COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Johnny Gaudreau scored a minute into overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Thursday night, snapping a four-game losing streak.
Gaudreau scored his 14th overtime goal and the Blue Jackets moved ahead of Chicago and Anaheim for the worst record in the NHL. Columbus has one game remaining.
Andrew Peeke and Emil Bemstrom also scored for Columbus. Michael Hutchinson stopped 34 shots.
“I think everyone played great, and we did a good job, team-wise, of winning their chances,” Hutchinson said. “We didn’t give them too much time off their rushes. We were backchecking hard. It was just a fun game to be part of.”
Kris Letang had a goal and an assist, Jake Guentzel scored, and Sidney Crosby added two assists for Pittsburgh. Tristan Jarry stopped 31 shots.
The loss was Pittsburgh’s second straight and came a night after the Penguins were eliminated from the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
“It’s been a long time since this group has been in this type of a game,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I always believe there’s something to play for. But obviously, when you’re officially eliminated from the playoffs, it’s a whole different experience. From that standpoint, it’s a difficult one to even assess.”
Pittsburgh’s scoring came on a pair of power-play goals from Letang in the first period and Guentzel in the second.
But, every time the Penguins went ahead, Columbus responded. Peete tied the game in the second and Bemstrom knotted the score at 2 with his power-play goal with 3:25 left in regulation. Rookies Mikael Pyyhtia and Stanislav Svozil recorded their first NHL assists on the score.
“You could tell they weren’t at their best," Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said of the Penguins. ”They were low on energy. You can understand -- 16 straight years. It was a different feel for sure. Look at the lineup we had. We had a lot of kids in there and, and they provided us with some energy. The players play. They go out and they compete. That’s what they do, and they found a way."
The Blue Jackets recalled defensemen Samuel Knazko and Billy Sweezey and added forwards Tyler Angle, Joona Luoto and Pyyhtia to the roster on emergency recall from Cleveland of the AHL. The team also has recalled defenseman Svozil from the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats. Pyyhtia, Angle, Svozil and Knazko all made their NHL debuts.
Letang’s goal was his 40th point on the season, making him the fourth active defenseman to record 10 or more 40-point campaigns. He joins Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Alex Pietrangelo.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Guentzel led the Penguins with 36 goals in 76 games this season, becoming the eighth player in franchise history to lead the team in goals in three separate seasons (2018-19 and 2021-22).
END OF AN ERA
The Blue Jackets' win broke Pittsburgh's nine-games win streak over Columbus, dating to Dec. 12, 2019.
Blue Jackets: Host Buffalo Sabres on Friday in their season finale.
Penguins: Season over.
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