Penguins Defeat Blue Jackets For 15th Straight Time In Steel City, Jackets Go Winless On Five-Game Trip

By Will Chase on March 28, 2024 at 6:51 pm
Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin shoots a slap shot against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at PPG Paints Arena.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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When will it end?

Evgeni Malkin scored twice on the power play for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena. The Blue Jackets have lost six straight as they finished their road trip 0-4-1.

Drew O'Connor scored for Pittsburgh.

Sidney Crosby had two assists to extend a three-game point streak (two goals, seven assists). With two more points, Crosby is now 11th all-time in career points (1,580 - 585 goals, 995 assists).

Kris Letang, Bryan Rust, Michael Bunting, and Pierre-Olivier Joseph picked up assists. Rust is on a three-game point streak (two goals, one assist).

Alex Nedeljkovic made 17 stops.

Cole Sillinger had two points with a goal and an assist, and Mathieu Olivier scored for Columbus.

Damon Severson, Alexandre Texier, and Ivan Provorov had an assist.

Daniil Tarasov made 33 saves.

The Penguins came into play nine points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Columbus came in losers of five straight and a 14-game losing streak in Pittsburgh dating back to Nov. 13, 2015.

1st Period

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There was no score after one period of play, and the Penguins led in shots 10-8. Dmitri Voronkov put one through on a deflection, but it was immediately waived off due to a high stick. The Jackets were 2-for-13 in the faceoff dot. Pittsburgh was 0-for-1 on the power play.

2nd Period

The first periods haven't been a problem for the Blue Jackets in their recent skid, but the second period has been another story.

In the four games coming in, Columbus outscored opponents 5-1 in the first period but have been outscored 8-1 in the second and 10-2 in the third.

Olivier did his part to change the trend with his fourth of the year at 5:20. The goal was reviewed for a high stick but the call on the ice stood. Severson and Sillinger picked up the assists. It's Sillinger's first point since Mar. 7 when he had an assist against the Oilers. 

At 9:50, Malkin tied the score 1-1 on the power play for his 20th of the year. Assists went to Letang and Rust.

Sillinger struck for his 12th goal at 13:11 to give Columbus the lead back. It's his first goal since Mar. 2 at Chicago to break a 12-game drought. Texier and Provorov had the assists.

Malkin scored his second of the night on the power play and 21st of the year at 16:11 to tie the game 2-2. Crosby and Bunting had the assists.

It's Malkin's first multi-power play goal game since Jan. 14, 2020.

Pittsburgh outshot Columbus 16-4 in the second and 26-13 through 40 minutes. Pittsburgh was 2-for-2 on the power play in the period, while Columbus was 0-for-1.

3rd Period

Tied 2-2 entering the third period, O'Connor scored 35 seconds into the period to give Pittsburgh their first lead. That score would hold as Pittsburgh won 3-2.

Columbus was 0-for-1 on the power play in the period and Pittsburgh was 0-for-2. Pittsburgh outshot Columbus 10-7.


  • Shots on Goal: CBJ 19-36 PIT
  • Face-off %: CBJ 39.6-60.4 PIT
  • Power play: CBJ 0/2-2/5 PIT
  • Giveaways: CBJ 3-10 PIT
  • Takeaways: CBJ 8-10 PIT
  • Blocked shots: CBJ 12-17 PIT
  • Hits: CBJ 25-12 PIT
  • 5-on-5 stats (via
    • Expected Goals (xG): CBJ 1.53-2.55 PIT
    • Shot Attempts (CF): CBJ 40-49 PIT
    • Shots on Goal (SF): CBJ 16-26 PIT
    • Scoring Chances (SCF): CBJ 22-24 PIT
    • High-Danger Chances (HDCF): CBJ 8-16 PIT

Injury Update

  • Alex Nylander is day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered on Mar. 23 against Vegas.
  • Adam Boqvist is out with an upper-body injury sustained on Mar. 14 against the Ottawa Senators. There is no timetable for his return. 
  • Sean Kuraly is week-to-week with a lower-body injury sustained on Mar. 12 against the Montreal Canadiens.
  • Yegor Chinakhov is day-to-day with an upper-body injury he suffered on Mar. 12 against the Canadiens. 
  • Justin Danforth suffered a concussion on Mar. 7. There is no timetable for his return.
  • Kent Johnson has been placed on injured reserve with a torn labrum in his left shoulder that will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He underwent successful surgery on Mar. 7 and is expected to make a full recovery in six months.
  • Patrik Laine entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program on Jan. 28 and will be away from the team indefinitely.
  • Adam Fantilli suffered a calf laceration on Jan. 28 and is expected to miss eight weeks.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets return home to battle the Penguins as they complete their season series from Nationwide Arena on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio.

Columbus will face the Colorado Avalanche at Nationwide Arena on Monday at 7:00 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio.

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