The Pittsburgh Penguins have two of hockey's brightest stars in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Yet they figure to have their hands full against the deep New York Rangers when their first-round playoff series begins on Thursday night.

Crosby and Malkin are among a handful of dynamic duos hoping for a breakthrough in the postseason.

The Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators all had two players who finished in the top 30 in scoring during the regular season. All five duos face teams that take a more defensive-minded approach to the game.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz says the physical nature of playoff hockey makes it harder for talented offensive players to shine.