The Phoenix Coyotes are the only team in the NHL who, by definition, are jobbers. They will host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at the Jobing.com Arena.
The Penguins have lost their previous two games and are coming off of a game in which they only recorded 11 shots on goal against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
Penguins' head coach Michel Therrien has decided to juggle the offensive lines for tonight's game, hoping to spark his offense.
The Pens' lines tonight should look like this:
After sitting out the previous game against the Sharks, Marc-Andre Fleury will be back in the net for the Pens tonight.
Pascal Dupuis will be out of the Pens' lineup with an undisclosed injury, but Max Talbot and Hal Gill will return to the lineup.
The Penguins recalled forward Chris Minard from the AHL this afternoon. Minard was leading the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with 13 points in nine games.
Pittsburgh's Keys to Victory
The Penguins have been giving up 33.7 shots per game this season, something that has put a lot of pressure on their goaltenders. Both Dany Sabourin and Fleury have been phenomenal, but I'm sure they'd like to see a little less frozen rubber.
Shoot the Puck
To go along with their pathetic 33.7 shots against per game, the Penguins are managing just over 26 shots on goal per game. They recorded just 11 shots in 60 minutes of play against San Jose on Tuesday.
The Penguins need to shoot the puck; especially at even strength. The third-line pairing of Miroslav Satan with Jordan Staal has me puzzled. Satan was picked up for the sole purpose of being Crosby's winger, yet he has been relegated to playing alongside Jordan "I'm skating in molasses" Staal.
Phoenix's Keys to Victory
Get the Young Guns Going Early
The Coyotes are loaded with young talent, something that is very familiar to their opponents tonight. If the Yotes can get Mikkel Boedker, Peter Mueller, or Kyle Turris on the score sheet, it should motivate the rest of the team to keep attacking.
Stay out of the Penalty Box
In addition to their gifted youth, Phoenix also boasts a strong core of tough-guy players. If Todd Fedoruk, Daniel Carcillo, and Olli JOKEinen can stay out of the penalty box, the Yotes should be able to keep pace with the Pens at even strength.
Win the Third Period
The Penguins have been terrible in the third period this season. If the Yotes are trailing heading into the final frame, Gretzky needs only to show a game clip of either the Washington or New York Rangers games against Pittsburgh in which both teams erased third period deficits to pick up two points.
The Pens have had a good track record against Phoenix, winning their last three matchups against the Coyotes.
This should be a very physical game, with Eric Godard or Max Talbot dropping the gloves with one of the Yotes at least once.
Look for new Penguin Mike Zigomanis to be looking to make an impression against his old team tonight. Former Penguin Daniel Carcillo should be just as determined to get under the skin of the Penguins' superstars. For Phoenix's sake, let's hope he does it by not taking a stupid penalty.
The Pens desperately need to snap their two-game losing streak and the Coyotes should offer the ideal opportunity to do so before the Pens head to St. Louis on Saturday night.