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Neal, Crosby carry Pens to 5-3 win vs. Columbus

Dec 29, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

nealcrosbygetty Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to see key players move in and out of the lineup, but their healthy top guns don’t seem to mind.

Sidney Crosby and James Neal dominated the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 5-3 win on Sunday. Neal stole the show with a hat trick and two assists, but Crosby wasn’t a slouch in his own right, collecting three more points.

Crosby, 26, now has a ludicrous 58 points in 41 games this season. Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane is the only other NHL player with more than 50 (53, in his case).

One might guess what kind of numbers Neal, 26, would boast if he wasn’t missing time with injuries and suspensions. As it stands, he has an impressive 30 points in 21 contests.

Pittsburgh has now won six of its last seven games with Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup, perpetuating the near-annual refrain “imagine what the Penguins might do with a healthy lineup.” With a 29-11-1 record, the Penguins aren’t too shabby as is.

  1. dirt2013 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Neal is smoking hot right now .

    • pdmjr - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      He’s always smoking hot, handsome dude

  2. killerpgh - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    As impressive as Crosby’s 58 points in 41games (1.41 points per game) has been Neal has actually been better with 30 points in 21 game (1.43 points per game).

    • pdmjr - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      Your extrapolation loses a bit when Crosby has done it playing in twice as many games.

      • killerpgh - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        That was kind of why I just didn’t use points per game and put in the points totals and games played for each player.

  3. ducksk - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Sid is the best player of the modern era. Post the great one. How can anyone even make a argument of that fact.

    • hazlydose - Dec 29, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      See Lemiuex, Mario for my argument.

    • whammy71 - Dec 29, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      You must be one of the Pens fans that started following hockey 2 lockouts ago. While great, you can get under Sid’s skin and get him off his game.

      With Mario, he just got pissed and made you pay.

      • bmscalise - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:39 AM

        If you haven’t seen Sid get pissed and make a team pay with regularity, you are so blinded by your Sid-hate, you can’t see straight. (See Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

      • hazlydose - Dec 30, 2013 at 1:00 AM

        You lost me at “with regularity”. Sid did get pissed and score an OT game winner in the 2008 playoffs after getting his teeth knocked out by Hatcher. He also got pissed along with the whole team and imploded in the 2012 playoffs, also in Philadelphia.

      • c9castine - Dec 30, 2013 at 2:48 AM

        no, that didn’t happen in the 2008 playoffs. regular season, 2006. pens team imploded for sure, and I’m not saying he was a shining light from the darkness, but i don’t know if 8 points in 6 games was necessarily getting HIM off his game.

  4. benrob99 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    The REAAALLLL DEAL….

    James Neal

  5. steelers88 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Malkin’s video bombs keep getting better and better. The Penguins are really lucky to have such talented superstars. Hopefully Malkin and Letang can get back soon.

  6. rushledger - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Also you gotta count Sid always sees the top pair of defense from the other team, Neal does get it slightly easier as he usually plays that second line. Nonetheless they’re cooking with fire so keep it up guys!

  7. shamu1the1whale - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    “Crosby, 26, now has a ludicrous 58 points…” I didn’t know Ludacris played hockey! haha j/k! Ugh, I know, just had to say it

    • oldschoolnflman - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:28 AM

      ESPN still wouldn’t cover hockey if ludacris played. Tebow, on the other hand…

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