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Penguins Forward James Neal Added to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

The National Hockey League announced this morning that Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal has been added to the roster for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, which will be played this coming Sunday, Jan. 29, at 4 p.m. at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

Neal joins teammates Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang to give the Penguins three representatives in Ottawa.

Neal, 24, will be making his All-Star Game debut on Sunday. This will be his second time participating in All-Star Weekend, as he appeared in the 2009 YoungStars Game in Montreal.

The Whitby, Ontario native currently ranks second (tied) in the NHL with a team-leading 27 goals, matching his career high previously established with Dallas in 2009-10. Neal’s 47 points through 49 games rank second on the team behind NHL scoring leader Evgeni Malkin, and leave him just eight points shy of equaling his career high of 55.

The 6-foot-2, 208-pound power forward enters the All-Star Break leading the NHL in both shots (210) and power-play goals (13, tied). He is also riding a four-game point streak (3G-4A).

Neal has been among the Penguins’ most valuable players all season long. When the team played much of October without Malkin and Sidney Crosby, Neal tallied points in 10 of 13 games (9G-2A) to help Pittsburgh jump out of the gate to an 8-3-2 start.

Since Dec. 10, the Penguins have gone 9-0 when Neal has tallies at least once. For the season, the Penguins are 17-3-2 when he scores a goal. Twelve of Neal’s 27 goals this year have come during the third period, with seven of the 12 either being game-winning goals or game-tying tallies that have forced overtime.
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