The Pittsburgh Penguins once again exemplified outstanding offence and are the first team in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs to advance to the conference championship.
James Neal of Whitby, Ontario had a career night as he recorded his first career playoff hat trick in Pittsburgh’s 6-2 win over Ottawa as the Penguins eliminated the Senators 4-1 in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. The Penguins will now play the Boston/New York Rangers winner in the Eastern Final. The Bruins lead that series 3-1.
Other Penguins with multi-point games Friday were defenceman Kris Letang with a goal and two assists, and reigning Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin with a goal and an assist.
Letang, a native of Montreal, has had an excellent Stanley Cup Playoffs. He leads the Penguins in the postseason with 13 assists and 16 points. His play has been strong enough that he should be given considerable consideration for the Canadian men’s ice hockey team at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.