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Penguins

Mike Sullivan: 'It made sense' for Penguins to come home between games in Philly

Chris Adamski
| Monday, April 16, 2018, 3:12 p.m.
Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan stands behind his bench during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. The Penguins won 4-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan stands behind his bench during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. The Penguins won 4-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Among the 48 time periods possible between games scheduled for the first round of the 2018 NHL playoffs, only six were for more than one day. Of those six, just three were to be spent between games played in the same city.

Typically, a team stays in the road city between games. That's what the Columbus Blue Jackets did, for example, over the weekend with Games 1 and 2 in Washington on Thursday and Sunday, respectively.

Benefiting in part by geography and an afternoon game, the Penguins chose a different approach. They returned home following their 5-1 win in Game 3 at Wells Fargo Center. After an off day Monday, the Penguins will practice Tuesday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township.

"We just thought it makes sense," coach Mike Sullivan said via a Monday conference call with media. "It's a really short trip from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, it gives guys time to have day off and spend some time with their families. We get to practice in own practice facility, which our players have a comfort level practicing in with all the resources we have here. I think the players are comfortable here.

"For all those reasons, we chose to come back. It gives our guys an opportunity to get some rest, the coaches will break the film down. We will see what we learn from our last game; and we'll show it to our team and then we will move by it and get ready for next one."

The Penguins haven't had two off days between road playoff games since May 19-22, 2013 during the second round against the Senators. They stayed in Ottawa rather than make the 500-plus mile trip back through customs.

The year before when the Penguins and Flyers also were in a first-round series, the Penguins also took advantage of a two-day break between Games 3-4 to come home.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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