James Neal replaces Alex Ovechkin

Updated: January 25, 2012, 11:51 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal will replace Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin in Sunday's NHL All-Star Game.

Ovechkin backed out of the game Tuesday after he was issued a three-game suspension from the league for a hit on Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek Sunday.

Neal leads the Penguins with 27 goals and is second on the team with 47 points. Neal leads the NHL with 210 shots and is tied for the league lead with 13 power-play goals.

The Penguins have won nine consecutive games and are 17-3-2 overall when Neal scores a goal.

The All-Star fantasy draft will be held Thursday in Ottawa. It will divide the All-Stars into two teams: Team Alfredsson, led by Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, and Team Chara, featuring Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.

Neal is the fourth All-Star replacement. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle are injury replacements for Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and Minnesota Wild forward Mikko Koivu. Forward Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers joins the All-Stars in place of Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

Wild forward Nick Johnson was added to the rookie group on Monday, replacing injured Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE