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Penguins' Neal continues to push forward

Wednesday, 04.20.2011 / 3:57 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer / 2011 ECQF: Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay Live Blog

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2011 ECQF: Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay Live Blog
Penguins' Neal continues to push forward
Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos isn't the only player struggling to regain his scoring groove for his team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Pittsburgh Penguins left wing James Neal is also looking to regain his touch around the cage.

Neal, who finished the regular season with 22 goals and 45 points and was acquired in a trade with the Dallas Stars on Feb. 21, has one assist in three playoff games.

"I don't think his health is a factor," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "The last game, with him on the doorstep, where he has the one that hits the post and he has another one that is denied on the power play with (Dwayne) Roloson's pad -- those are opportunities where he has been getting those chances and hasn't been able to bury them.

"The history says he's a streaky goal scorer, and he's put himself in position to have those chances. He's had good chances, but he hasn't scored those goals. I was betting he was going to score last game, so I think he's a guy who is on the verge of putting in goals for us."

Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18