How the Penguins Shortened Season Affects the Pirates

With the NHL lockout over and games set to begin, team schedules have been released. The Penguins 48-game slate can be found HERE.

Typically, the Pens would wrap up the regular season in early April, with the Stanley Cup playoffs starting in the middle of the month. ROOT Sports (and technically FSN Pittsburgh) would try to carry the first round of playoffs, with national television broadcasts taking over after that. This season, however, shakes out a little differently and could affect a few Bucco TV broadcasts.

The Penguins final regular season game will not be until Saturday, April 27th. For comparison, they finished on April 7th last year. These extra 20 days will definitely cause some issues with early season broadcasts for the Bucs; here’s a look at the overlap:

April 5th
Penguins vs. Rangers, 7:00 pm
Pirates @ Dodgers, 10:10 pm
This one shouldn’t be too bad, since ROOT should be able to carry both. The Pens game is scheduled to play on NHL Network, but ROOT will most likely pick it up as well.

April 9th
Penguins @ Hurricanes, 7:00 pm
Pirates @ Diamondbacks, 9:40 pm
This night is a toss-up, since hockey games generally last two and a half hours. Assuming the puck drops shortly after 7:00 and it doesn’t go to overtime, first pitch of Bucs vs. D-backs could probably be shown. ROOT may decide to avoid this and not televise the Pirates.

April 13th
Penguins @ Panthers, 7:30 pm
Pirates vs. Reds, 7:05 pm
This is a definite overlap. However, April 13th is Andrew McCutchen bobblehead night at PNC, so you should probably come down to the Bucs game anyway.

April 17th
Penguins vs. Canadiens, 7:00 pm
Pirates vs. Cardinals, 7:05 pm

April 19th
Penguins @ Bruins, 7:00 pm
Pirates vs. Braves, 7:05 pm
Pens are scheduled for NHL Network, although ROOT could pick it up.

April 20th
Penguins vs. Sabres, 7:00 pm
Pirates vs. Braves, 7:05 pm
Another NHL Network game that could be shown on ROOT.

April 22nd
Penguins @ Senators, 7:30 pm
Pirates @ Phillies, 7:05 pm
More overlap.

EDIT: Jerin Steele (@Jsteele1986) pointed out to us on Twitter that NHL Network actually shows the local feeds during their broadcasts. Therefore, the April 5th, 19th, and 20th Pens games will be on ROOT Sports.

The Penguins will play on NBC Sports Network on April 2nd, 3rd, 11th, and 25th, although the only Pirates game that would be affected anyway is the 3rd.

Assuming they make the playoffs again and ROOT tries to pick up a couple first round matchups, the Bucs could get less air time in April and the beginning of May.

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