Penguins pound Blue Jackets, move into 1st place

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[February 19, 2018]  Riley Sheahan scored two goals, and Jake Guentzel added one goal and two assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 5-2 victory over the host Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night.

The Penguins, who now have 74 points, moved past the idle Washington Capitals (73). Philadelphia is in third place in the division with 70 points after its victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Pittsburgh has a five-game winning streak and is 9-1-1 in the past 11 games.

Washington has a chance to retake the Metropolitan lead on Monday when it meets the Sabres in a matinee at Buffalo.

Brian Dumolin and Zach Aston-Reese also collected goals for Pittsburgh. The Penguins did not get a large number of scoring chances as Columbus outshot them 37-23, but Pittsburgh never trailed in this game.

Backup goalie Tristan Jarry got the start for Pittsburgh, giving Matt Murray a break, and he finished with 35 saves in the victory.

Jarry did get called for tripping penalty late in the first period, but the Blue Jackets did not score on the power play.

The Penguins started quickly by scoring on their second shot of the game and went on to get three first-period goals on only six shots for a 3-1 lead after one.

Sheahan scored his first goal on the deflection of a Jamie Oleksiak shot 1:41 into the game. Dumoulin and Sheahan also scored in the opening period around a Columbus goal from Artemi Panarin.

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Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) skates against Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner (38) in the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Aston-Reese continued to make a mark early in his NHL career in the second period. He scored his fourth goal in just eight games midway through the period for a 4-1 lead.

Alexander Wennberg cut Columbus' deficit to 4-2 at 2:21 of the third period. However, Gunetzel sealed the victory with his goal with 5:51 left.

Oleksiak finished with two assists.

Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 18 saves.

--Field Level Media

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