On the score sheet he had two assists, was plus-2 and had 14 minutes of ice time. Yet, that wasn’t really the story. He just looked good out on the ice – something that hasn’t always been the case this season.
With an ear to ear grin, here are some thoughts he shared in the locker room following the game…
On the struggles – “When you’re struggling like this, you go through a lot of different (emotions) and question why it’s happening. I think for me, it was just to stop worrying about it and just go out there are play.”
On how he felt playing his third game in four nights – “I felt great. That’s where my conditioning came in. I think if you asked anybody in Edmonton, my third game in four nights would never be very good.”
On his first multi-point night as a King – “Feels good. There were probably a few more points out there for me too. But, I like the chances our line is getting now and even on the power play, and for myself, the quality scoring chances. It’s up to me to bury them and focus on that, not just getting them.”
On the difference in his play the last two games – “I’m probably just not squeezing the stick as tight. Since I’ve been here I’ve been over thinking a lot. In Edmonton that was not the case, just because of the position we were in as a team and where I was on the team.”
On the team meeting earlier today with coach Terry Murray – “He was more angry in the moment last night (after the loss to San Jose), but he had cooled off by this morning.”
On the mood in the room at that meeting – “I think there was nervous tension because we had lost four in a row, including a couple close ones and one in overtime against Pittsburgh. You want to stop that slide as soon as you can. We earned this one tonight.”
On the overall game vs. Nashville – “The first two periods, we had a lot of shots on net, we threw everything at the net, and then the penalty trouble kind of took that away from us, and that tends to happen when you’re up two goals. There’s a lot of stuff that we can take away that’s positive from this game.”
After first joking with reports that ‘the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club,’ Penner later said that his lower body was fine and hinted it was his upper body (head) that was still a work in progress – saying “it’s getting there.”
Regarding his lack of production, he also said, “It wasn’t for lack of trying, and doing everything outside of the game to get ready. There were a few injuries that didn’t help me, and maybe got inside my head, but now everything is feeling great.”
Later, specifically on the injuries from last month, he had this to say – “The knee is fine. I had five different injuries – lower body, both groins, hip and knee. (Nothing is nagging), everything has cleared up.”
One thing that was clear tonight, the Dustin Penner the Kings saw in the last two games is the one they need going forward.
He should have been one of the three stars tonight, he earned it.