Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 2)

Pittsburgh leads 2-0

Game 1: Saturday, November 6th
Game 2: Monday, December 20th

Penguins 4

(7-7-1, 15 pts)

Coyotes 3

(4-5-4, 12 pts)

9:00 PM ET, November 6, 2010 Arena, Glendale, Arizona

1 2 3 SO T
PIT 0 3 0 14
ARI 2 1 0 03

W. Wolski (Coyotes - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

B. Johnson (Penguins - G): Saves: 22, Save Pct.: .957

S. Crosby (Penguins - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Penguins-Coyotes Preview


Sidney Crosby can't seem to pinpoint the reason for the Pittsburgh Penguins' recent struggles.

The Penguins and their star captain hope to avoid a third straight loss overall and against the struggling Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.

Crosby snapped a five-game goal-scoring drought with two in a 3-2 loss at Anaheim on Friday. Still, Pittsburgh (6-7-1) lost for the fifth time in six games, and four of those defeats have come in five road contests.

Pittsburgh hasn't suffered three straight regulation losses since dropping five in a row from Dec. 27-Jan. 3.

"It's not a matter of one thing hasn't been the case," Crosby told the Penguins' official website. "There have been games where we haven't executed well and competed as much as we have needed to.

"Unfortunately it's not something that is a quick fix. We have to do it game after game and make sure we are executing right and ready to compete. That is something we have to solve."

Crosby and the Penguins certainly gave a better effort Friday than they did in a 5-2 loss at Dallas two nights earlier. Crosby's first goal ended Pittsburgh's 0-for-29 drought on the power-play as the Penguins fought back from a 3-0 deficit at Anaheim.

"Our effort has to be consistent," Crosby said. "You can't make a habit of not giving yourself a chance (to win)."

The Penguins have played consistently poor while being outscored 7-1 during two straight losses to the Coyotes. They fell 4-1 in their last trip to Arizona on Oct. 30, 2008.

Crosby was held without a point in both contests, and has one goal and four assists in four career games versus Phoenix. The Penguins have lost six of their last seven games when Crosby has been held without a point.

"Crosby's going to find a way to get on the board most nights," Anaheim forward Bobby Ryan said.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who fell to 1-6-0 with a 3.31 goals-against average Friday, is 1-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA in his career versus the Coyotes.

Backup Brent Johnson is 5-1-1 with a 1.70 GAA this season. He's also stopped 46 of 48 shots while winning his last two starts at Phoenix.

The Coyotes (4-5-3) lost for the fifth time in seven games, 6-3 at Dallas on Friday.

Shane Doan scored his first goal of the season for the Coyotes, who have allowed 12 while losing two of their last three contests.

"It's disappointing," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.

Ilya Bryzgalov was pulled after stopping 15 of 18 shots but could be back in net Saturday.

Bryzgalov is 4-2-3 with a 2.84 GAA this season, and 2-1-0 with a 1.35 GAA against the Penguins. He made 24 saves in a 3-0 victory at Pittsburgh in the teams' last meeting Oct. 7, 2009.

Doan has four goals and two assists in his last four games versus Pittsburgh.