Darryl Sutter was unhappy with the amount of turnovers Tuesday night, commenting that “we assisted on both their goals”. Among the “assists” was a Dustin Penner pass that Brent Burns intercepted to open the scoring midway through the second period in the 3-2 shootout loss at San Jose.
Speaking with reporters following practice Wednesday afternoon at Toyota Sports Center, Sutter indicated that he’s looking for Penner to raise his game. He acknowledged that it’s a similar situation to that of last year, when Penner provided experience alongside Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and eventually contributed 11 points to the Kings’ 20-game Stanley Cup run despite going point-less in his final nine regular season contests.
On Dustin Penner’s performance over the last week:
“He’s going to have to play a lot better. We’re trying to make the playoffs here, and it’s similar to last year where we just made a decision later in the year that we were going to play him and basically see what happens, and that’s kind of what I’m doing now.”
On Penner’s efforts to drive the net, considering L.A. scored twice on Tuesday with traffic:
“We had 40-something shots. Quite honest, it’s April, and 99% of the goals – that’s where they’re scored. So it’s not ‘last night’. It’s ‘every night’. “
On whether going with “the plan” will continue with Penner:
“It’s what I did last year. It’s very simple. Very same. We went through the very same thing. So we went with the experienced guy with Richards and Carter, and that’s what we’re trying right now. So to answer anything like that, that’s what I’m trying to do. How’s he played? He hasn’t played well enough. But that’s obvious. We’ve played 40 games. He’s got two goals. So that’s obvious.”