Following up on the last item, about the improvement shown by Oscar Moller in the last game, there was also something of a step-up performance from Moller’s linemate, Dustin Penner. Penner has alternately drawn praise and criticism from Terry Murray, and in the aftermath of Thursday’s game, Murray’s reaction was positive. Penner did not record a point, but had three shots on goal in 18-plus minutes and was notably more active in the offensive zone, going to the net and showing the type of jump, with his skating and mindset, that had sometimes been absent in recent games.
MURRAY: “He better not show us anything except that kind of jump now, because I’ve got that clip. [laughs] He had good energy. He had good legs. It’s an important game. When you play big games, your best players have to play `A’ games. I thought Penner really stepped his intensity up, his focus up. He had the puck on his stick and challenged the defensemen several times with his speed, and I like to see that speed. He was trying to do the right thing to help this team win the game last night in regulation, and that’s a great thing to see.”