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September 11, 2011 5:40 pm

On the road, with Dustin Penner

Dustin Penner walked into the Staples Center press room wearing his new Kings road jersey, with the number 25 on the back and sleeves, but that was not the most-discussed number associated with Penner.

Penner, whose fitness level came into public criticism late last season, declined to reveal his exact weight but said he had lost 10 pounds since early July and had lost fat while adding muscle. Penner had already, in July, appeared to drop some weight since the end of the season. Penner talked seriously about his fitness, then showed some of his trademark dry wit when asked about his decision to move to Hermosa Beach, closer to the Kings’ training facility.

Question: How are you feeling these days?

PENNER: “Better than I ever have. I think I’ve gained muscle mass, and that’s probably from doing 2,000 yards of lunges every day in the summer. There’s a lot more focus on strength and flexibility, as a combination, as opposed to just strength. I learned a lot.”

Question: Terry talked about your decision to move closer to the training facility…

PENNER: “For the season. I still own the house (in Orange County). … It’s very stressful driving in the carpool lane without somebody in the passenger seat.”

Question: Has the California Highway Patrol taken note of this?

PENNER: “They have. [smiles] We had a nice conversation. You just pay the fine. There’s no demerits. It’s just a slap on the wrist. It’s good for the state, right? There’s a budget crisis.”

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