COLUMBUS (KDKA) — A puck bounced off of the skate of Erik Gudbranson and snuck past goaltender Casey DeSmith to give Columbus a 2-1 lead over the Penguins en route to a 3-1 win.
Coming off of a 4-1 victory over the Blue Jackets, the Penguins rested most of their big names for the second half of their back-to-back preseason matchup.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Matt Murray were all scratched for the third game of the preseason.
The game started off well for the Pens when just over two minutes in, Juuso Riikola sent a shot from the point past Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo, giving Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.
As the first period progressed, the Blue Jackets would tilt the ice in the favor, holding the Pens without a shot on goal for about five minutes following their opening tally.
Then the Blue Jackets would tie the game up on the power play when Cam Atkinson was left all alone in front of DeSmith. Pierre-Luc Dubois would send a pass cross-ice to Atkinson who went forehand-backhand to tie the game at one apiece.
Despite outshooting the Blue Jackets 15-12 through two periods, no one would find the back of the net in the middle frame.
Much like the Pens started the game, the Blue Jackets ended in a similar fashion.
A puck would deflect off of Gudbranson’s skate, past DeSmith just over two minutes into the third period, giving Columbus the lead.
The Penguins would get two power-play opportunities in the third period, but could not convert on either.
An empty net from Josh Anderson with 36 seconds remaining in the game would seal the deal, giving Columbus the victory.
Goaltender Casey DeSmith stopped 19 of 21 shots faced for a .905 save percentage and his counterpart Joonas Korpisalo stopped 24 of 25, good for a .960 save percentage.