Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins celebrates his stop against...

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins celebrates his stop against Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin in a shootout to win an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, March 30, 2024. The Blue Jackets won 4-3 in a shootout. Credit: AP/Paul Vernon

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Alexandre Texier and Damon Severson scored in the shootout and the Columbus Blue Jackets broke a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

Kirill Marchenko and Zach Werenski scored third-period goals as Columbus rallied from a two-goal deficit. Mathieu Olivier also scored and Elvis Merzlikins made 30 saves to beat Pittsburgh for the first time in his career.

“In five years, all the times I’ve played against them, I couldn’t do it,” Merzlikins said with a grin. “Tonight, I did it. It feels good.”

Drew O’Connor, Bryan Rust and Rickard Rackell scored, while Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 35 shots for the Penguins, who split a back-to-back series with Columbus and lost to the Blue Jackets for the first time in four games this season.

Olivier put Columbus ahead 59 seconds into a Blue Jackets first-period penalty kill, burying the rebound of Cole Sillinger's shot at 7:46 and withstanding a coach's challenge for goaltender interference.

The short-handed goal was a career first for Olivier and his second score in two games against Pittsburgh.

O’Connor’s one-timer off a feed from Rust pulled Pittsburgh even at 13:29 of the second period, tying his career-long goal streak of three games.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson, left, works for the puck...

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson, left, works for the puck in front of Columbus Blue Jackets forward Brendan Gaunce during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, March 30, 2024. Credit: AP/Paul Vernon

Rust, who extended his point streak to four games, gave Pittsburgh the lead at 18:54 with his score off a feed from Sidney Crosby. The Pittsburgh captain notched his eighth assist and 10th point in his last four games.

Rackell gave Pittsburgh a two-score cushion at 8:59 of the third period, but Marchenko pulled Columbus within a goal nine seconds later.

“That goal that we scored right away after their third goal was a key moment,” Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent said. “It gave the bench a lot of juice.”

Werenski, who had an assist on Marchenko's goal, drew Columbus even with 8:13 remaining in regulation.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Kirill Marchenko (86) controls the puck...

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Kirill Marchenko (86) controls the puck in front of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, March 30, 2024. Credit: AP/Paul Vernon

“The start of the third wasn’t great for us,” Werenski said. “Once we scored, we started playing better and that kind of got us on the attack again.”

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said the lesson from the game was simple.

“We’ve got to defend better," he said. "That’s what we can learn.”

UP NEXT

Penguins: Visit Rangers Monday night.

Blue Jackets: Host Colorado Monday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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