Mike Sullivan isn't shy about showing some fire behind the bench, but the Pittsburgh Penguins coach remained remarkably cool with the reigning Stanley Cup champions having dropped three in a row and four of five. Sullivan hopes that a calmer approach will steady the waters for the Penguins as they visit the struggling Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

"I think every team in the league goes through ups and downs, and we're no different. We just have to make sure that we do everything we can to minimize the skid we're in right now," Sullivan said. "We need a good effort, a resilient attitude in (Saturday's) game and control what we can to get the result that we're looking for." Pittsburgh dropped its second straight 2-1 decision on Thursday as it was foiled by former Penguin Marc-Andre Fleury and expansion Vegas to open a three-game road trip. Pittsburgh will encounter another familiar face in coach Rick Tocchet, who served as Sullivan's right-hand man during the Penguins' back-to-back Stanley Cup titles. Not a lot of winning is going on in the desert, however, as the Coyotes mustered a total of five goals during their five-game losing skid (0-4-1).

TV: 8 p.m. ET, AT&TSN-Pittsburgh, FSN Arizona-Plus

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (16-14-3): Pittsburgh may not be getting results during its 1-4-0 stretch, but captain Sidney Crosby told reporters that the team isn't hanging its head after playing in five consecutive outings that were decided by one goal. "Nobody likes to lose, but I don't think we're rattled," the two-time Hart Trophy winner said. "It's a tough point when you're generating chances and in close games and you're finding ways to let them slip. That's the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes it goes the other way." Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel saw their respective six- and five-game point streaks come to a halt on Thursday, but both scored a goal and set up two others in a 3-1 win versus Arizona on Nov. 7.

ABOUT THE COYOTES (7-22-5): Tocchet took issue with what he saw in Thursday's 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay, as the Lightning lowered the boom on his overwhelmed team to the tune of 46 shots on goaltender Antti Raanta. "I hate soft plays, I hate soft players and we were soft," Tocchet said. Rookie Clayton Keller scored his team-leading 12th goal on Thursday, marking his first in 18 games.


1. Arizona C Tobias Rieder scored in the first meeting versus Pittsburgh, but has been held off the scoresheet in eight of his last nine games.

2. Penguins G Matt Murray, who made 24 saves in the first encounter against the Coyotes, matched that total Thursday in his return from a five-game absence due to a lower-body injury.

3. Arizona called up 2015 first-round pick F Nick Merkley, who will make his NHL debut versus Pittsburgh.

PREDICTION: Penguins 5, Coyotes 1