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Video: Penguins’ Neal left groggy after hit

Apr 5, 2013, 9:26 PM EDT

The Consol Energy Center went silent on Thursday as Pittsburgh Penguins winger James Neal needed help off the ice after taking an elbow from New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto.

Cameras caught shots of Neal, who was slow to get up and appeared groggy after that collision. The incident happened just moments ago, so it’s too early to tell how severe the situation might be.

It’s difficult to tell if Del Zotto delivered the blow intentionally. Judge for yourself in the video below:

Either way, if Neal is seriously hurt, the Penguins could face another staggering injury. Obviously, they’re without key pieces such as Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang and Paul Martin and had to make due with Evgeni Malkin on the mend for long stretches of time.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi points out that the Rangers have left the Penguins banged up quite a bit lately.

There isn’t a ton of time left in this game, but it seems like things are getting a little ugly between the two division rivals (who might just meet in the first round, depending upon how things work out in April).

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Hate Neal but that hit looked kinda dirty. Great game though. I said this on the Letang page but that glove save by Fleury on Stepan was one of the best saves I’ve ever seen. Just unbelievable.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 6, 2013 at 7:06 AM

      The Consol Center was silent on Thursday because nobody was there could someone let the writer know the game was played on Friday !

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 6, 2013 at 7:09 AM

      Great move by Del Zotto

  2. csilojohnson - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Great game, wish Joki took that faceoff.

  3. bubblehead22 - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    I’m guessing Tortorella won’t have anything to say because everyone knows the NYR aren’t ever dirty or arrogant not do they ever get calls/no-calls from the refs. I hope he does not get to coach our Olympic team. He’s good for being a post game blow hard and nothing else.

    • nicknyhc - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      I guess you missed the elbow that Matt Cooke threw on Lundqvuist in the 2nd.

      …and the slash that Cooke hit Lundqvuist with in the 3rd.

      …and DuPuis taking a run at Del Zotto from behind after the icing whilst.

      …and Cooke trying to punch Callahan when he was on the bench.

      …and the non-call when Zuccarello got his stick broken in half on the powerplay.

      …and the non-call when Orpik was holding Boyle’s jersey behind the net.

      Neal threw a hit on Del Zotto and got the worst of it. The defensive player has the right to protect himself from a hit.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        “The defensive player has the right to protect himself from a hit.” Wow. Good to know throwing elbows square in someone’s face is now okay as long as you were just “protecting yourself”.

        Whatever helps you sleep at night….

      • nicknyhc - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        Offensive players with the puck buck up to defensive players throwing hits at them ALL THE TIME. All game every game.

        No player with possession on the puck is just gonna let an opposing player steamroll them. When Neal threw the hit Del Zotto’s back was turned to him behind the net. You don’t want to get clipped with an elbow when you throw a hit? Don’t hit someone in the back. Problem solved.

      • pens87 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        I saw that one.
        …and I saw that one, his way of retaliating for the Del Zotto hit on Neal. Not agreeing with it, but it is why it was done.
        …more retaliation for the Neal hit. That was a stupid penalty for him to take. Don’t disagree with the call.
        …I believe you missed Nash slash Cooke from the bench here. Callahan was being a good captain and putting himself between Cooke and Nash, but it was Nash that instigated here.
        …that call was quite obvious and I was surprised it was not called, but you can’t blame me for not complaining.
        …this one I missed, and I’m sure the Rangers never did any sort of holding at all the entire night…

        I can’t really complain about the Neal “hit”. Seemed to be a errant elbow but didn’t look intentional to me. Just a shame to see him go down with an injury. Pens always seemed to get banged up at some point in the season, I just hope most will be back before the start of the playoffs.

        It was a hard fought game tonight. Really the only reason we were able to pull it out was #29 in net. Defense still has some tightening up to do. Can’t take anything away from the rangers though, outplayed us most of the game and their speed look lethal.

        Please…heal up Pens!

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        Delusional enough to be dangerous. Good game on both sides, but the hit was dirty, Cooke did nothing wrong, Nash acted like a coward, ans Dupuis didnt even connect.

      • nicknyhc - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        Pens87 you might be the only reasonable Pens fan on here.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:55 PM

        Lundqvuist tried to buy the two calls you brought up. As for Nash his slash was nothing more than cowardness. Anyone can be a tough guy from the bench when their not on the ice.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        @nicknyc I feel like we’re watching different hits. Neal had barely even touched Del Zotto when DZ threw the elbow. When you watch it at full speed it looks like he hadn’t even touched him at all yet. I’m not saying it was intentional, but it was really wreckless which, imo, doesn’t excuse it as okay. Dismissing wreckless hits because they didn’t mean it is just encouraging players to be sneaky. Del Zotto should be aware of his on-ice surroundings.

  4. crashtheboards55 - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Yeah no kidding. Hard to say intent was there but he didn’t keep his arms down. Intentional or not still hit him in the head. Then you have rick nash slashing people from the bench. Too much of a chickenS*** to answer the bell. Wants someone else to do it for him. No respect for that kinda stuff. Boyle cries just as much as tottorella. Team is a reflection of their crybaby coach.

  5. jaredo10 - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    the down fall of the Dream Team Begins.. Hahaha LGR

  6. crashtheboards55 - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    Game. Set. Match. Oh and queen henrik must have pulled his vagina out of place. Hahahaha. Go home punks. Keep swimming in the bottom of the Atlantic.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      I’m glad the Rangers lost but maybe show a little grace in victory. The Rangers controlled play for long stretches in the 3rd, if not for Fleury it easily could’ve gone to the Rangers.

  7. Stiller43 - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    2 points

  8. ironman721 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Scumbag coach, dirty hit.

    • nicknyhc - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      That’s funny, because Neal was the one throwing the hit.

      • ironman721 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:08 PM

        Only a ranger fan would believe that 💩.

      • crashtheboards55 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM

        Del zotto threw the elbow. Intent was there. No question. Nash slashing someone from the bench is garbage. What about emminger drilling cooke from
        Behind–twice. Del zotto slashes
        Malkin twice. Queen henrik diving twice and stepan slashing sutter’s wrists on the faceoff. But pens win and rangers lose. Again. Wonder what torrorella will cry about tonight. Probably too icy there and since penguins live on and around ice they had an advantage. You cry more than tortorella.

    • nicknyhc - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      Only someone who is familiar with the sport of hockey would think that.

      Del Zotto HAD THE PUCK.


      The player without the puck (the defensive player) throws the hits. Come on. Players with possession of the puck aren’t running around with the puck on their stick looking to throw hits. Neal initiated the hit and MDZ bucked up at him to protect against the hit.

      • ironman721 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM

        You and torts are the only people on Earth that thinks that hit was clean. That’s ok, Pens still own NY.

      • nicknyhc - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:17 PM

        Yes, me and Torts….and apparently the Mr. Rossi from the Pittsburgh Tribune who tweeted the story about this hit.

        Isn’t it past your bedtime? Or does your mom let you stay up late on game nights so you can log into all 12 of your PHT accounts and spew garbage?

      • ironman721 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        That’s why nobody likes NY.

      • crashtheboards55 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:32 PM

        So errant hits to the head are legal? So when a player accidently loses control of his stick and hits a
        Player in the face its a penalty. But you can throw elbows and shoulders all you want to defend yourself? Right? You can bring your stick up into someone’s face if you are the defensive player. Right? Only someone who knows hockey knows that hits to the head are illegal. Get the sack off of your chin so you can actually see what happened. Oh yeah i suppose boyle getting planted hard on his sorry a$$ was
        Penalty too. Do yourself a favor and root for the
        Islanders. At least they heart and the balls to play hard.

      • nicknyhc - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        The Rangers don’t have the sack or the heart to play hard?

        They played hard enough to embarrass your team 6-1 two days ago and then take them to a shootout in their building tonight.

        Rangers outscored the Pens 7-3 in 2 games and won 3 out of a possible 4 points. Pretty good couple of games.

        Even the guy from the Pittsburgh sports media says the elbow was unintentional. I’m done arguing with you. You’re just gonna log into the other 12 accounts you have, spew more b.s., and then “dislike” whatever I write.

        Get a life. I seriously hope you aren’t a grown man. Because that’s just sad.

  9. sjsharks66 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Had to miss this game because i cant get NHLN in my area. Seems like some drama going on. Will have to check the highlights. Hope Neal’s injury is not too severe.

  10. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    I will preface this with my usual “hate the Pens” but Fleury was unbeatable, especially in the shootout. He can be inconsistent but his flexibility and reflexes may be tops in the league. It pains me to praise/root for the Pens but keep winning guys! It will only help to bring a Flyers-Pens rematch to fruition.

    Also it amazes me that Jokinen was so good, how could he go unclaimed through waivers? Shero makes another smart decision.

    • ironman721 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      Jokinen was player on the ice not wearing a goalie mask.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:09 PM


      • ironman721 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        Both goaltenders were incredible.

    • whatthepuck2012 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      phillyphanatic, as a Pens fan it pains me to say that I actually look forward to your input after games like this. You’re a fair, knowledgable fan of hockey.
      Now let us never speak of this again. :)

  11. mgp1219 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Neal wasn’t hurt, he just went to the locker room to fix his hair.

    • crashtheboards55 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      That was pretty damn funny.

  12. malkinrulez - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Neal will be fine and if I was a Ranger fan you may want to look in the rear view mirror Flyers are coming fast and playing well.

    • stakex - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      Flyers are going nowhere with Mr. Universe in net…. and Mason isn’t any better. They might be a bit hot right now, but it won’t last since there not going to score 5 goals every game, and if they don’t they’ll lose.

      • handsofsweed - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        I don’t know, man. The Flyers are a sneaky pain in the a$$. I still think they find a way in the playoff-backdoor. Hope I’m wrong bc watching your rival be humiliated like that is always fun, but there’s no way I’d bet the house’s money, let alone my own money, on them missing the playoffs. They’ll be there.

  13. icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    MDZ did a good job making it look inadvertent. Too bad he really didn’t make a hockey play. Neal had no idea where he was. Hopefully he is ok.

    • stakex - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:49 PM

      MDZ has never been a dirty player. So why would he intentionaly (which is what you are implying) throw an elbow like that, on a guy with whom he didn’t seem to have any sort of issue over the couple games? Oh, and he planned and pulled off the whole thing in a fraction of a second. Rightttt….

      Seriously, use your head on that one. Its very clear that he was just trying to meet Neal as he hit him, and caught him in the jaw with his elbow. A bad luck play, but theres clearly no intent… and as such, with Del Zotto having no history, expect no punishment over then perhaps a fine.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 6, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        Haha I am using my head. There was no point of MDZ jumping and swinging his elbow backwards. Never said he was a dirty player and obviously the NHL agrees by not scheduling a meeting. He didn’t make a hockey play so one can question his motive. Apparently, you must be his apologist haha. I didn’t mean to offend you.

  14. sjsharks66 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:32 PM


    So if the player has the puck they cant throw an elbow? Remember Wayne Simmonds got elbowed against the caps? Simmonds did not have the puck.

  15. bubblehead22 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Nickny: You list every “no call” in the PENS favor? NYR didn’t get any “no-calls”? Really?

    Del Zotto should be suspended – Nash takes that same elbow and you’re complaining the sane as I am. It was dirty, he knew it, you know it.

    Hank dove on BOTH “hits” and I think he left his last testicle on the ice during the shoot out

    Cooke was at your bench after Nash slashed him from the bench, cowardly.

    Orpik’s slash, I’ll give you that one, should have been called, payback no call for the Nash move.

    Not to mention the Tortorella style holding, hooking, and slashing.

    Like I said I hope our Olympic team isn’t subject to that clown.

  16. crashtheboards55 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM


  17. isithockeyseasonyet - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    What goes around, comes around, mr neal

  18. Stiller43 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:56 PM


    Lol if you believe what you typed, you should also look out for the tooth fairy and santa clause tonight.

  19. crashtheboards55 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    @nynick. Done arguin with me? You have done nothing but cry about non calls. I called you out on the hit to the head whether its intentional or not yet you have nothing. You have nothing about the gutless rick nash slashing from the bench. Again nothing. And yes two nights ago the rangers absolutely embarrased the Pens. Beat their asses. But if matt cooke would have caught someone with an errant elbow you would be crying your eyes out. You have started no arguement with me because you don’t have any valid points. So go back to being tortorella’s fluffer. If your anything like your mom tortorella will love that you aren’t a spitter.

  20. whiteqbs - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    KARMA!!!! James Neal has become the dirtiest player on the KC Penguins. Nice job Del Zotto

    • drone501 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      does kansas city realize that they have a hockey team. you jerk

  21. sjsharks66 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Just saw the elbow. That is very dirty. Eye contact made to neal and elbow thrown back. If he does not get 2 games then i never want to hear Rangers fans complain about Shanahan again. Nash and now this.

    Not cool, not fun to watch. In all honesty if this happened to any player, it is a scary situation.

  22. crashtheboards55 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    @whiteqbs took a lot to come up with that name racist. Should have just called yourself hitler

    • whiteqbs - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:16 PM

      Not racist, they are better at QB, so it’s true.

      • handsofsweed - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        Okay. NOW you’re a racist.

    • dmfc1112 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      how is the name WhiteQbs racist??? because you make a ton of assumptions? If somebody used the name WhiteGoalie that means they have a closet full of white hoods?????

    • handsofsweed - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      Nah. The screen name alone doesn’t make him racist.

  23. alliwomack - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    It’s hockey. It’s a fast game, stuff happens. If it was intentional, it’ll be dealt with by the league. Like or dislike Neal, hate or love the Pens, head injuries aren’t something to joke about. Hope he’s ok.

  24. isithockeyseasonyet - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    I don’t, dude tries to hurt people religiously

  25. drewzducks - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Whammy ?

  26. trick9 - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    You don’t want to see anyone get these head injuries but in fairness if i had to pick someone James Neal would have been pretty high in the list. He is a head-hunter who always gets away with it.

    • drone501 - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      where is whammy?

  27. markeatonslits - Apr 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    oh you like phillygm77’s take on things huh? hes idiotic, clueless, doesnt know anything that goes on outside of his philthy bubble. Id much rather listen to my folks bang than to read his uneducated posts

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