By: Casey Shea

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins locked up another key component of their future early Sunday morning.

According to the Penguins’ official website, the team has come to terms with James Neal on a six-year contract extension.

The average salary cap hit per season is $5 million, which will run through the 2017-18 season.

Neal was acquired in a trade with the Dallas Stars last season along with defenseman Matt Niskanen in exchange for Alex Goligoski.

Neal struggled to find the back of the net with the Penguins last season, but has clearly felt more at home this year.

His third period goal against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday was his 30th of the season. His previous career-high was 27 goals in 2009-10.

Neal now has 56 points this season, which is also a career-high.

He is leading the NHL in shots with 242 and is tied for the league lead in power play goals with 13.

The Penguins will be back in action Sunday on the road in Buffalo at 12:30 p.m.

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For More Penguins Coverage Check Out Puck Talk With Popchock.


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