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Kings: No longer thin with Penner

2/28/2011

The Kings have a new leading goal scorer.

Dustin Penner was traded to Los Angeles from the Edmonton Oilers about half an hour before Monday’s noon trade deadline, and the Kings didn’t give up much to get that so coveted top-line left wing.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

The Kings just put their playoff run into overdrive with the selection of Penner, 28, who went from undrafted rookie to helping the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup title during the same 2007 season.

Penner had 29 goals that regular season and three more in the playoffs, including the tie-breaking goal in the third period of Game 4 in Ottawa, helping the Ducks to a 3-1 series lead.

At 6-foot-4, 248 pounds, Penner has exceptional puck-handling skills for his size and generates the type of net presence that fits right in with the offensive system of coach Terry Murray.

He had a season-high 32 goals last season and 21 through 62 games this season. His durability is also a plus. He missed just four regular-season games since the 2006-07 season.

Heading the other way is Colton Teubert, who has been doing a tremendous job manning the blue line in Manchester but the Kings are relatively deep in young defenseman wth Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson and Alec Martinez in Los Angeles, and Vlatcheslav Voynov, Thomas Hickey and Jake Muzzin in Manchester.

The Kings also gave up their first-round pick in this season’s draft and a conditional third-round pick in 2012.

And it’s not like Penner is here for just the stretch run. He’s signed through next season at a salary-cap hit of $4.25 million.

Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell said Friday players often get a boost of confidence when the organization improves itself during a playoff run.

We'll find out soon enough. The Kings, fifth in the Western Conference, host the second-place Detroit Red Wings tonight at Staples Center.