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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
ORL 83
CHA 98
 
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
Final
CHI 86
LAC 96
Final
HOU 105
CLE 103
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
 
Final
BOS 101
GSW 106
 
Final
IND 94
PHI 74
 
Final
SAC 99
POR 110
 
4th
LAL 80
OKC 88
 
1st
DEN 12
NOP 21
 
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
Final
MAN 69
QUIN 65
 
Final
UCONN 81
SMU 73
Final
CAL 73
ORST 56
Final
HOU 72
SFLA 55
Final
PROV 77
MARQ 66
Final
WISC 68
MSU 61
Final
MON 63
SIENA 57
 
2nd
WAKE 66
PITT 63
 
2nd
STAN 51
OREG 49
 
Half
OSU 23
PURD 35
 
8:30pm Tonight
COL
ARST
9:30pm Tonight
UCLA
WASU
Final
WIN 5
LOS 2
Final
PIT 5
CLB 3
Final
FLA 4
TAM 3
2nd
WAS 2
TOR 0
 
1st
DAL 0
ANA 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
STL