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Penner returning to lineup as Kings visit Stars

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS -- After missing the past four games with a lower-body injury, Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Penner will return to the ice Tuesday against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he's glad to see Penner make his return against Dallas.

"His last shift was in this building. Hopefully he still remembers that," Sutter said.

Penner, who last played March 31 against the Stars, figures to skate on the Kings' second line, alongside center Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, which will knock Kyle Clifford, who had been filling in, to the fourth line.

"It [my injury] has dissipated now to the point where I can play ice hockey again. I can still play soccer with it," Penner said. "I just can't play ice hockey."

Sutter said he realizes the Stars the Kings will face Tuesday will be much different than the team they beat 3-2 on March 21, a club that still had Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy in the lineup; each was dealt prior to the April 3 NHL Trade Deadline.

Even though the Stars clearly have gotten younger since the deadline, Sutter said he still sees a lot of similarities between the Pacific Division clubs.

"If you look at Dallas' team, they're similar to us in that you have a lot of forwards that play in straight lines and work hard," Sutter said. "That's what these young guys are doing for them. It's very similar to us. These guys they put in their lineup are no different than [Kyle] Clifford, [Dwight] King, [Jordan] Nolan, [Trevor] Lewis. They're pretty important players for us."

Jonathan Quick will start in goal for the Kings, and Kari Lehtonen will start his 19th consecutive game in goal for the Stars.

Dallas heads into this game on a two-game winning streak after beating the San Jose Sharks 5-4 in a shootout on Sunday at HP Pavilion, and the Stars do so relatively healthy but with one major exception.

Newcomer Lane MacDermid, a young forward acquired in last week's deal that sent Jagr to the Boston Bruins, missed the game Sunday with an upper-body injury after scoring in each of his first two games with the Stars.

"He's going to be out for a little while here," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "He has a little bit of a chest issue here. It's not serious, but it's going to keep him out for probably a good week. It's just like a little bruise that he has to let heal. He's coughed up a little bit of blood. He just has to let it heal. He's got to sit out at least here seven days and see where he is. So it's just a matter of time in letting it heal. There's no rehab or anything like that for it."

Here are the projected lineups for the Kings and Stars:


Justin Williams - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown

Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter

Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford - Brad Richardson - Jordan Nolan

Robyn Regehr - Drew Doughty

Rob Scuderi - Slava Voynov

Jake Muzzin - Keaton Ellerby

Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Colin Fraser, Alec Martinez, Tyler Toffoli

Injured: Matt Greene (back), Willie Mitchell (knee)


Ray Whitney - Jamie Benn - Alex Chiasson

Matt Fraser - Cody Eakin - Loui Eriksson

Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Erik Cole

Antoine Roussel - Tom Wandell - Ryan Garbutt

Trevor Daley - Stephane Robidas

Brenden Dillon - Alex Goligoski

Aaron Rome - Philip Larsen

Kari Lehtonen

Richard Bachman

Scratched: Jordie Benn   

Injured: Lane MacDermid (upper body)

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