Jackets lose to Penguins 3-2 in Bob's return
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Carl Hagelin's second-period goal, his fourth since joining Pittsburgh earlier in the season, led the Penguins to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday in Nationwide Arena.
Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang also scored for the Penguins, while goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had 25 saves.
The Penguins (35-24-8) are trying to hold off rival Philadelphia for the second and final wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The win preserved their three-point cushion.
Gregory Campbell and Cam Atkinson scored for the Blue Jackets, while goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky -- making his first start since Jan. 21 -- finished with 28 saves.
Bobrovsky has played in only 28 games this season because of three groin pulls.
The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead at 5:05 of the first period, and it was a rare contribution from the fourth line.
Right winger Jared Boll, who just recently joined the lineup after a long string of healthy scratches, made a perfect pass to Campbell off the rush.
Campbell buried the puck over Fleury's extended left pad, his third goal of the season and his first in 47 games. Boll had gone 48 games -- dating back to last season -- since his last point of any kind.
The Penguins tied it later in the period when Letang sailed a slap shot through traffic on the power play at 14:23. It was Letang's 10th goal since Dec. 1.
Pittsburgh took control of the game in the second period.
Only 45 seconds into second, with the Penguins swarming Bobrovsky after a juicy rebound, Kunitz scored his 13th goal of the season off a loose puck on the doorstep.
The Blue Jackets pulled even at 2:58, when Atkinson scored his career-high 24th goal of the season off a breakaway.
Atkinson had another breakaway later in the second period, but Fleury poked it away near the hashmarks.
Other than those breakaways, the Blue Jackets barely created any offensive pressure on the Penguins, who outshot them 16-6 in the second.
At 4:47 of the third, Pittsburgh reclaimed the lead, scoring a goal that was very similar to Kunitz's a few minutes earlier.
This time it was Hagelin who was on the doorstep for scraps after a long rebound by Bobrovsky. Hagelin swept the puck into the net off his backhand.
NOTES: The Blue Jackets sent G Joonas Korpisalo to minor-league Lake Erie, despite Korpisalo putting up very good numbers in the NHL: 14-8-3 record with a .918 save percentage and 2.63 goals-against average. The Jackets want Korpisalo to continue playing, and that will be hard to do with G Sergei Bobrovsky back and active. ... The Penguins made a healthy scratch of LW Tom Sestito, who spoke earlier in the week about challenging Blue Jackets C Brandon Dubinsky in this game. ... Blue Jackets D Jack Johnson (upper body) could be lost for the season, but the club isn't specifying his injury.