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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, February 25th (All times eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (11-42-5-4) at Phoenix Coyotes (20-24-15-3), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes head to the ice with a new head coach this evening, as they open the doors of Glendale Arena for the lowly Pittsburgh Penguins.

Phoenix fired Bob Francis on Tuesday and installed Rick Bowness as the interim head coach. In five seasons at the helm of the Coyotes, Francis posted a record of 165-144-60-21 in 390 games. However, the Coyotes are presently 20-24-15-3 and in last place in the Pacific Division.

On Monday, the Coyotes skated to a 1-1 home tie with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in Francis' last game with the team. Brian Boucher stopped 23 shots for Phoenix, which moved to 2-5-2-1 in its last 10 contests. Daymond Langkow added the Coyotes' lone tally.

The Penguins, meanwhile, are in danger of losing their 19th straight contest tonight. On Sunday, the Penguins became the first team in NHL history to lose 18 in a row when the Ottawa Senators pounded them, 6-3, at Mellon Arena.

Pittsburgh's streak, however, will not go into the record books as the longest in NHL history because of an overtime setback on Valentine's Day. The record of 17 consecutive losses was set by the Washington Capitals in 1975 and matched by San Jose in 1993.

Aleksey Morozov, Milan Kraft and Ryan Malone scored for Pittsburgh, which last won January 12 over Philadelphia.

Pittsburgh kicks off a three-game road trip tonight and will travel to San Jose for Friday night's tilt.

The Coyotes have won six straight against Pittsburgh and are 8-2-2 in the last 12 matchups. The Penguins have also been winless in their previous seven trips to Phoenix (0-5-2).

02/25 10:36:11 ET


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