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Penguins vs. Coyotes Preview: Crosby's Quest for Number Four Continues

The Pittsburgh Penguins open the season against the Arizona Coyotes.

The Pittsburgh Penguins open up their season against the Arizona Coyotes tonight at PPG Paints Arena, and both teams are heading in two different directions in 2022-23.

The Penguins once again begin the pursuit of their sixth Stanley Cup in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Coyotes are one of three teams to enter the year with greater than ten million dollars in salary cap space and appear to be vying for next year's top draft pick, Connor Bedard.

The official beginning of the Penguins season will mark the 18th season for Sidney Crosby and his 16th as captain, tying him for second all-time with Joe Sakic. Crosby is focused on bringing home Cup win number four but has an opportunity to hit a few other milestones. The 35-year-old center is eight assists away from reaching 900 in his career and 91 points from 1,500.

Pittsburgh's overhaul on the blue line was evident this summer, and two new faces will make their regular season Penguins debuts in Jan Rutta and Jeff Petry. Rutta will begin the season on the Penguin's third pairing and will play a more elevated role on the penalty kill this season. Also on the blue line will be Penguins prospect PO Joseph, who made the team out of camp for the first time in his career.  

The only injury on the Penguin's side will be Teddy Blueger. Blueger has been dealing with an upper-body injury since the second week of training camp but has not been ruled out for tonight's game. If Blueger gets held out, Ryan Poehling will fill his role on the Penguin's fourth line and penalty kill while Josh Archibald slides into the fourth-line wing position.

The Coyotes will be without their best player, defenseman Jacob Chychrun, who is still recovering from offseason wrist surgery.

It's the Penguin's last chance at a first impression this season. We'll see who steps up on opening night.

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