For Penguins, schedule gets no easier after back-to-back set with Columbus
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A physical home-and-home series with the Columbus Blue Jackets that will wrap up Saturday night is just the beginning of the most difficult stretch of schedule the Pittsburgh Penguins will deal with in the last quarter of the season.
On Sunday night, they’ll play the tail end of a back-to-back at home against the Boston Bruins, a team that was 14-0-4 in its last 18 games coming into a Saturday night matchup with Ottawa. The Bruins haven’t lost in regulation since Jan. 19.
An always intense matchup with the Washington Capitals follows on Tuesday.
All told, the Penguins are in the middle of a stretch of eight games in 13 days.
Forward Jared McCann said the packed schedule over the span of two weeks is probably more physically grueling than two games in a 24-hour span.
“The back-to-back, you almost feel better the second game,” McCann said. “You feel like you’re still in it from the first one.”
Captain Sidney Crosby said it’s a fact of life in the NHL.
“Sometimes you don’t even feel it when you’re in,” he said. “It’s more after you get out of it, it’s something you start to feel a little more. But I think every team has to deal with that this time of year. March is always a heavy month for a lot of teams. Everyone’s in the same position there. You just gotta go one at a time. You can’t get caught looking at that stretch as a whole. You’ve got to worry about the one you have in front of you.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .