Twelve years ago today, the Penguins were bruised and battered in the postseason, without their two superstars in the lineup — and James Neal made it a magical night for Pittsburgh hockey fans.
The Penguins somehow made the postseason without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, both out with respective injuries, but that didn’t stop then-GM Ray Shero from loading up with an asset at the trade deadeline, acquiring winger James Neal from the Dallas Stars in exchange for defenseman Alex Goligoski.
Neal’s start in Pittsburgh was less than desirable, as he went on an ice-cold streak headed into the postseason.
That streak trickled into Tampa as the Penguins were leading their first-round playoff series with the Lightning by a 2-1 score, looking to take a stranglehold on the series with a win.
To overtime the game went....and then double overtime.
And then, as Bob said so succinctly at the time, “It just takes one.”
Neal’s goal gave the Penguins the much-desired 3-1 series lead, but the team would ultimately choke that away, losing in 7 games.
A fun memory in spite of a tough way to lose a series.