NHL: Drew O’Connor’s 3rd-period goal powers Penguins past Jackets

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Drew O’Connor’s go-ahead goal early in the third complemented Evgeni Malkin’s two power-play goals Thursday as the Pittsburgh Penguins topped the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2.

Sidney Crosby added two assists — moving him into 11th place all-time in NHL history with 1,580 career points — for the Penguins (32-30-10, 74 points), who have won two in a row. They are 11-0-1 in their last 12 games against the Blue Jackets, and have won 15 in a row at home against them.

Pittsburgh goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 17 saves.

Cole Sillinger had a goal and an assist and Mathieu Olivier also scored for the Blue Jackets (23-38-12, 58 points), who have lost six in a row (0-5-1).

Columbus goaltender Danil Tarasov made 33 saves.

Pittsburgh defenseman Ryan Graves did not return after the first period for what the team later announced was an upper-body injury.

Olivier gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead at 5:20 of the second, just after a power play expired. From the top of the crease, he shoveled the puck on Nedeljkovic. The puck popped up, and Olivier knocked it in. The play survived a review to see if a high stick penalty occurred.

At 9:50 of the second, Malkin scored his first power-play goal in 38 games to tie it. Kris Letang fed him for a rocket of a one-timer from the top of the right circle that went in off Tarasov’s right arm.

That also gave Malkin 20 goals for the 15th time in his career.

Sillinger gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead at 13:11 of the second. Off a three-on-one against rookie defenseman Jack St. Ivany, Sillinger and Alexandre Texier used a little give-and-go to set up Sillinger from the bottom of the right circle.

At 16:11 of the second, Malkin scored another power-play goal to tie it. From near the left hash marks, he shot the puck under Tarasov’s left pad.

Off the rush 35 seconds into the third, O’Connor gave Pittsburgh its first lead, 3-2, when he scored on a rising shot far side from the left circle.

–Field Level Media

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