Expert Cappers Picks
National Hockey League
Preview
Pittsburgh at Arizona
When: 9:00 PM ET, Friday, January 18, 2019
Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona

The Pittsburgh Penguins answered their longest losing skid in nearly three years with a dominating performance against the Arizona Coyotes in November. After dropping back-to-back three-goal decisions, the Penguins hope that a visit to the Coyotes will once again cure what ails them when the teams get together at Gila River Arena on Friday.

Captain Sidney Crosby collected a goal and an assist in a 4-0 triumph on Nov. 10, giving Pittsburgh its seventh win in its last nine encounters with Arizona. The two-time Hart Trophy winner wasn't as fortunate in Tuesday's 5-2 setback in San Jose, as he was held off the scoresheet after recording 23 (five goals, 18 assists) of his team-leading 55 points in his previous 15 games. While the Penguins had won 10 of 11 before their modest slide, Arizona recorded its fourth win in five outings following Wednesday's 6-3 victory versus the Sharks to crawl within earshot of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. "If you look at the standings right now, it's wide open," captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson said. "We're right there. I don't know how, to be honest with you, with a lot of injuries. We're just finding ways right now to get points and that's what we have to do."

TV: 9 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Pittsburgh, FS Arizona

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (25-15-6): Phil Kessel, who has five points (one goal, four assists) in his last five contests overall, set up Crosby's second-period goal to extend his point streak to 10 games against Arizona. Jake Guentzel notched a pair of goals in that meeting and has 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in his last 16 outings overall. Matt Murray, who saw his career-high nine-game winning streak halted versus the Sharks, has turned aside 71 of 74 shots to win all three of his lifetime contests versus the Coyotes.

ABOUT THE COYOTES (21-22-3): Ekman-Larsson scored his sixth goal of the season on Wednesday to boost his career total to 108, matching Teppo Numminen for the franchise record among defensemen. "He was a good player for a long time here," the 27-year-old Swede said of Numminen, who played with the Winnipeg/Phoenix organization for 15 seasons before suiting up with Dallas and Buffalo. "Tying his record means a lot to me. I'm fortunate enough, like I've said before, being here for nine years. I have been playing with a lot of good players along the way and they've been helping me, so it's a lot of fun." Clayton Keller (team-leading 23 assists, 32 points) is also on the cusp of history as he has 99 points in 131 games -- with one more, he will pass Max Domi (154 games) as the quickest in franchise history to 100.

OVERTIME

1. Arizona G Darcy Kuemper has yielded eight goals during his four-game winning streak, but has permitted seven while going 0-2-0 in his career versus Pittsburgh.

2. Penguins had posted a 7-1-1 mark against Pacific Division foes prior to their 5-2 setbacks to Los Angeles (Saturday) and San Jose.

3. Coyotes C Alex Galchenyuk has recorded 14 of his 25 points in the last 12 games.

PREDICTION: Penguins 3, Coyotes 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Pittsburgh 25-15-4-2 L2 13-8-2-0 12-7-2-2 1-0-0-0 24-15-4-2 7-5-0-1
Arizona 21-22-2-1 W1 9-12-1-1 12-10-1-0 4-3-0-0 17-19-2-1 8-7-1-0
Last Meeting
Pittsburgh Arizona
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/10/18 ARI 0 PIT 4 32 39 0-2 39 28 0-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 2
Arizona J. Archibald 0
Goals Player  
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 1
Arizona J. Archibald 0
Assists Player  
Pittsburgh J. Guentzel 2
Arizona J. Archibald 0
Saves Player  
Pittsburgh C. DeSmith 39
Arizona D. Kuemper 28
Season
Total Points Player  
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 59
Arizona C. Keller 39
Goals Player  
Pittsburgh J. Guentzel 23
Arizona C. Fischer 13
Assists Player  
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 38
Arizona C. Keller 29
Saves Player  
Pittsburgh C. DeSmith 776
Arizona D. Kuemper 743
Quickchart Matchup
Pittsburgh Off vs  Arizona Def
3.52 GF
2.87 GA
32.6 Shots
30.3 Shots
33 PP
16 PK
Arizona Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
2.61 GF
2.93 GA
30.5 Shots
32.6 Shots
27 PP
19 PK