Phoenix coach Dave Tippett was an assistant coach in Dallas when right wing James Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen entered the NHL. He isn't surprised to see the duo having success following their trade to the Penguins last season.

"There's a lot of players in this league who envy Nealer's position," Tippett said. "He's a young player that grew and comes in and gets to play with (Evgeni) Malkin. That's a great spot to be in. But the thing that makes Nealer special — there's a lot of people who get that opportunity. There's not many that take advantage of it. Nealer's taken advantage of it. He's a good player and a good person."

Tippett said the Penguins have used Niskanen perfectly.