Brandon Sutter scored to snap a tie 8 minutes, 18 seconds into the third period as host Pittsburgh overcame a two-goal deficit to upend Columbus, 4-3, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series.
Defenseman Matt Niskanen and Beau Bennett each scored a power-play goal and added an assist while Jussi Jokinen also tallied for the Penguins, who won all five meetings this season between the Metropolitan Division rivals. Evgeni Malkin notched two assists in his return following an 11-game absence with a foot injury and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 31 saves for Pittsburgh, which will host Game 2 on Saturday.
Blue-liner Jack Johnson collected a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, who were swept by Detroit in 2009 in their only previous playoff appearance. Former Penguin Mark Letestu scored on the power play and Derek MacKenzie netted a shorthanded goal in the loss.
With the game tied, 3-3, Pittsburgh defenseman Paul Martin (two assists) batted the puck out of the air in his own zone to turn the tide. Bennett skated up ice before feeding Sutter, who wristed a shot from above the right dot that handcuffed Sergei Bobrovsky (28 saves).
MacKenzie tapped the puck past Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang at neutral ice before skating in and beating Fleury to give Columbus a 3-1 lead just 43 seconds into the middle session.
Canadiens 5, Lightning 4 - Dale Weise scored 18:08 into overtime to give Montreal the win in the opening game of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in Tampa, Fla. Danny Briere fed a pass to Weise from behind the net to set up the winner against Anders Lindback, who stopped 39 of 44 shots while filling in for injured goaltender Ben Bishop.
- Wire service reports