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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
DUR 4
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
DET 2
CWS 1
Final
CHC 4
SDP 5
Final
PIT 6
MIL 3
Final
WAS 7
PHI 2
Final
TOR 7
ATL 8
Final
BOS 3
BAL 2
Final
NYM 4
MIA 1
Final
TAM 4
NYY 5
Final
MIN 3
CLE 2
Final
HOU 3
ANA 6
Final
KAN 6
OAK 4
Final
STL 6
CIN 1
Final
LOS 7
COL 3
Final
SEA 1
TEX 3
Final
SFG 0
ARI 9
1:05pm Today
WAS
PHI
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
BOS
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
HOU
ANA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
KAN
OAK
 
9:05pm Tonight
SFG
ARI
 
9:10pm Tonight
LOS
COL
 
9:10pm Tonight
SEA
TEX
 
12:30pm Today
TOR
WAS
 
3:30pm Today
GSW
NOP
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIL
 
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
DAL
 
Final
WAS 4
NYI 3
Final
MON 3
OTT 2
Final
NAS 6
CHI 2
Final
VAN 4
CAL 1
3:00pm Today
TAM
DET
 
3:00pm Today
STL
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYR
PIT
 
10:30pm Tonight
ANA
WIN
 
Final
DUR 4
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR