COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Pittsburgh Penguins have struggled at times in an injury-filled season. Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays Jersey . When a game is in the balance, however, they still have the personnel and the experience to end up with the two points. Chris Kunitz and Beau Bennett scored goals 47 seconds apart midway through the third period and Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves and the Penguins clinched a playoff spot with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. "I thought to a man we stepped up," coach Dan Bylsma said after his team ended a string of three regulation defeats. "Were fighting for every inch we can get right now. Tonight, this was exactly what weve talked about and wanted from this game. It was a playoff-type game, with playoff-type intensity." The Penguins are now at 99 points to move closer to clinching the Metropolitan Division title. But it was far from easy, particularly without star forward Evgeni Malkin (foot) and other injured mainstays such as Paul Martin, Pascal Dupuis and Kris Letang. Bennett hadnt played in the past 50 games after surgery on his wrist. Yet he came up with the game-winning goal. "Skating on my own, its a lot of skill stuff," he said of the hours spent rehabbing the injury and trying to get back into game shape. "Its something thats grown my game even with being out. I felt pretty good out there." Fleury was at his best early -- and late. He made a terrific save on the first shift on Cam Atkinsons shot off a deflection. Then he made huge saves on Brandon Dubinsky and Atkinson during a scrum in front of the net in the final seconds. "He was outstanding all game," Bylsma said. After a chippy game with lots of hard checks and few great scoring chances, the Penguins finally broke a scoreless battle at 10:35. Sidney Crosby carried the puck through the neutral zone and slid a pass to Kunitz whose wrister from the top of the left circle avoided the outstretched stick of defenceman James Wisniewski to beat backup goalie Curtis McElhinney, who had stopped the first 28 shots he faced. It was Kunitzs 34th goal. Before that goal could be announced to a capacity crowd of 18,908, Bennett skated with the puck up the right wing on an odd-man rush. He tucked a hard wrist shot inside the far post for his second of the season at 11:22. "That first one, it shot through our defenceman and unfortunately I picked it up late," said McElhinney, who took over in place of the flu-ridden Sergei Bobrovsky. "The second one they capitalized on a 2-on-1. Its a simple game; sometimes its just a matter of getting the right bounces." McElhinney had 29 saves as Columbus dropped to 0-5 against the Penguins this season. "In four of those five games, its been good hockey," said Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards. "It just came down to one or two plays -- and they were the team that made the plays." Wisniewski scored a power-play goal for Columbus with 3:06 left to cut the lead to 2-1. Pittsburgh hung on as Fleury stood tall in the last 10 seconds to turn away the potential tying goal. "I took a shot and we kept banging," said Dubinsky. "They collapsed on the net pretty hard and the puck squirted off to the side." The Blue Jackets came into the game in a four-way tie for a wild-card spot in the East. Despite the loss, the Blue Jackets still hold the first wild-card spot in the East. They own the tiebreaker against the other three teams with 80 points (Detroit, Washington, Toronto) due to wins in regulation. "We have to understand the urgency and desperation we have to come out with tomorrow (at Carolina)," Wisniewski said. Notes: The Columbus Dispatch reported on Friday that the Blue Jackets are 29th in the 30-team NHL in attendance, drawing 14,347 per game. Despite a 23 per cent increase in season-ticket sales to 8,600, attendance has actually dropped from last season (14,564). ... After a sunny, warm day in Columbus, a weatherman appearing on the monitors during the second intermission was loudly booed for predicting snow on Saturday. Teoscar Hernandez Jersey . The Detroit Tigers star had microfracture surgery Friday to repair the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee. "I dont want to say it was a surprise," team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said. Dalton Pompey Blue Jays Jersey . Ibrahimovic put PSG ahead when he got in front of his marker to neatly flick in Lucass cross in the 59th minute. New signing Yohan Cabaye came on as a second-half substitute and headed Ezequiel Lavezzis cross against the post in the 87th. Moments later, Lucas set up another goal from the right when fellow countryman Alex turned in his corner with a strikers finish.Burnley manager Sean Dyche is relishing the battle for promotion and has revealed he will not be distracted by their rivals results. The Clarets are locked in a three-way tussle to seal an automatic return to the Premier League but can secure promotion on Monday if they beat QPR and Brighton fail to beat Derby during a Sky Sports double-header. FL72 Podcast Listen to this weeks edition here! But, speaking on the FL72 Podcast, Dyche claimed one of the tightest promotions races in recent seasons was the driving force behind his sides recent form rather than a hindrance.Its really good, he said. Weve earned the right to be where we are. Sky Bet Championship Team Played Goal difference Points 1 Burnley 44 33 87 2 Middlesbrough 44 32 87 3 Brighton 44 30 87 We are working very hard at our game to make sure we deliver the performances to get us results. Marcus Stroman Jersey. But we are certainly enjoying the challenge and have been all season.QPR head to Turf Moor on Monday looking to derail Burnleys hopes of an immediate return to Englands top-flight. Not for the first time this season, the Clarets find themselves playing after their promotion rivals, with Boro travelling to Birmingham on Friday and Brighton hosting derby on Monday afternoon.Burnley could find themselves as low as third by the time they entertain Jimmy Floyd Hasselbainks side, but, having played catch-up for the majority of the season, Dyche was adamant his sides approach would remain unchanged. Weve made a good show of looking after ourselves and not really overthinking everyone else, he added. That has been an important factor of what weve so far and we can continue to do so.I explain to the team all the time with clarity what we need to focus on and thats the next performance so its for other people to debate the ins and outs. Its been slightly different for us because weve come from quite a considerable distance behind - on Boxing Day we were eight points and a game in hand behind the teams above us.Weve come a long way over those games to be where we are and the others have been setting the pace most of the season. Whatever the thoughts on the top of the table, and the points situation, are we just want to get the points that are needed and let everyone else worry about themselves.Our focus is on us performing and weve shown great signs of that, whether that be when we played first or last weve kept our eye on what we need to do and delivered the performances that have allowed us to do what we are doing. That is the focus. Also See: FL72 Podcast Fixtures Table Championship video ' ' '
ERIE, Pa. Jonathan dos Santos Mexico Jersey . - Otters goaltender Devin Williams made 28 saves to pick up his fourth shutout of the season as Erie blanked the visiting Saginaw Spirit 3-0 in Ontario Hockey League action on Thursday. Dylan Strome and Dane Fox each scored for the Otters (40-10-2), while Brendan Gaunce added a short-handed goal with 1:02 remaining in the game. Connor Brown picked up two assists. Jake Paterson stopped 21 of 23 shots for Saginaw (25-22-5) in the losing effort. --- STORM 8 STEELHEADS 0 GUELPH, Ont. — Robby Fabbri and Jason Dickinson each scored twice and added an assist as the Storm dominated Mississauga. Matt Finn scored a goal and helped on three others, Zac Leslie had a goal and an assist, Zack Mitchell had a goal and two assists, and Brock McGinn also scored for the Western Conference-leading Storm (40-9-3) to pull his tally to 33 on the season. Chase Marchand started in net for the Steelheads (20-29-4), but was pulled after giving up five goals on 28 shots through 40 minutes. Spencer Martin stopped 10 of 13 shots in relief. Guelph outshot Mississauga 41-24, holding the Steelheads to six shots in the second period. --- BATTALION 2 WOLVES 0 NORTH BAY, Ont. — Jake Smith turned away all 25 shots he faced as the Battalion edged Sudbury. After a scoreless first period, Barclay Goodrow scored his 24th of the season at 15:46 of the second to brake the stalemate for the Battalion (28-18-6). Vincent Praplan added his 16th of the year at 3:08 of the third to extend North Bays lead to 2-0. Franky Palazzese made 29 saves for Sudbury (27-16-8). --- PETES 4 GENERALS 3 (SO) PETERBOROUGH, Ont. — Josh MacDonald scored in regulation time and again in a shootout to lift the Petes over Oshawa in a penalty-filled affair which resulted in six game misconducts. Steven Varga and Connor Boland also scored for the Petes (24-23-4), who racked up 51 penalty minutes on 19 infractions. Oshawa (32-15-5), which took 23 penalties totalling 55 minutes, got power-play goals from Mitchell Vande Sompel and Dylan Smoskowitz, while Bradley Latour added a short-handed goal. Daniel Altshuller started in net for the Generals, making all 18 saves before being handed a game misconduct penalty. Ken Appleby stopped 23-of-26 shots in relief. Peterborough goaltender Andrew DAgostino also got a game misconduct. He stopped 14 of 15 shots and Jason Da Silva made 19 saves on 21 shots in relief. --- SPITFIRES 4 GREYHOUNDS 3 WINDSOR, Ont. — Slater Koekkoek scored a power-play goal at 11:16 of the third period to lift the Spitfires over the Greyhounds. Remy Giftopoulos had a goal and two assists for Windsor (32-17-2), while Ben Johnson, and Steven Janes added the other Spitfire goals. Jared McCann, Patrick Watling and Tyler Gaudet replied for Sault Ste. Marie (35-13-5). Jean Dupuy chipped in with two assists. Spitfires goalie Dalen Kuchmey made 39 saves for the win, while Sault Ste. Maries Matt Murray turned aside 30 shots in the loss. --- FRONTENACS 10 COLTS 6 BARRIE, Ont. — Darcy Greenaway and Spence Watson each had two goals and one assist as the visiting Frontenacs toppled the Colts. Henri Ikonen had a goal and two assists and Ryan Verbeek scored a goal and helped on another for Kingston (28-19-4). Mikko Vainonen, Samuel Schutt, Warren Steele and Conor McGlynn also scored and Matt Mahalak made 23 saves for the win. Zach Hall scored a hat trick and added an assist for the Colts (25-22-3) while Andreas Athanasiou scored twice. Kevin Labanc added the other Barrie goal. Mackenzie Blackwood started in net for Barrie, but was pulled after he allowed seven goals on 31 shots through the first two periods. Daniel Gibl stopped 12 of 14 shots in relief. Miguel Layun Jersey . You can see all the action on TSN2 beginning at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. Chicago won two of three games during its stay at the United Center. The club began the homestand with a 5-1 win over Pittsburgh on March 1 and fell to Colorado on Tuesday before posting another blowout win in Thursdays tilt against Columbus. Carlos Salcedo Jersey . Wayne and Cindy Tuck of Ilderton, Ont., closed out round-robin play earlier in the day with a 7-3 win over Finland but needed a win over Austria to reach the final eight.Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Behind 21 points and six assists from Michael Carter-Williams, the Philadelphia 76ers started a seven-game road trip with a 96-88 win over the Orlando Magic. Five players reached double figures for Philadelphia as it ended a five-game losing streak. Nerlens Noel posted 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Henry Sims and Robert Covington joined Noel by posting double-doubles as well. Sims had 12 points and 12 boards, with Covington recording 11 points and 10 rebounds. Victor Oladipo led all scorers with 23 points for the Magic, who have lost four straight and six of their last seven. Despite getting 19 points and 17 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic, Orlando was outrebounded by Philadelphia 52-43. Orlando extended its lead to as much as 11 in the third quarter but it would last just one possession. After a 76ers timeout, JaKarr Sampson hit a 3 that started a 7-0 burst to make their deficit a more manageable four points. The Sixers scored the last eight points of the period to lead 64-60 after three. That run continued into the fourth quarter and after seven straight points in the first 2 1/2 minutes, Philadelphia led by 11. Sims capped the 15-0 run with a layup and emphatic slam dunk. Evan Fournier scored four straight points to cut Orlandos deficit down to seven points, but Carter-Williams wrapped up a 6-0 run with a 3-pointer to extend the Sixers lead to a game-high 14 points. Hector Moreno Jersey . Philadelphia did not make a shot from the floor in the final 3 1/2 minutes of the game, but it held Orlando off to come away with the victory. Neither team led by more than five points in a back-and-forth first quarter. A late 8-0 run with four points from both Covington and Sims helped give the Sixers a 23-20 lead after 12 minutes. A 9-0 Magic run halfway through the second period gave them a lead they would only briefly relinquish in the second period. Kyle OQuinns triple started the spurt and he ended it with a layup after grabbing an offensive board. Tobias Harris scored the final five points of the quarter to give Orlando a 42-37 lead at the break. Game Notes Vucevic has 100 career double-doubles ... The 76ers have committed 17 or more turnovers in nine straight games ... Philadelphia snapped a six-game losing streak at Orlando ... The three-game season series between these teams concludes on Feb. 22 in Orlando ... Philadelphia heads south to Miami to continue its trip Tuesday while the Magic host Boston. ' ' '