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game recap

Marc-Andre Fleury makes 49 saves, Penguins win series in Game 5

Defending champions eliminate Blue Jackets, advance to second round

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins weren't at their best Thursday, but Marc-Andre Fleury was at his.

Fleury made 49 saves for the Penguins in a series-ending 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round at PPG Paints Arena.

The defending Stanley Cup champions won the best-of-7 series 4-1 and advanced to the second round, where they will play the Washington Capitals or Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was Fleury's 57th playoff win, which surpassed Tom Barrasso for the most by a Penguins goalie.

 

[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Blue Jackets highlights | RELATED: Complete Pittsburgh vs. Columbus series coverage]

 

Fleury allowed four goals on 123 shots in three home games this series, after becoming the surprise Game 1 starter when Matt Murray was injured during warmups.

Fleury said he would rank the win near the top of his list of victories in Pittsburgh.

"This was up there," the 32-year-old said. "To be here at home in front of our fans and to be able to get that win with the support that they gave me throughout the season, throughout all these year, I still get butterflies and goose bumps when you hear the crowd chant. I'm happy I was able to contribute and get that win tonight."

Video: CBJ@PIT, Gm5: Rust chips home rebound with backhand

Bryan Rust scored twice in the second period, after Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Phil Kessel in the first. Sidney Crosby and Scott Wilson scored for the Penguins in the third period, and Evgeni Malkin had three assists. He leads the playoffs with 11 points (two goals, nine assists).

After Blue Jackets forward Sam Gagner was called for holding at 8:41 of the first period, Kessel gave the Penguins the lead at 9:07. He shuffled the puck to Justin Schultz along the blue line before receiving a pass back near the left circle. Kessel shot from the outer edge past teammate Patric Hornqvist for his second power-play goal of the series. Kessel also had two assists.

Rust scored 1:07 into the second period to extend the lead to 2-0 and at 3:50 to make it 3-0. He had five goals in the series.

William Karlsson made it 3-1 at 9:30 of the second period and Boone Jenner made it 3-2 with a power-play goal at 12:24. Jenner's goal was upheld following a review that determined it was not scored using a high-stick.

Columbus outshot Pittsburgh 51-32, 36-20 in the final two periods. The Blue Jackets thought they tied it 3-3 3:52 into the third period but Alexander Wennberg was called for goale interference.

"That was a team effort," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "I like our group. I'll tell you right now, I like our group."

The Penguins took a 4-2 lead on a power-play goal by Crosby at 5:31 of the third period and made it 5-2 on Wilson's first NHL playoff goal 51 seconds later.

Columbus forward/captain Nick Foligno (lower body) was scratched after skating with usual linemates Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson during warmups.

Washington and Toronto are tied 2-2 in their first-round series with Game 5 on Friday.

Goal of the game

Crosby re-established Pittsburgh's two-goal lead when he dropped to one knee and one-timed a shot from the bottom of the right circle inside the right post.

Video: CBJ@PIT, Gm5: Crosby cranks a one-timer for PPG

 

Save of the game

After stopping a shot from Gagner, Fleury used his left pad to stuff a rebound attempt from Jenner with 2:40 left in the second period to protect a 3-2 lead.

 

Highlight of the game

Jenner scored after Seth Jones was left alone for a shot in front of Fleury. A glove save denied Jones' shot, but Jenner crashed the crease to bat the puck out of the air with Rust attempting to keep it from crossing the line. Jenner's shot trickled in for his second goal of the series.

Video: CBJ@PIT, Gm5: Jenner shows off hand-eye for PPG

 

Unsung performance of the game

Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta kept the Blue Jackets from taking the lead after Josh Anderson's shot seemed destined to score inside the right post. Maatta batted the puck out of midair 47 seconds into the first period.

 

They said it

"I think there are a lot of things we can improve on and get better. We just played one of the top teams in the League in the first round. … I believe that our best hockey is ahead of us." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

 

"It's a tough feeling, but we have a really good group of guys here. We have to learn from it. … It's just a disappointing feeling." -- Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky

 

"There were a lot of good things from this season, but we're here to play and win the Stanley Cup, and this year we're knocked out. You don't get many chances." -- Blue Jackets forward Alexander Wennberg

 

Need to know

Columbus has not won a playoff series since entering the NHL in 2000-01. Each of its three playoff wins (3-12) have come against Pittsburgh. … Bobrovsky, who had a 2.06 goals-against average and .931 save percentage during the regular season, had a 3.88 GAA and .882 save percentage in the series. ... Fleury is 57-46 in the playoffs. … Columbus forward Scott Hartnell played 8:31 after being a healthy scratch in Game 4. … Crosby needs three playoff points to tie Jaromir Jagr for second in Penguins history (147) and three playoff assists to tie Mario Lemieux for the most in Penguins history (96).

 

What's next

Blue Jackets: Season over

Penguins: Eastern Conference Second Round, TBD

 

Video: Rust's two goals, Fleury's 49 saves help Pens advance

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