April 6, 2018 / 2:25 AM / 20 days ago

Kessel nets a pair to lift Penguins over Blue Jackets in OT

Phil Kessel scored his second goal of the night 1:06 into overtime to send the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins past the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on Thursday night.

Kessel increased his season goal tally to 33 and trails only Penguins leading scorer Evgeni Malkin. Patric Hornqvist (28th goal), Conor Sheary (18) and Kris Letang (9) also scored as Pittsburgh bounced back from a 3-1 loss to Washington on Sunday to win for the fourth time in six games.

Cam Atkinson (24), Zach Werenski (16), Boone Jenner (13) and Matt Calvert (9) each had a goal for Columbus, which had won three of its last four and 13 of 15 games since early March.

Pittsburgh moved one point ahead of Columbus and New Jersey for the second spot in the Metropolitan Division with one game remaining for each team.

Penguins goaltender Matt Murray made 26 saves. Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had 38 stops.

Werenski scored on a backhander in the slot 5:11 into the opening period to put Columbus ahead 1-0. The goal gave Werenski a share of the Blue Jackets’ franchise record for most goals in a season by a defenseman.

Kessel’s power-play goal on a wrister with 9:34 left put Pittsburgh on the board, but the tie was short-lived as Calvert’s backhander just over two minutes later restored the Blue Jackets’ one-goal advantage.

Hornqvist answered for the Pens with 4:25 to go in the first, batting in a loose puck out of midair.

Jenner’s close-range tally on a power play 6:35 into the second accounted for the only scoring of the middle period.

Letang’s power-play wrister pulled the Penguins into a 3-all tie 2:58 into the third. With 11:35 remaining, Atkinson scored to give the Blue Jackets a one-goal advantage before Sheary’s strike with 7:44 to play.

Kessel’s game-winner in OT was unassisted.

Pierre-Luc Dubois had a pair of assists to bump his season point total to 48, establishing a new Blue Jackets record for points in a rookie campaign.

Pittsburgh closes the regular season at home Friday against Ottawa. Columbus visits Nashville on Saturday for its regular-season finale.

—Field Level Media

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