March 29, 2014 / 3:03 AM / 5 years ago

Penguins sink Columbus to clinch playoff berth

Mar 28, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates with goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched a spot in the National Hockey League playoffs courtesy of a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

The three-time Stanley Cup champions, who last won it all in 2008-09, had third period goals from Chris Kunitz and Beau Bennett.

The snap shots came within 47 seconds of each other midway through the period after the opening two were scoreless.

Pittsburgh then held on despite a late powerplay goal to Blue Jacket James Wisniewski.

The win was the 47th of the season for the Penguins (47-22-5) who kept their stranglehold at the top of the Eastern Conference Metropolitan Division.

Writing by Ben Everill; Editing by Ian Ransom nL4N0MQ01G

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