Sat, 23 Sep 2023

Penguins end season with OT loss to Blue Jackets

Field Level Media
14 Apr 2023, 11:55 GMT+10

Johnny Gaudreau scored on a breakaway one minute into overtime Thursday to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins, who were playing their season finale.

Andrew Peeke and Emil Benstrom also scored for the Blue Jackets (25-47-9, 59 points), who are 1-3-1 in their past five. They have one remaining game, Friday at home against Buffalo in a makeup game.

Columbus goaltender Michael Hutchinson stopped 34 shots.

Kris Letang had a goal and an assist, Jake Guentzel also scored, and Sidney Crosby added two assists for the Penguins (40-31-11, 91 points), who closed their season on a 2-2-1 stretch. They were eliminated from the playoffs a night earlier when the New York Islanders clinched the Eastern Conference's final available wild-card berth with a win over Montreal.

This is the first time Pittsburgh has not been in the postseason since 2006. The team's 16-year streak of appearing in the playoffs -- a run that included three Stanley Cup wins -- was the longest active string across all major North American pro sport leagues.

Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry made 31 saves.

Penguins top-line winger Bryan Rust did not come out for the third period. There was no immediate reason supplied by the team.

Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead during the only power play of the first period. Letang's shot from the right point went in off Peeke, who was among a handful of players around the crease, at 4:28.

That gave Letang 40 points, making him the fourth active defenseman in the NHL with 10 40-point seasons.

The Blue Jackets tied it 1-1 with the only goal of the second, at 2:12. Hunter McKown won a faceoff and pulled the puck back to Peeke. His blast from the right point sailed past Jarry's glove.

Guentzel broke the tie with a power-play goal at 3:53 of the third. Using Peeke as a screen, his shot from the top of the left circle went inside the far post for his team-leading 36th goal.

With 3:25 left in regulation and on a power play, Benstrom tied it 2-2 on a backdoor play off a feed from Mikael Pyythtia.

--Field Level Media

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