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2012 NHL All-Star Game: James Neal Replaces Alex Ovechkin

Pittsburgh forward James Neal has been added to the All-Star team to replace Alex Ovechkin, who is sitting the game out by choice.

Typically Pittsburgh Penguins fans are not fans of the Washington Capitals, particularly forward Alex Ovechkin. But when Ovechkin elected to not play in the All-Star game this weekend because of the suspension the NHL levied over his hit last weekend. But because of his absence, Penguins forward James Neal has been named to the squad.

Neal is having a monster of a year, and it wouldn't have been out of the question for him to be named to the roster outright. He has 27 goals and 20 assists so far this season.

As hard as it is for Penguins fans to be happy about anything that any Capital or Alex Ovechkin does, it may be time to thank him for Neal's roster spot.

For more on the Penguins, please head over to Pensburgh, our Pittsburgh hockey blog.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.