Since April 3rd, Pittsburgh sports fans have had plenty to be happy about. That night Root Sports, in conjunction with the MLB Network and the NBC Sports Network, have been broadcasting Penguins and Pirates games simultaneously, calling the Pittsburgh sports watching extravaganza “Bucs and Pucks.” Since the start of the Pirates’ season, the Bucs and Pens have played 16 games that have fallen on the same date, and the results have been excellent.
In these 16 games, the Penguins have compiled an extremely impressive record of 11 wins and just five loses, most recently adding a tally to the win column Tuesday night with a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators in the opening round of the Eastern Conference semi-finals. The Penguins’ record would likely not surprise many Pittsburgh fans as the team rolled through the Conference, locking up the top spot in the East with a week remaining in the regular season, and with only 48 games on the schedule.
What probably would surprise most Pittsburgh fans is that the Pirates have a better record than the Penguins when both the Bucs and Pens play on the same date. In those 16 games the Pirates have accumulated a record of 12 wins and only four loses, with their most recent win coming from an Andrew McCutchen walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 12th inning Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers, at PNC Park.
The Bucs and Pens have a combined .72 winning percentage this year when playing on the same date. In the 32 games they’ve played, the two teams’ aggregate score is Pittsburgh: 125-Opponents: 83, and both teams have won on the same day seven times.
Here are the results from Bucs and Pucks so far:
Date Pirates Penguins
April, 3 W 3-0 Chicago Cubs L 1-6 New York Rangers
April, 5 L 0-3 Los Angeles Dodgers W 2-1 New York Rangers
April, 9 W 6-5 Arizona Diamondbacks W 5-3 Carolina Hurricanes
April, 13 W 3-1 Cincinnati Reds W 3-1 Florida Panthers
April, 17 W 5-0 St. Louis Cardinals W 6-4 Montreal Canadiens
April, 22 L 2-3 Philadelphia Phillies W 3-1 Ottawa Senators
April, 23 W 2-0 Philadelphia Phillies L 2-4 Buffalo Sabres
April, 25 W 6-4 Philadelphia Phillies L 2-3 New Jersey Devils
April, 27 W 5-3 St. Louis Cardinals W 8-3 Carolina Hurricanes
May, 1 W 6-4 Milwaukee Brewers W 5-0 New York Islanders
May, 3 W 3-1 Washington Nationals L 3-4 New York Islanders
May, 5 L 2-6 Washington Nationals W 5-4 New York Islanders
May, 7 W 4-1 Seattle Mariners L 2-4 New York Islanders
May, 9 L 2-3 New York Mets W 4-0 New York Islanders
May, 11 W 11-2 New York Mets W 4-3 New York Islanders
May, 14 W 4-3 Milwaukee Brewers W 4-1 Ottawa Senators
With these statistics in mind, it stands to reason that the longer the Penguins are in the playoffs, the better it is for the Pirates who have clearly gotten a boost while playing on the same night as their cross-river colleagues. Next up for Bucs and Pucks is Friday, May 17th, when the Pirates open a three-game series against the Houston Astros and the Penguins face the Ottawa Senators in the second game of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
The Astros are the worst team in the Majors so far this year and the Penguins are undefeated against the Senators in 2013, so continued success should be expected.