Happy returns for Mitchell, Ponikarovsky - LA Kings Insider

Willie Mitchell and Alexei Ponikarovsky both made their returns from injury last night, and while neither player got on the score sheet, both played significant roles — Mitchell played 21:25, while Ponikarovsky played 13:54 — and helped keep the Blue Jackets off the score sheet. The Kings’ penalty-kill unit has struggled of late, but went 3-for-3 against Columbus. The Kings, overall, had six minutes of penalty-kill time, and Mitchell played 3:49 of it while Ponikarovsky played 2:06 of it. Here’s what Terry Murray said today about the return of both players…

MURRAY: `It was great to have them back. Certainly, you notice them in the lineup. They’re big-bodied guys, and they’re veteran players who bring a lot of that experience `to the game, in situations that are pressured. They can calm the puck down, calm the play down. Certainly, Willie, in the penalty-kill part of it, I thought he was tremendous. We’ve missed him there. It was great to have both guys back.”