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Breaking down the Penguins’ post-break schedule

33 games down, 49 to go.

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins
Bryan Rust celebrates after scoring a goal against the visiting Rangers at PPG Paints Arena on December 20.
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Happy holidays! Let’s use these hockey-less holidays as an opportunity to break down the Penguins’ remaining schedule.

When the Penguins return from a brief holiday break, they’re looking at 49 more games. Within those 49 contests, we’ll see:

25 home games

Longest stretch at home: 5 games (March 7- March 14)

The Penguins are 10-3-3 so far this season at home, and are one of just six NHL teams with a points percentage of over .700 in their own arena. Pittsburgh is one of the best teams in the NHL at stifling opposing offenses on home turf, and the PK is nearly perfect at PPG— although the team is still a long way from beating the Bruins’ NHL-best 18-0-2 home record and absurd .950 home points percentage.

24 road games

Longest stretch on the road: 4 games (Feb. 10- Feb. 17)

The Penguins are 9-6-2 on the road this season, and Tristan Jarry has a .906 SV% on the road compared to .930 at home. Luckily for the Pens, the worst stretches of travel this season are already out of the way. The longest road trip of the season was that five-game trip in October, which kick-started a seven-game losing streak. The team is looking at just one four-game roadtrip in the latter part of the season, with most of the away games coming alone or in pairs.

18 division matchups

Most meaningful stretch: 6 division opponents in 7 games (March 7- March 18)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before— the Metro is tight this year, and all of the top six teams have reasonable hope they could end up in a playoff spot this spring. That means the division-heavy stretch the Penguins are playing this March, when they face the Rangers three times in the span of six days, has the potential to have serious playoff impact— and make for some very entertaining hockey.

Here’s all of the Penguins remaining division matchups:

  1. Tuesday December 27, 7:30pm @ Islanders
  2. Friday December 30, 7:00pm vs. Devils
  3. Saturday January 14, 7pm @ Hurricanes
  4. Sunday January 22, 2pm @ Devils
  5. Thursday January 26, 7pm @ Capitals
  6. Friday February 17, 7pm @ Islanders
  7. Saturday February 18, 5:30pm vs. Devils
  8. Monday February 20, 7pm vs. Islanders
  9. Tuesday March 7, 7pm vs. Blue Jackets
  10. Thursday March 9, 7pm vs. Islanders
  11. Saturday March 11, 3:30pm vs. Flyers
  12. Sunday March 12, 4pm vs. Rangers
  13. Thursday March 16, 7pm @ Rangers
  14. Saturday March 18, 8pm @ Rangers
  15. Saturday March 25, 8pm @ Capitals
  16. Sunday April 2, 6pm @ Flyers
  17. Tuesday April 4, 7pm vs. Devils
  18. Thursday April 13, 7pm @ Blue Jackets

Eight back-to-back sets

Most in one month: 3 (February 10-11, 17-18, 25-26)

The Penguins have played seven back-to-back sets so far this season with an overall record of 6-6-2 (2-4-1 in the second half of the back-to-backs). They have eight more consecutive sets of games coming up in the 2023 half of the season, although none of them come right after one another (compared to the brutal three consecutive back-to-backs the Penguins suffered through in October.)

Here are the Penguins’ remaining back-to-back sets:

  1. Tuesday December 27, 7:30pm @ Islanders and Wednesday December 28, 7:30pm vs. Red Wings
  2. Friday January 13, 7pm vs. Jets and Saturday January 14, 7pm @ Hurricanes
  3. Friday February 10, 10pm @ Ducks and Saturday February 11, 10:30pm @ Kings
  4. Friday February 17, 7pm @ Islanders and Saturday February 18, 5:30pm vs. Devils
  5. Saturday February 25, 3:30pm @ Blues and Sunday February 26, 6pm vs. Lightning
  6. Saturday March 11, 3:30pm vs. Flyers and Sunday March 12, 4pm vs. Rangers
  7. Wednesday March 22, 8pm @ Avalanche and Thursday March 23, 9pm @ Stars
  8. Saturday April 1, 3pm vs. Bruins and Sunday April 2, 6pm vs. Flyers

23 games against current playoff teams

Longest stretch against current playoff teams: 3 games (December 30- January 5 and March 22- 25)

The Penguins’ schedule for the rest of the season is pretty much evenly split between teams currently in the playoffs and those on the outside looking in (23 against playoff teams, 27 against non-playoff teams, as of Friday, December 23). So far this season, the Penguins (as of Friday, December 23) have a 10-3-2 record against non-playoff teams and a 9-6-3 record against playoff teams.