After suffering a lower-body injury during his last jaunt in Dallas on March 31, the Los Angeles Kings removed Dustin Penner from the injured reserve list just in time to face off against the Dallas Stars once more.
Penner, the 6-foot-5, 245 pound left wing, has been itching to get back on the ice since his injury last week (no, it wasn’t due to pancakes this time), which has caused him to miss the last four games. Prior to Penner’s accident, the Manitoba native racked up an impressive set of stats through 25 games, recording 11 points and 14 penalty minutes.
Back on a healed body, Penner played against the Stars as if the time apart never occurred. Though, the left wing was not at his 100 percent, he played at a high ability and proved that he is a solid player who can contribute when his team needs him. Penner has stated that he would like to work on his mental state as a player this season, and this game against the Stars was the perfect opportunity to do so.
For a player who just stepped off the injured reserve today, Penner performed well. With about 10 and a half minutes of play, Penner racked up three shots, two hits and gained one takeaway. Any average NHL player has zero takeaways in a normal game.
Now, the Kings did not by any means play a spectacular game against the Stars, nor was Penner the MVP of the game. But he proved himself to be a worthy opponent and all-around player who can play a solid game even when not in the best physical shape. There’s nowhere to go but up from here.