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Phoenix
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38 SOG
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Coyotes-Penguins Preview

Monday, 12.20.2010 / 5:00 PM

The Skinny
 

By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will play the final game of a four-game trip to Atlantic Division rinks tonight when they square off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Consol Energy Center. The puck drops at 5 p.m. (Arizona time).

Photo by Getty Images.
Phoenix (15-9-7) will enter the game fresh off a dramatic 4-3 shootout victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday night that upped its record to 1-1-1 on this trip.

Jason LaBarbera will make his third consecutive start tonight in place of Ilya Bryzgalov, who has returned to Phoenix to have an upper-body injury examined by team doctors.

"LaBarbera has been a very good player for us over the last two years," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said after Monday's morning skate. "Whenever he's gotten the chance to play, he's played very well. Both guys play a very simliar style so our team doesn't have to react different to either guy."

LaBarbera, who made a season-high 41 saves vs. the Islanders, is 0-2-0 with a 5.12 goals-against average in three career games versus Pittsburgh.

The Coyotes will be looking to avenge a 4-3 shootout loss to the Penguins on Nov. 6 in Glendale. Phoenix played that game minus captain Shane Doan and alternate captain Ed Jovanovski. Both will play in tonight's rematch.

Crosby
Pittsburgh (21-10-2) has lost two games in a row after posting 12 consecutive wins. Tonight's game will be the first of six in the next 10 days for the Penguins.

Center Sidney Crosby, who leads the NHL in both goals (26) and points (54), has a career-high 20-game point streak going, but he has not registered a shot on goal in the past two games.

"Even though you get points, sometimes you don't always play the greatest," Crosby told reporters. "The last few games, I haven't really been too happy. ... I've got to be better."

Crosby's streak is the second-longest since the lockout behind Dany Heatley’s 22-game streak from Oct. 5 to Nov. 29, 2005.

The Coyotes will return to Phoenix after this game but just for one day of practice. On Wednesday, the team will head to San Jose to play the fifth game of a six-game stretch of road games on Thursday night.


Who's Hot
 
Doan
Coyotes captain Shane Doan has notched three goals and four assists in his last six games, and is just seven points shy of 700 for his career.
Malkin
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has scored all three of his team's goals over the last two games after returning from a four-game absence due to a knee injury.
Did You Know?
 
  • Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle has notched 21 points this season, which ranks tied for first in scoring on the team with winger Ray Whitney and 10th among NHL defensemen. Click here to watch a video about Yandle, a.k.a. the "Player to Watch" in tonight's game.

  • Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette was selected by Pittsburgh with the 121st overall pick of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Bissonnette broke into the NHL with the Penguins in 2008-09 and played 15 games. The Coyotes claimed him off waivers on Sept. 30, 2009.
  • This game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports  910 (AM). A link to the radio broadcast will be provided at phoenixcoyotes.com at 5 p.m.
Podcasts
 
Tippett

"Pittsburgh, to me, is a team... they have very good players but their work ethic is strong and if you're not willing to work at the level they are you are going to be behind the game. So, that will be our focus tonight."

• Dave Tippett

Injuries
 
  Mike Comrie
  Jordan Staal 
  Ilya Bryzgalov
2010-2011 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Dec 20 '10PHX 1 at PIT 6E. Malkin
Nov 06 '10PIT 4 at PHX 3 - SOM. Letestu
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
K. Yandle3251621-83420
R. Whitney3041721+11210
R. Vrbata3271118+3630
W. Wolski2961016-4800
L. Stempniak328715+5420
L. Korpikoski328715+5201
E. Belanger3241115-11011
S. Doan2241115-73131
M. Hanzal269312+22643
S. Upshall318412+02802
A. Aucoin3011112+92600
E. Jovanovski294711+42711
T. Pyatt327310+51922
K. Turris23448-3200
V. Fiddler32358+02701
D. Morris29246-92110
O. Ekman-Larsson20066+31600
D. Schlemko19055+01400
S. Lepisto19224+31700
A. Ebbett6101+1201
N. Yonkman12011+32400
P. Prucha11011+0400
P. Bissonnette14000+32500
G. Stafford2000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
I. Bryzgalov2612-6-6658212.56.921
J. LaBarbera83-4-1232413.53.905
M. Climie10-0-01161.88.938
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Crosby34273057+152593
E. Malkin29131730-31453
K. Letang3462329+184222
C. Kunitz3281220+102130
A. Goligoski3461117+141234
P. Dupuis337815+72402
M. Letestu346915+1623
M. Cooke346814+85000
T. Kennedy335914+32000
P. Martin3431114+9421
M. Talbot345510+32101
A. Asham23448+13000
B. Orpik28178+102400
M. Rupp33347+45800
C. Adams32167+13600
C. Conner18325+2201
D. Engelland28235+07400
Z. Michalek25055-4800
M. Comrie16055-41800
B. Lovejoy16033-12200
E. Tangradi9112-1600
D. Jeffrey3112+2000
E. Godard11011+33300
A. Hutchinson5011-3600
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Fleury2415-7-1536352.29.917
B. Johnson117-3-1243132.18.923
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