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Kunitz leads Penguins to playoff win over Blue Jackets

Chris Kunitz
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

According to TSN on Saturday, Canadian Olympic gold medalist Chris Kunitz registered a goal and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1. With the victory, the Penguins now lead the Blue Jackets 3-2 in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Kunitz was the only Penguin to record a multi-point game. A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Kunitz also led all players on both teams with seven shots on goal. As a unit, the Penguins had 50 shots on Blue Jackets goaltender and reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky.

Kunitz's goal on Saturday tied the game at one goal apiece. Standing in front of the net, he initially missed on a backhand opportunity, but capitalized on the forehand on a rebound attempt. Fellow Canadian Olympic gold medalist Sidney Crosby of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia and Matt Niskanen recorded assists on Kunitz's goal.

Kunitz, who won the gold medal for Canada at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, is trying to win a Stanley Cup for the second time in his career. He was part of the Penguins team that defeated the Detroit Red Wings in 2009. This season Kunitz set career highs with 35 goals and 68 points, and proved to the hockey world you can, at age 34, get better with age.

Game six of the series will take place on Monday evening at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The game time will be 5 p.m. mountain time on CBC. Then, if necessary, game seven of the series will be in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

The Blue Jackets have never won a playoff series in their franchise history. In fact, prior to the series they had never won a playoff game. Their only other playoff appearance came in 2009. That year they lost to the Detroit Red Wings, who proceeded to beat the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks on their way to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost in seven games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.