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PENGUINS vs COYOTES PREVIEW

on February 01, 2014 10:49 AM

PITTSBURGH at PHOENIX

When and where — 8 p.m. today; Jobing.com Arena; Glendale, Ariz.

TV — Root. Radio — WCCS-AM 1160.

Records — Penguins 38-14-2 (78 points, first place Metropolitan Division), Coyotes 25-19-10 (60 points, fifth place Pacific Division)

Leading scorers — Penguins: Sidney Crosby (27 goals, 48 assists, 75 points), Chris Kunitz (27 goals); Coyotes: Mike Ribeiro (37 points), Mikkel Boedker (37 points), Keith Yandle (29 assists), Antoine Vermette (20 goals)

Last time out — The Penguins topped Los Angeles, 4-1, on the road on Thursday, scoring three first-period goals on the defensive-minded Kings, including two power-play markers in a little more than a minute. Jeff Zatkoff stopped 30 shots to get his ninth win of the season. … Phoenix lost to lowly Buffalo, 3-2, at home on Thursday. Antoine Vermette and David Moss scored in the first period for the Coyotes, but the Sabres’ Ryan Miller turned away 38 Phoenix shots.

Notes — The Penguins look to become the second team in the league to reach 80 standings points this season. Anaheim (40-11-5) has 85. … This is the first of two meetings between Pittsburgh and Phoenix this season. The Penguins have won their last three games with the Coyotes, dating to 2009. … Sidney Crosby leads the league in scoring and assists. He holds an 11-point lead on the New York Islanders’ John Tavares in the points race. Matt Niskanen leads the league in plus-minus (plus-30). Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29-12-1, .917 save percentage) leads the league in wins and is tied for second in shutouts (4). … Crosby has six points in his last four games.

About the Coyotes — Phoenix sits three points behind Vancouver for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. … The Coyotes haven’t won more than two games in a row since early November, when they capped off a five-game winning streak. Phoenix has 10 regulation wins since Oct. 29 and has lost 23 of its last 34 games. … Antoine Vermette has eight goals in his last eight games after going 11 games without one. … Goaltender Mike Smith, who will play for Canada in the Winter Olympics, is 18-15-9 with a .908 save percentage.

Next — The Penguins play host to Ottawa on Monday.

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