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November 28, 2011 2:45 pm

Penner on track for Thursday return

Dustin Penner will miss his eighth consecutive game with a hand injury, but there might not be a ninth. After tonight’s game, the Kings have two practice days before Thursday’s game against Florida. Given that Penner has been medically cleared, and his been participating in the last couple days of full practice, it seems reasonable that Penner would be able to play against Thursday. After today’s skate, I asked Terry Murray if that was reasonable…

MURRAY: “I think so. I think we’re going to be very close there, absolutely. Probably, if it came to his decision alone, he would play tonight. But two more days of practice, getting going, feeling more comfortable, getting healthier, it will push him pretty close.’’

Alec Martinez remains in a no-contact jersey and would seem to be at least a week from returning, but Martinez is able to skate and participate in some drills.

MURRAY: “The injured guys are getting closer. You can see more competitiveness in their practice. In their drills now, they’re battling in those 2-on-2 competitive drills. That’s a big step, in my opinion, to have the confidence to be able to get through that part. So they’re getting better with it, getting healthier.’’

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