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NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Columbus



(Friday, March 28th)

Final Score: Pittsburgh 2, Columbus 1

Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves and the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched a spot in the playoffs with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

Chris Kunitz and Beau Bennett scored goals in the third period for the Penguins, who had dropped six of eight coming into the contest.

"I felt pretty good," said Fleury. "It's been a while since I won. It was getting frustrating. I just stuck to my game and made the stops. I'm just happy we got the win."

With 99 points, Pittsburgh is all but guaranteed of winning the Metropolitan Division thanks to a 13-point lead over the New York Rangers. Pittsburgh is seven points back of idle Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

James Wisniewski scored the only goal of the game for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped three of their last four but are still hanging on to the top wild card spot. Curtis McElhinney stopped 29 shots in the loss.

"They were just throwing pucks from bad angles and getting it on net every chance they had," said McElhinney. "You know, it's a simple game sometimes and it's just a matter of getting the right bounces."

Columbus, Detroit, Washington and Toronto all have 80 points, but Columbus holds the tiebreaker to lay claim to the first wild card.

This game stayed scoreless until the third period when the Penguins took a 1-0 lead with 9:25 remaining. Deryk Engelland sent a pass up the right side to Sidney Crosby, who gained the bluleline and cut to the middle. Crosby then sent the puck forward to the left circle for Kunitz, who snapped a wrister into the net for his 34rd goal of the year.

Less than a minute later, the Pens got some breathing space as Bennett skated down the right wing and from the circle he snapped a wrister into the left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.

The Blue Jackets made it a one-goal game on the power play with 3:06 to play as Wisniewski blasted a shot from the right point that beat Fleury, as he was screened by Matt Calvert.

Columbus pulled McElhinney with a minute to play, but was unable to tie the game up before time expired.

Game Notes

The Blue Jackets were 1-for-4 on the power play while the Penguins failed on their four chances ... Pittsburgh hosts Chicago on Sunday ... Columbus plays at Carolina on Saturday ... Pittsburgh won all five games against the Blue Jackets this season, including all three in Columbus.

03/29 01:02:15 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
DET 109
PHI 103
Final
NOP 88
DAL 85
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
LAL
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
 
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
VT 6
MIAMI 30
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
SFLA
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
TROY
9:00pm Tonight
BSU
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
OREG
Final
BOS 2
NYI 3
Final
DET 4
PIT 3
Final
MIN 2
ARI 0
Final
NAS 3
CHI 2
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
Final
LOS 2
BUF 0
Final
SJS 4
CLB 5
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
VAN
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CLB
 
Final
DEN 35
SDC 21