After a three-game absence as a healthy scratch, Dustin Penner will return to the Kings’ lineup tonight. Trent Hunter has passed through waivers and isn’t with the team, and Kevin Westgarth has a sore hand, according to Darryl Sutter, so in goes Penner, who has five goals and eight assists in 43 games. Penner is slotted on a line with Colin Fraser and Brad Richardson, and by all accounts, he better impress Sutter, and quickly.
SUTTER: “It’s not just giving him another shot. He’s a veteran. He better step up to the plate. It’s very simple. He went out of the lineup because he was horse(crap), so he’d better step up to the plate or he might not get another look. It’s simple. When we preach work and those things, and everybody does it, then he better do it.”
Regarding Westgarth’s status, Sutter said, “If we really needed him tonight (he could play), but that’s not the type of team we’re playing, either.” Westgarth was a full participant in today’s morning skate.
As for Stoll, it seems he’s not quite ready to return from the injured-reserve list. Stoll, out with a strained abductor muscle, participated in the morning skate but isn’t expected to play tonight. “He needs a contact practice,” Sutter said. After tonight, the Kings don’t play again until Tuesday at Phoenix.