James Neal RW NAS 21 Hrs

Coach Peter Laviolette said that the illness preventing Neal from playing in Saturday's game against the Wild isn't related to the mumps virus.

Fortunately, it would seem Neal is dealing with some kind of flu or cold that is unrelated to mumps epidemic laying waste to the NHL. The winger wasn't able to practice Friday and remained absent from the team's morning skate Saturday, but Laviolette wouldn't rule out the possibility of Neal playing Monday against Columbus.

James Neal RW NAS 1 Day

Neal is dealing with an illness and will not play Saturday against the Wild, Eric Stromgren of The Tennessean reports.

The Predators haven't provided any word on whether or not Neal is dealing with the dreaded mumps virus, but did suggest that the winger could be a possibility for Monday's game against the Blue Jackets or Tuesday's tilt in Boston. After an injury-plagued 2013-14 campaign, Neal hasn't missed any previous time in his first season in Nashville, producing 19 points in 30 games.

James Neal RW NAS 9 Days

Neal scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal, contributed an assist and went plus-2 in Thursday's road victory over Arizona.

He's now got four points in his last four contests after enduring a seven-game scoreless drought. With a modest 18 points in 28 games, Neal's on his worst scoring pace since 2010-11 right now, although at least he's got that plus-12 rating to hang his hat on.

James Neal RW NAS 11 Days

Neal netted his 10th goal of the season in Tuesday's 3-0 win over the Avalanche.

Neal's offense has largely been missing since mid-November, as the winger has produced just two points in 10 games since Nov. 15. Much of the blame lies in his departure from his cushy gig on the Pens' power play, where he accumulated 25 of his 61 points last season. With less offensive firepower surrounding him in Nashville, Neal has managed just a single goal and assist on the man advantage in 2014-15.

James Neal RW NAS 25 Days

Neal failed to crack the scoresheet during Tuesday's shootout win over Los Angeles, marking the fourth consecutive game he was held without a point.

The good news is, Neal continues to skate on the Preds' top line with Mike Ribeiro and rookie Filip Forsberg, and is seeing monster minutes (21:09 versus the Kings, including 4:48 on the power play). He's also shooting the puck a ton - he fired off five shots on Tuesday and has 28 in his last seven games alone. As long as these positive signs persist, the points will come. Keep rolling him as you normally would.

James Neal RW NAS 1 Month

Neal tallied his ninth goal of the campaign in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Jets.

The 27-year-old is in the middle of a four-game point streak and has produced a plus-6 rating during that time. He's meshed well with Mike Ribeiro and emerging star Filip Forsberg on the Preds' top line and could be in store for a 70-point season if he's able to stay healthy.

James Neal RW NAS 1 Month

Neal bagged his eighth goal of the season and added an assist in Saturday's win over the Blues.

Neal really has been the real deal in Nashville, posting 11 points through his first 14 games. The top-line winger has recorded a plus-6 rating over his last five games and is on pace to score 46 goals with Nashville. The former Penguin is a big reason why the Predators have been one of the league's best surprises thus far.

James Neal RW NAS 2 Months

Neal assisted on both of Filip Forsberg's two goals in Sunday's win over Vancouver.

The Predators new top line of Neal, Mike Ribeiro, and Forsberg was great Sunday, helping the team to their seventh win of the season. Although Neal has seven goals on the year, Sunday's game marked the first time this season Neal had been credited with an assist. The former Penguin is doing great in Nashville after many thought his production would dip with the loss of Evgeni Malkin as his center.

James Neal RW NAS 2 Months

Neal scored a pair of goals in Friday's 4-3 loss to the Flames.

The former Penguin and Star also fired seven shots on goal, tying his season high. Although he's yet to record an assist through 10 games, Neal has found the back of the net seven times so far, dispelling the notion that he'd suffer a significant decline in production without the help of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The 27-year-old still has a lethal release and one of the best shots in the league on what's looking like a much-improved Predators offense, so go ahead and roll him out there each time he takes the ice.

James Neal RW NAS 2 Months

Neal turned in an unusual natural hat trick Thursday, scoring one goal in each period of a 3-2 win over Chicago.

Neal started out slow this year, failing to register a point in his first three games in a Nashville sweater, but has now ripped off five goals in his last four contests. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him keep it going in a grudge match with his old Pittsburgh mates on Saturday.