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Wednesday, October 7th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (1-0-0) at Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0-0), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will try to continue their hot start to the 2009-10 season when they host the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at Mellon Arena.

The Penguins, who edged Detroit in seven games to claim the franchise's third Cup, have jumped out to a 2-0 start to the new season. Both of Pittsburgh's wins have come over New York-based clubs as the Pens began the season Friday with a home win over the Rangers and then notched a road victory the following night against the Islanders.

Saturday's game pitted last year's champs against the team with the fewest points in the NHL last season, but the Penguins didn't simply roll past the Isles as the game went well past regulation. Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby scored during the shootout phase, giving Pittsburgh a 4-3 win over the Islanders and spoiling the NHL regular season debut of No. 1 overall draft pick John Tavares.

Crosby and Ruslan Fedotenko each had a goal and an assist in regulation for Pens. Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves, but faced just six shots combined in the third period and overtime.

With his performance on Saturday, Crosby reached 400 points for his career in his 292nd game. The 22-year-old became the sixth-fastest player in NHL history to reach that milestone.

Following tonight's test the Penguins will head out on a four-game road trip, beginning with Thursday's test against the intrastate rival Philadelphia Flyers. Pittsburgh ousted Philly in six games during last year's conference quarterfinals.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, will continue their season-opening three-game road trip tonight after beginning the year with a lopsided win over a Pacific Division rival on Saturday.

Radim Vrbata scored twice as Phoenix posted a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Scottie Upshall, Matthew Lombardi, Robert Lang and Daniel Winnik also scored for the Coyotes in the debut of head coach Dave Tippett, who took over for Wayne Gretzky in late September.

Phoenix's win starts a new season for a team that has faced near-constant turmoil since owner Jerry Moyes filed for Chapter 11 back in May.

"It's just one game," Tippett said. "We have a lot of work to do. Tonight it's a good feeling for those players, but the thing about this league is you have to step up for the next one."

Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves for the Coyotes, who finished last season 36-39-7, missing the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. Despite the postseason drought, Phoenix has a chance to start the season 2-0 for the second straight year.

The Coyotes will complete their swing Thursday night in Buffalo before heading back west. Phoenix's home opener is scheduled for Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Phoenix beat the visiting Penguins, 4-1, in the only meeting between the clubs last year, ending a three-game losing streak in the series for the Coyotes. Phoenix has lost three of its last five in Pittsburgh and the Coyotes' last victory in the Steel City came on March 4, 2003.

10/07 10:45:57 ET


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