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3:00 PM PT4:00 PM MT5:00 PM CT6:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)18:00 ET21:00 BRT, January 12, 2020
Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona  Attendance: 13,755

Penguins look to extend road success in Arizona

Pittsburgh Penguins at Arizona Coyotes

  1. The Penguins got a 2-0 win when these teams met in Pittsburgh on December 6. The Pens have earned a point in four of their last five trips to Arizona (3-1-1). In their game there last season, they won in overtime on a goal by current Coyote Phil Kessel.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking to wrap up a perfect 3-0 Western Conference road trip Sunday when they play the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.

The Penguins are 18-4-2 against Western Conference teams, including a 4-3 win Tuesday at Vegas and a 4-3 overtime win Friday at Colorado in the first two games of the road swing.

Overall, Pittsburgh is 13-3-1 in its past 17 games.

"Obviously, the team's been playing hard as of late," said Pittsburgh forward Jared McCann, who scored the overtime winner Friday. "We've earned these last couple games, so (it's) good."

McCann's winner came after Colorado tied it in the final minute of regulation.

That was just another example of the Penguins finding various ways to win despite a string of injuries all season, including surgeries and long-term absences for several key players.

The next likely player to return is Pittsburgh's biggest name, center and team captain Sidney Crosby. He appears close to coming back from core muscle surgery, but it's unclear whether he might play against the Coyotes.

In spite of the injuries, or because of them, the Penguins have stuck to a responsible style of play. Their considerable skill from players such as Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust and Kris Letang is still on display, but not to the detriment of an overall two-way, gritty game.

"Like I tell the guys all the time, 'Hope's not a strategy,'" Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "You can't hope that we're going to win a puck battle. We've got to make sure we defend, and we're diligent in limiting our opponents' opportunities. I give the players credit. They're committed to playing without the puck when they don't have it."

Arizona, meanwhile, is looking for some goals after being shut out in back-to-back games on back-to-back nights at the end of a three-game road trip, 4-0 Thursday at Tampa Bay and 3-0 Friday at Carolina.

"Especially when we're a little bit tired, we've just got to be a little bit harder and play a simpler game," Coyotes defenseman Jason Demers said.

The two goalless games came after a four-game winning streak when Arizona outscored its opponents 18-7.

"We obviously need to score goals. Six periods and we haven't scored a goal," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "A little adversity here the last couple of games. We're going to have to weather the storm."

It seems likely that Adin Hill will start in goal for Arizona. Antti Raanta left after two periods Friday at Carolina because of a lower-body injury. That happened in Raanta's return from a lower-body injury he got the previous Saturday. Hill needed to make just one save in the third period as the Hurricanes went into defensive mode to protect their lead.

After being outscored 7-0 their past two games, the Coyotes are looking for improvement at both ends of the rink.

"You want to get better each and every night, especially after a loss," forward Clayton Keller said. "I think we just want to get some rest here and get ready to play (Pittsburgh) at home with a fresh mind, and I think we'll be fine."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 11, 2020

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