Neal was the final shooter after Dan Cleary broke his stick on a wrister on Detroit's third shot. Neal skated in and buried a wrister into the right corner to give Pittsburgh the two points.
Brent Johnson made 37 stops as Pittsburgh moved to four points back of Philadelphia for first place in the Atlantic Division and the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh has nine games to play while Philadelphia has 11.
Cleary and Valtteri Filppula each posted a goal and an assist for the Red Wings, who have dropped their past two. Jimmy Howard gave up four goals on 15 shots before being pulled in the second period. Joey McDonald finished the game in net and stopped 10 shots.
Detroit has 95 points on the season and holds a nine-point lead over Chicago for first place in the Central Division.