NHL: Neal downs the Jets
A review of Tuesday's action in the National Hockey League
Last Updated: 21/03/12 7:03am
James Neal celebrates his hat-trick for the Pittsburgh Penguins
James Neal scored a hat-trick as the Pittsburgh Penguins posted a punishing 8-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
Neal's strikes were supplemented by two goals from Evgeni Malkin, who added three assists, while Sidney Crosby also claimed four assists as the trio tore into the Jets.
Tyler Kennedy also scored twice for Pittsburgh, and Bryan Little did the same for Winnipeg, whose play-off hopes in the Eastern Conference took a hit.
The Florida Panthers eked out a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers with goals from Stephen Weiss and Sean Bergenheim, a fifth successive victory for the Southeast Division leaders.
Ilya Kovalchuk netted the only goal - the 400th of his NHL career - to guide the New Jersey Devils to a 1-0 win over the Ottawa Senators.
The New York Islanders handed the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-2 defeat, scoring three times late on to inflict an eighth successive home defeat on their hosts. Matt Moulson and PA Parenteau scored before Moulson scored again into an empty net.
In the West, the Los Angeles Kings climbed to eighth place after a 5-2 home win over the San Jose Sharks, secured by goals from Bobby Ryan, Francois Beauchemin, Corey Perry, Nate Guenin and Kyle Palmieri.
A hat-trick from Ales Hemsky handed the lowly Edmonton Oilers a satisfying 6-3 win over high-flying Nashville, with the Predators also conceding goals to Darcy Hordichuk, Ryan Jones and Sam Gagner.
David Legwand plundered two goals for Nashville, and Patric Hornqvist was also on the scoresheet.
Patrick Sharp scored twice in the Chicago Blackhawks' 5-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, while the Dallas Stars, for whom Michael Ryder scored twice, beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 after a shoot-out. Mike Ribeiro netted the crucial strike in the shoot-out.
The Colorado Avalanche were taken to overtime by the Calgary Flames, but David Jones earned the home side a 2-1 home win in Denver by netting in the fourth extra minute.