BOSTON -- It isn't the most important race involving the Penguins that will play out over the next few days -- there is the small matter of determining home-ice advantage for their first-round playoff series -- but it might be one of the most interesting.
Linemates Evgeni Malkin and James Neal entered the game against the Bruins in Boston Tuesday night ranked 1-2 in the league in shots on goal. New Jersey winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who was third, wasn't particularly close to overtaking either.
Before facing Boston, Malkin had 334 shots, Neal 326 and Kovalchuk 302.
Unless Malkin and Neal shut it down completely and Kovalchuk has an incredible surge in the final days of the season, Malkin and Neal will be the first teammates to end up 1-2 in shots since Brendan Shanahan (397) and Brett Hull (392) of St. Louis in 1993-94.
"It's not something I'm too worried about," Neal said. "We both like to shoot the puck. Obviously, when you're shooting the puck, good things are happening."
Dave Molinari: Dmolinari@Post-Gazette.com or Twitter @MolinariPG. First Published April 4, 2012 12:00 AM