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Mar 30, 2024 10:24 pm

Jackets halt 6-game slide, edge Pens in shootout

Penguins, Jackets

Damon Severson, the ninth shooter, deked and scored on a backhander Saturday as the Columbus Blue Jackets broke a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout win over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

Alexandre Texier for Columbus and Sidney Crosby for Pittsburgh also scored in the shootout.

Zach Werenski had a goal and an assist and Mathieu Olivier and Kirill Marchenko also scored for the Blue Jackets (24-38-12, 60 points), who erased a two-goal deficit in the third. They were 0-5-1 during their skid.

Columbus goaltender Elvis Merzlikins made 30 saves through overtime.

Bryan Rust had a goal and an assist and Drew O’Connor and Rickard Rakell also scored for the Penguins (32-30-11, 75 points), who won the front half of the home-and-home 3-2 on Thursday.

Pittsburgh goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 35 saves through overtime.

Olivier, with his second goal in as many games, gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead at 7:47 of the first. On a short-handed two-on-one, Olivier set up Cole Sillinger, whose point-blank shot was stopped by Nedeljkovic. Olivier scored on the rebound.

Pittsburgh unsuccessfully challenged that Sillinger had interfered with Nedeljkovic.

O’Connor tied it at 13:29 of the second. Rust, from the left circle, got a pass through traffic to the opposite circle for O’Connor, whose one-timer beat Merzlikins short side.

That gave O’Connor goals in three straight games.

With 1:05 left in the second, Rust gave the Penguins a 2-1 edge off a slick series of passes. Crosby won a faceoff in the left circle to Erik Karlsson. The sequence then went Karlsson to Kris Letang to Crosby, who had raced to the right circle. Crosby set up Rust near the left hash marks.
Rakell took a drop pass from Evgeni Malkin and scored on a backhander from the slot for a 3-1 Pittsburgh lead at 8:59 of the third.

Nine seconds later, Letang fell while defending Marchenko, who scored from the left circle to pull Columbus to within 3-2.

Werenski got the tying goal at 11:47 of the third when he cut around rookie Pittsburgh defenseman Jack St. Ivany in the left circle and scored far side.

–Field Level Media

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