The Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins both will play the second game of back-to-back games tonight when they square off against each other at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix lost 6-3 at Dallas on Friday night while Pittsburgh lost 3-2 at Anaheim. Because both teams arrived in Phoenix in the wee hours, neither club will have an official morning skate today.
most likely will start in goal for the Coyotes (4-5-3) after playing just 25-plus minutes in Friday's loss. Pittsburgh backup Brent Johnson, who has a sparkling 5-1-1 record and a 1.70 goals-against average, could get the start for the Penguins after Marc-Andre Fleury played Friday.
Four members of the Penguins once played for the Coyotes: Johnson, center Mike Comrie, forward Mike Rupp and defenseman Zbynek Michalek, who played 393 games for Phoenix over five seasons.
"It will be different seeing him in another team's sweater," Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle
said. "'Z" is a great guy and he deserves everything that he's got. I just kind of hope that he maybe lets me get a shot through."
Joking aside, the Coyotes will be looking to score more goals. Phoenix is averaging just 2.50 goals per game, which ranks 23rd among 30 NHL teams.
Captain Shane Doan
suffered an injury near the end of the game and will not play tonight vs. Pittsburgh. He is considered week-to-week.
Meanwhile, Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski
is battling an illness and also will not play vs. Pittsburgh.
The Penguins, of course, are led by Sidney Crosby, who scored both goals in Friday's loss to the Ducks. Crosby ranks among the NHL's top-10 in goals (eight), points (17), power-play goals (four) and faceoff percentage (58.3).
After a solid start to the season, Pittsburgh (6-7-1) has lost five of its past six games.
"We need to be consistent," Crosby told reporters after Friday's loss. "... You can't make a habit of not giving yourself a chance (to win)."