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game recap

Fleury wins No. 350 when Penguins top Blue Jackets

Pittsburgh goalie fourth-fastest to reach mark; Malkin injured

by Craig Merz / Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Marc-Andre Fleury was beaten once by Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson on a breakaway, but the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender was not fooled twice.

Fleury made the save the second time to preserve a lead, and made nine more in the third period to get his 350th NHL win, 3-2 at Nationwide Arena on Friday.

The 31-year-old became the 20th goalie to reach 350 NHL wins, and the third active (Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers; Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers). Fleury did so in his 645th game, fourth-fastest in history (Martin Brodeur, Lundqvist, Chris Osgood). 

"It's pretty cool. I didn't know before the game it was coming up," Fleury said. "I was glad we got the win, the two points. 

Video: PIT@CBJ: Fleury makes the save and covers rebound

"It's fun playing here. We have a lot of fans here. I got booed pretty good when he had the (2015) All-Star Game here, so it felt good to get the win." 

It was dampened by a possible arm injury to center Evgeni Malkin, who left early in the second period after a collision with Columbus defenseman Dalton Prout. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin would be evaluated Saturday. 

Penguins forwards Eric Fehr and Carl Hagelin returned from injury in this game. Fehr moved from right wing to Malkin's spot at center, and Hagelin made it 3-2 at 4:47 of the second period with his eighth goal. Malkin had the primary assist before being injured. 

"When's he gone, it's going to hurt us, but at the same time other guys have to step up," Hagelin said. 

Atkinson's breakaway goal at 2:58 of the second gave Columbus a brief 2-2 tie. 

Atkinson went backhand, then forehand off a Ryan Murray pass through the neutral zone. Atkinson tied Boone Jenner and Brandon Saad for the Columbus lead at 24 goals with his third in two games. 

Fleury was ready four minutes later and came out of his net to poke away the puck. Video: PIT@CBJ: Hagelin hammers home rebound for the lead

"I wasn't waiting to see what he was doing, put it that way," said Fleury, who made 25 saves.

The No. 1 pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, Fleury is 350-205-59 with two ties since making his debut on Oct. 10, 2003.

Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz scored, and Malkin and Phil Kessel each had two assists for Pittsburgh (35-24-8). 

Gregory Campbell had a goal and an assist, and Cam Atkinson scored for Columbus (28-32-8). Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who missed 19 games with a groin injury, made 28 saves. 

"I felt pretty good. I felt better as the game went on and I felt more comfortable," Bobrovsky said. 

Columbus coach John Tortorella said, "There's some rust there, but for his first game he played very well. I'm encouraged how he played." 

Campbell's first goal in 47 games, at 5:05 of the first period, capped a sequence that started at the other end with a shot by Pittsburgh defenseman Justin Schulz. The puck bounced off Bobrovsky's shoulder, fell behind him off his right skate, and landed inches from the goal line before it was cleared. The Blue Jackets transitioned with Rene Bourque passing ahead to Jared Boll, who found Campbell for a one-timer. Boll got his first assist since Feb. 7, 2015. 

Letang tied it 1-1 at 14:23 on the power play with a shot from the high slot. His second goal in as many games was his 14th. The Penguins took a 2-1 lead 45 seconds into the second period when Kunitz scored from the left paint for his 13th goal. 

"They're really good at intercepting passes. They're really good at taking away seams," Columbus captain Nick Foligno said. "Anytime you're trying to force something against a team like that, it's tough. 

"You have to play against the boards and win the battles. They were doing that against us tonight. We didn't have the same focus, the same mentality. That was the difference." 

The Penguins said they were ready for a heavy game from the Blue Jackets. 

"We did a really good job of matching their intensity and aggression and we came out winning," Hagelin said.

Video: Fleury gets 350th win, Malkin exits in 3-2 win

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