Dustin Penner, the missing link?

Dustin Penner didn’t look totally comfortable on the ice this morning — he winced a couple times while stretching between drills — but the back spasms that kept him out of yesterday’s game had subsided enough to allow him to practice today. Penner even took a couple friendly bumps into the boards from teammates and looked none the worse for wear. It’s not yet known if Penner will be able to play tomorrow against Washington, but he will attempt to participate in the morning skate. Penner said he might visit Chad Moreau, the brother of former Kings winger Ethan Moreau, former strenghth coach in Edmonton and current private chiropractor, for some treatment, but said he felt better today.

PENNER: “Not bad. Better than yesterday. I woke up fine, sat down to eat and it locked right up. It never happened to me before. I couldn’t stand up. I was probably at the third stage of evolution. So my wife helped me get dressed, and then I drove to the rink here, to hope they could do some magic and get it opened up. Kinger [trainer Chris Kingsley] just looked at me and said, `Go home.’ So I got some treatment and went home.

“Apparently it’s one of those mysterious things, where you can throw it out (from) sneezing. I just leaned over to dip into some delicious pancakes that my wife made. It’s just like it [the pain] wraps around you and squeezes. … So it was disappointing. Hopefully it’s just an isolated incident, and not something that’s going to become chronic.”

Darryl Sutter said he was encouraged by Penner’s ability to practice today.

SUTTER: “He’s significantly better today. He practiced. I don’t know, if we were playing tonight, that he would play, but hopefully he keeps making improvement. It’s back spasms, so there’s really no way to gauge that. It didn’t happen until yesterday morning, so there’s no way of telling. Like he said, he’s never had it before.’’

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