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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
ATL 117
CHA 114
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
SFG
Final
CLE 107
CHI 98
Final
WAS 84
NOP 88
Final
ATL 117
CHA 114
Final
NYK 107
MIL 120
Final
BRK 99
PHI 88
Final
DAL 108
MEM 103
Final
SAN 106
SAC 99
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MIA
HOU
 
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MIN
IND
 
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OKC
UTA
 
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DEN
POR
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
LAL
 
10:30pm Tonight
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LAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
LALAF
ARKST
 
Final
EDM 3
TAM 2
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
SJS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
DET
 
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NAS
ARI
 
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WIN
CAR
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
VAN
 
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COL
FLA
 
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CAL
TAM
 
Final
PIT 30
HOU 23