Phoenix Coyotes 15-9-7-(37 pts) @ Pittsburgh Penguins 21-10-2-(44pts)
After getting four days off in between games, Pittsburgh begins a three games in four night stretch as the Penguins tonight look to snap their two game losing streak at home against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Pittsburgh enters tonight’s action 2nd in the NHL with 44 points and 4th in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh has fallen 5 points behind division leader Philadelphia.
Pittsburgh is 10-6-1 at home this year and 8-1-1 in their last 10 games at home.
Among the storylines for Pittsburgh tonight will be Sidney Crosby looking to extend his points streak to 21 games.
The Penguins as expected did not make any roster moves before Sunday’s roster freeze. The team will go into the week with 13 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goaltenders. They can only make a callup between now and December 27th, on an emergency basis.
Jordan Staal (hand) and Mike Comrie (lower body) will remain on injured reserve.
The Coyotes come into tonight’s action with a 15-9-7 record, good for 37 points. Phoenix is currently tied for 9th in the Western Conference and one point out of the top-8 in the West.
Phoenix is 4-4-2 in their last 10 games and have posted a 9-5-2 record on the road.
Jason LaBarbera (3-3-1, 2.97 GAA, .918 Sv%) will start in goal for Phoenix.
10:25 a.m. – Morning Skate Update
The players have hit the ice and are begining to go through their normal drills and the Penguins do not have a full squad of active players on the ice.
Defenseman Brooks Orpik is not participating in today’s skate. Orpik did practice fully in yesterday’s practice and at this time there is no official word on his status for tonight.
With Orpik not skating, Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek alternated at one end while Goligoski, Engelland and Lovejoy alternated at the other end.
The Penguins deployed their same lines as yesterday’s practice.
Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Cooke – Malkin – Talbot
Conner – Letestu – Kennedy
Rupp – Adams – Asham
POWER PLAY UNITS
1st Unit: Kunitz – Crosby – Malkin
Letang – Martin
2nd unit: Kennedy – Letestu – Conner
Goligoski – Michalek