James Neal has only one goal as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But he’s come through big-time in the shootout, winning two games for the Pens this week. Neal’s shootout tally was the only shot to get past New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur Friday at Consol. Fortunately, nothing got behind Marc-Andre Fleury in the Pens 1-0 win.
Pittsburgh’s on a roll, winners of three in a row and five out of six. The Pens are now only 2 points behind Philadelphia for the division and conference lead. They’re also 7 points ahead of Tampa for the all-important 4th seed (home ice).
Sure, the Pens have had some trouble scoring these past two games. But you have to give it up for their defense, which has been excellent. And what can you say about Fleury? When the Pens win, he’s been near flawless. The Pens netminder, who stopped 21 shots in regulation and all three SO attempts Friday, has allowed only 5 goals in his past 5 victories.
The Pens have been simply amazing in the second game of back-to-backs this season. They improved to 12-3-2 this season, good for second-best in the league. Mike Comrie returned to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 24. He replaced Dustin Jeffrey, who suffered an injury in Thursday’s win in Philadelphia.
Pens host Florida at 1:00 Sunday.