Oct 20, 2011, 11:33 PM EDT
Seeing Neal turn into a goal-scoring freak is a blessing for the Penguins given all their injuries to their offensive skill superstars as well as a huge weight off of Neal’s own shoulders. Neal came into the season after a miserable time last year that saw him struggle to score goals for the Penguins after being traded by Dallas.
Neal came in with the hopes and aspirations of being the guy that rides shotgun with either Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby. So far he’s gotten more time with Jordan Staal and this season, he’s become their lamp lighter extraordinaire.
Making things more fun for Neal? Trying to prove Pens beat writer Rob Rossi wrong for saying he would only score 17 goals this year. If Neal keeps scoring like this, he’ll have 17 before December. If he gets Malkin and/or Crosby to center him he could get 17 by Veteran’s Day. For now, Neal is just happy to see the pucks finding the back of the net and not the posts.
Here’s Neal’s goal tonight that put the Penguins up 1-0.
- Are the Pens leaning towards trading Letang? (Updated) 50
- Playoffs Tonight: Can ‘Hawks solve Rask? 19
- Sakic: If we keep top pick, we’ll likely draft a forward 20
- Report: Flyers will buy out Briere, Bryzgalov another story (Updated) 37
- Report: Flyers, Ducks talking about Bobby Ryan 60
- Marchand accuses ‘kitty cat’ Shaw of eye gouging 101
- Quenneville says Hossa is ‘likely’ to play Game 4 12
- Datsyuk announces three-year, $22.5 million extension with Red Wings 12
- Bruins go ‘above and beyond’ to take 2-1 series lead 47
- Chicago’s powerless power play — it’s a problem 4
- Heat rally to beat Spurs in Game 6
- PBT: After blowing lead, can Spurs rebound in Game 7?
- CSN: Report: Hernandez 'not ruled out' as suspect
- PHT: Can Blackhawks solve Rask in Game 4?
- PST: On-fire Altidore lifts USA over Honduras in WCQ
- Underseeded? Nadal draws No. 5 at Wimbledon
- CSN: Celtics-Clippers KG, Rivers trade talks dead