Dustin Penner loses a point, Colin Fraser gains a roster spot
The Kings announced Thursday that a video review of their third goal against Nashville on Tuesday showed that Penner should not have gotten an assist on the play and it was taken away from him, negating what appeared to be his first multi-point game as a King.
According to a statement released by the team, the review showed “that Penner lifted the stick of a Nashville player but never did touch the puck as the puck moved up the ice.” The assist he originally got was given to Willie Mitchell.
That doesn’t change the fact Penner played a solid game for the second successive night, after a strong effort at San Jose on Monday.
“He’s played better here the last three games. I really like his energy and I like the way he’s starting to move around the ice,” Kings Coach Terry Murray said before his team faced the defending West champion Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night at Staples Center.
“Much more confident, much more with authority. He’s in an athletic position. He’s got his knees bent and he’s playing both ways. And with that kind of work I think everything will get on track in the offensive part of it.”
Fraser, acquired from Edmonton in the Ryan Smyth trade, underwent leg surgery over the summer and began the season as a non-roster injured player. He was activated Thursday morning. The Kings’ grievance over the trade — they claim the Oilers misrepresented the extent of Fraser’s injury and that he had an unhealed fracture — is scheduled to be heard next Wednesday in New York.
“He’s been a good soldier. He got healthy after his operation. He worked very hard in the off-season to get himself where he is today,” Murray said.
“He’s a caged animal. ‘Let me loose.’ He wants to go play. He’ll bring us good energy. He’s a gritty kind of a player. Knows his role. To me he’s a hockey player. He’s won. He knows what it takes and the price you have to pay.”
Trent Hunter was also inserted into the lineup on the right side with Kyle Clifford and Jarret Stoll. “We’re looking for him to get us some goals. That’s why we signed him,” Murray said of Hunter, who has one assist in five games this season. “He’s got a pretty good resume as far as putting some numbers up and that’s what he has to give us.”
Brad Richardson, scoreless in 15 games this season but useful for his energy and grit, was to be a healthy scratch.
One more note: Five Kings were listed on the ballot for the NHL All-Star Game, to be played Jan. 29 at Ottawa, Canada. Goaltender Jonathan Quick, defensemen Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson and forwards Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards are on the ballot. Voting -- all digital -- is scheduled to begin Monday.
More coverage later at www.latimes.com/sports
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Kings left wing Dustin Penner. Credit: Jason O. Watson / U.S. Presswire