Top prospect Ryan Murray scored with 21.2 seconds left in overtime to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-4, in the preseason opener for both teams Sunday at Nationwide Arena.
Murray, the second pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, missed most of the 2012-13 season because of a shoulder injury he sustained playing in the Western Hockey League last November. The defenseman played more than 23 minutes in the contest, and could begin the 2013-14 season with the Blue Jackets.
Recent addition Chuck Kobasew scored twice for the Penguins, including at 13:05 of the third period to knot the score at 4-4. Kobasew joined the Penguins for the start of training camp on a tryout contract, but there are potential openings among the bottom-six forwards in Pittsburgh.
James Neal welcomed Columbus to the Eastern Conference and the new Metropolitan Division with a goal 47 seconds into the first period. A pair of Columbus power-play goals wrapped around Kobasew's first of the evening made it a 2-2 game after 20 minutes. Artem Anisimov and James Wisniewski had the goals for the Blue Jackets.
Dustin Jeffrey, another forward fighting for a bottom-six slot with the Penguins, scored 4:19 into the third on the power play, but ex-Penguins forward Mark Letestu and Cam Atkinson tallied 30 seconds apart to push Columbus into the lead.
Marc-Andre Fleury started in net for the Penguins and allowed two goals on 14 shots in two periods of work. Curtis McElhinney, signed in the offseason to likely backup Vezina Tropy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, also played for two periods and stopped 24 of 26 shots.
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