Sidney Crosby. The New York Islanders countered with theirs: fearless resistance. Amazingly, it was enough for the Isles to steal a thriller in Pittsburgh.

• Sean Gentile breaks down Pittsburgh's Game 2 break down. Is brutal puck management on the list? You bet.

• Montreal's annoyance with Ottawa coach Paul MacLean inspired their gutsiest performance of the season.

• Ottawa needs to start driving to the net if it wants the upper hand in this series, because Craig Anderson can't do it all by himself.

• I'm not coming around to Cam Cole's thinking on the need for thinking to evolve on what is and isn't a clean hit in hockey but he makes a very compelling case. This is a must-read.

• Pretty obvious why the Canucks find themselves down 0-2 to the Sharks: they can't score. Vancouver has just 19 goals over its last 14 playoff games. That's more than just an issue of bad puck luck.

Raffi Torres remembered his youth hockey training on the way to scoring the OT winner against Vancouver.

Rick Nash says today's Game 2 against the Caps is a must-win for the Rangers. Probably being a little dramatic, but then again he's played five career playoff games and lost them all, so he's got a right to be a little antsy.

• Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu is playing like a man unfamiliar with the job description through the first two games against the Hawks. Is he hurt, or just failing to rise to the moment?

• Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau is challenging his team's playoff rookies to be bold and seize the moment in Game 3 against Detroit.

• The Kings aren't panicking despite being down 2-0 to the Blues. To get back into the series, they just have to score a little more. Plus, maybe have someone pick up Anze Kopitar to make sure he shows up for the next game.

Brian Elliott shook off the effects of last year's humiliating performance against the Kings in Game 1, then shook off the effects of a nasty collision with Dustin Brown in Game 2. That resilience will be key to his survival against a desperate Los Angeles squad in Game 3.

• TSN's Jamie McLennan grades out the Friday night goalie performances. Fleury bad, Price good.

• If this sports writing thing doesn't work out, our buddy Adrian Dater might have a future in scouting. He went to Portland to check out Seth Jones in action and offers up his take on the presumptive first overall choice.

• Kirk Luedeke does a solid job breaking down Boston's top 10 prospects. He likes Torey Krug more than I do, but we're both very bullish on 2011 fifth-rounder Rob O'Gara.

• Austria came out swinging, but Team USA finished strong to win its opener at the 2013 World Hockey Championship.

• Metallica played the American national anthem at a game last night. Fortunately, it was not a hockey game.
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