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


James OBrien

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.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins