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Penguins untouchable at home this season

| Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, 10:30 p.m.

In the NHL, as in real estate, location is everything. Teams get a major boost when playing at home, collecting 61.2 percent of their total possible game points this season compared to 51.7 percent on the road. The Penguins' home-ice advantage is even greater, with opponents traveling to Consol Energy Center all but guaranteed defeat in 2013-14.

The Penguins have a 17-3-0 record at home, including a 10-game winning streak dating to mid-November. No Eastern Conference team has racked up a higher points percentage on home ice, and only the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks have outpaced them in the West.

Home sweet home

Team Home points pct.

Ducks 93.3

Sharks 85.3

Penguins 85.0

Bruins 81.0

Lightning 80.6

Source: Hockey-Reference.com

At home, the Penguins are outscoring opponents by 1.4 goals per game. On the road, they're scoring just slightly more than they give up (plus-0.15 goal differential).

Coach Dan Bylsma's squad is thriving at Consol by taking care of the puck (6.2 giveaways per game at home compared to 8.2 on the road), missing fewer shots (10.3 per game at home, 12.3 on the road) and punishing opponents on defense (26.6 hits per game in Pittsburgh, 25.5 elsewhere).

The 2013-14 Penguins are dominating at home like no team in the franchise's 46-year history. So far, they easily boast a better home points percentage than the early-to-mid-1990s Penguins led by Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis.

Year Home points pct.

2013-14 85.0

1992-93 81.0

1995-96 78.0

1994-95 77.1

1974-75, 2012-13 75.0

David Golebiewski is a freelance writer.

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