Foligno, Jackets deliver blow to Pens’ playoff hopes

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Nick Foligno scored his first career hat trick as the Columbus Blue Jackets erased a 2-0 deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3.

Columbus has now won nine straight.

Pittsburgh has now lost two straight and failed to make up ground on the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins have a two-point lead on the Boston Bruins for the first wild card seed in the Eastern Conference.

Pittsburgh is 7-8-2 since March 1.

Trailing 2-0, Foligno scored his 28th of the season to get the Jackets on the board at 16:25 of the second period.

Less than two minutes later, Matt Calvert tied the game 2-2 with his 11th of the season.

Foligno gave Columbus its first lead of the game at 6:46 of the third.

After Scott Hartnell gave Columbus a 4-2 lead at 9:29 of the third, Ben Lovejoy got Pittsburgh to within one with his second of the season.

Sidney Crosby and Brandon Sutter had the other Pens goals.

Things got heated in the third as the Pens pushed for the equalizer.

Jack Johnson delivered a blow to Patric Hornqvist in front of the Blue Jackets net and picked up two minutes for roughing on the play.

Pittsburgh, who out-shot the Jackets 11-2 in the second half of the third, was unable to score on the ensuing power play.

Foligno completed the hat trick into an empty net with less than a minute remaining.