Connect with us

Arizona Coyotes

Arizona Coyotes at Pittsburgh Penguins Preview: Back At It Again

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Concluding the second-half of a back-to-back, the Arizona Coyotes will role into PPG Paints Arena to battle the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pennsylvania tonight at 5 p.m. MST.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

Currently, Arizona are on a three-game losing streak following a 4-1 defeat to the Buffalo Sabres last night.

It was Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka’s first game back in the crease since Nov. 22.

Between Vejmelka showing signs of rust due to inconsistent playing time, defensive mistakes and costly turnovers in front of him, the ‘Yotes struggled throughout a night where Buffalo dominated play.

However, they have another chance to end their skid as the Coyotes face a Pittsburgh squad who is also struggling as of late.

Losers in their last four, the Penguins have only managed to score three goals in their past three contests in total.

Additionally, they are in the midst of an injury crisis as impact players like forwards Rickard Rakell, Bryan Rust and defenseman Pierre Olivier-Joseph are all out for tonight’s contest.

Especially for Rust, he was on a role this season with 10 goals and 10 assists in 22 games.

Still, Pittsburgh possess one of the more star-studded roster’s in the league, though it is also the highest average aged team in the NHL at 30.8.

With Penguins legends like center Sidney Crosby (36), defenseman Kris Letang (36) and center Evgeni Malkin (37), they can turn into game-changers in an instance like they have done in their 18 seasons together.

The trio’s connection has led them to three Stanley Cup wins (2009, 2016 and 2017) with Crosby having four-100 point campaigns in his career to lead the way.

This season, their offensive production has dipped with Crosby having 27 points, Letang with 13 and Malkin collecting 22 in 26 games.

Overall, the Penguins are 26th in goals scored (75), but have been defensively compact as the third-best team in the NHL in goals allowed (68).

Furthermore, Pittsburgh have the third-worst power-play in the league, converting at a 9.5% clip.

Coyotes rookie and Pittsburgh native Logan Cooley will get to play his first NHL game in his hometown. In his rookie season, Cooley has amassed 3 goals and 12 assists in 27 games so far.

In contrast, ex-Coyotes forward Vinnie Hinostroza will suit up for Pittsburgh and face his former team of two years. Hinostroza was on Arizona from 2018-20, played 140 contests, scored 21 goals and had 40 assists.

Goaltending Matchup

According to Craig Morgan from PHNX Sports, Connor Ingram will be the starting goaltender for the Coyotes.

On the other hand, Tristan Jarry will protect Pittsburgh’s net tonight.

Season Statistics

  • Ingram: 11-5 | 2.52 GAA | .920 SV%
  • Jarry: 8-10-2 | 2.48 GAA | .918 SV%


Last year, the Coyotes were 0-2 against the Penguins in two games.

To begin the 2022-23 season, the Penguins crushed the Coyotes 6-2 with Crosby scoring a goal and assisting twice in PPG Paints Arena on Oct. 13, 2022.

Pittsburgh left wing Jake Guentzel would then have a two-goal night in Tempe as his team beat Arizona 4-1 on Jan. 8.


Arizona Coyotes: C Jack McBain (lower body – IR), C Barrett Hayton (upper body), D Vladislav Kolyachonok (lower body – IR), D Sean Durzi (lower body) and C Travis Boyd (upper body).

Pittsburgh Penguins: RW Rickard Rakell (upper body – IR), RW Bryan Rust (upper body), RW Jesse Puljujarvi (hip), D Pierre Olivier-Joseph (lower body – IR), C Noel Acciari (lower body – IR), LW Matt Nieto (lower body – IR) and D Chad Ruhwedel (lower body – IR).

Coyotes defensive struggles continue, lose 5-2 to Sabres

*Get the BEST Phoenix sports insider information, exclusive content, and access to our seasonal magazines! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our premium content!*

Alec Cipollini is a reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

More in Arizona Coyotes