Dustin Penner has come through a training-camp groin injury and a November hand injury. Will Penner now be able to make an impact? There are some encouraging signs for the Kings, namely Penner’s efforts in the past two games. He scored a goal against Montreal, then made a very nice read and pass to Slava Voynov for the Kings’ first goal. Penner was active throughout the game in both ends. Of course, Penner’s challenge, during his time with the Kings, has been to maintain that level of play over several games. Penner said that getting past the injuries has made him more confident on the ice.
PENNER: “There’s no delay in my first three steps now. There’s just an overall change now, in how I’m able to approach it.’’
As for the pass to Voynov, Penner said there was no communication needed, just some instinctive play.
PENNER: “It’s just a play that if you play long enough, and you see a team scrambling — and I saw four Ducks down low — you just slide the puck out. I saw him out of the corner of my eye.’’
As he spoke, Penner sported a rather nasty looking mark near his eye, the result, he said, of a high-stick from Anaheim’s Corey Perry. No penalty was called, nor was one called earlier in the game, when Penner crossed-checked a prone Perry in the back.
PENNER: “That was payback from Pears. I guess they needed a break, because it should have been a four-minute penalty.’’
Penner laughed when asked about his hit on Perry. “I got him,’’ Penner said. “He hit me in the corner and he was laughing. It’s all good. Everybody thinks we hate each other. He was just, I think, over-dramatic with the extent of the injury.’’