The Kings won’t have team captain Dustin Brown when they face the San Jose Sharks in the regular-season finale Saturday night at Staples Center. Brown will serve the second game of a two-game suspension from the NHL for elbowing Jason Pominville of the Minnesota Wild during the Kings’ loss Tuesday. Brown is eligible to return for Game 1 of the playoffs next week. Until then, the Kings will be shorthanded.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said left wing Dustin Penner would return to the lineup for Saturday’s game against the San Jose Sharks and that defenseman Matt Greene might be sidelined for the regular-season finale at Staples Center.
Penner was scratched for the Kings’ loss Wednesday to the Red Wings in Detroit, but was skating with right wing Justin Williams and center Jarret Stoll during Friday’s practice at the team’s El Segundo training facility.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter had this to say when asked if Dustin Penner’s return from injured reserve Tuesday against the Dallas Stars was helping to aid the play of linemates Jeff Carter and Mike Richards: “We’re trying to keep those top two lines (Carter-Richards-Penner and Dustin Brown-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams) consistent and that means Dustin, Mike and Jeff have to complement each other. I don’t think it’s so much getting them going. Carter is fighting for the Rocket Richard (trophy), so I don’t think it’s about getting him going. I think Mike is a guy that plays better down the stretch. We’ve seen that, and that’s what he’s known for. So, it’s more Dustin that has to get going.”
Defenseman Matt Greene skated before the rest of the Kings practiced Wednesday and remains on track for a return to full-contact workouts in a few weeks. Greene played only in the season opener Jan. 19 before undergoing back surgery. The Kings hope he’ll be fit to play a key role in the playoffs, as he did last spring in the team’s Stanley Cup run.
Left wing Dustin Penner also skated on his own Wednesday, but there’s no timetable for his return to the lineup from a lower-body injury. He was placed on injured reserve Monday (retroactive to Sunday). He has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and is averaging a modest 12 minutes, 54 seconds of ice time over 25 games this season.
It’s official. The Kings traded second-round draft picks in 2014 and ’15 to the Buffalo Sabres for veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr, the team announced Monday night. The Kings also announced it placed forward Dustin Penner on injured reserve (retroactive to Sunday) because of a lower-body injury. The trade for Regehr won’t be formalized until the 32-year-old passes a medical exam and the team declined further comment.
Stop if you’ve read this before, but the Kings held the Phoenix Coyotes without a goal for another period Tuesday night. One night after blanking the Coyotes 4-0, the Kings shut them out again in the first period. Dustin Penner scored the only goal of the period for the Kings, smacking home a flawless centering pass from Justin Williams at the 14:38 mark to make it 1-0. The Coyotes came out buzzing around Jonathan Bernier’s net and recorded the game’s first five shots and seven of the first eight. But they came up scoreless. Phoenix last scored last Tuesday in a victory over the Kings.
The Kings could move into fourth place in the Western Conference standings with a victory Monday over the Calgary Flames at Staples Center. Actually, they could have the third-most points but they could be no higher than fourth because the top teams in each division automatically get the three top spots for playoff seeding purposes. As for the Flames, well, their season was up for grabs but they didn’t play with much sense of desperation. There was no scoring in the second period, but Dustin Penner had two glorious chances to extend the Kings’ advantage. He failed to click after Mike Richards sent a cross-ice pass to him on the rush. He also missed an open net after Jeff Carter set him up a little later in the middle period.
Play picked up considerably during the second period, with the Ducks’ Andrew Cogliano scoring after only 13 seconds. Dustin Penner countered with his first goal of the season fo the Kings at 3:16. Saku Koivu gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 5:51. Dustin Brown rallied the Kings once more with a laser that banked in off the crossbar at 17:53. Oh, and there was a pretty good scrap early in the period between the Kings’ Jordan Nolan and the Ducks’ Sheldon Souray.
Dustin Penner is taking a Zen-like approach to his benching.
Naturally, he’s not happy about being a healthy scratch for the last three games and quite possibly a fourth Thursday night, when the Kings play host to the Nashville Predators. He wasn’t about to sound off publicly about it when approached by reporters after Wednesday’s practice, however.
Dustin Penner skated and skated and skated some more Monday morning at the Kings’ El Segundo practice facility. Brad Richardson and Andrew Bodnarchuk joined him for a lengthy post-morning skate workout after their teammates left the ice.
It sure looked like Penner would be scratched for the third consecutive game, but Kings coach Darryl Sutter would only say, “Be there for the song,” when asked if he would ice the same lineup Monday against the Vancouver Canucks as during Saturday’s victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.
That lineup did not include Penner, a left wing who had no goals or assists in season-opening losses to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Colorado Avalanche before finding himself scratched for an overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers and a victory over the Coyotes.