Two veteran NHLers will be yanked from their respective lineups on Thursday night.
In Los Angeles, Dustin Penner has been made a healthy scratch by head coach Daryl Sutter for a road date in Edmonton.
The 30-year-old winger has struggled to start the season — minus-2, four PIM, zero shots on goal last game vs. Colorado — and owned up to playing poorly.
“I wish I could say that I played better, but I haven’t,” he said prior to tonight’s contest. “It’s all on me.”
Penner took no issue with Sutter for dropping him just two games into a shortened season — one that was preceded by a brief training camp.
“[Sutter] has the best intentions for me,” he explained. “I’ve had a lot of tough love. And this is different and similar in a lot of aspects.”
Simon Gagne will draw back in for the Kings, while Kyle Clifford will move up and fill Penner’s spot on the Mike Richards-Jeff Carter line.
Elsewhere, ‘Canes blueliner Joe Corvo will be parked tonight when his club takes on the Sabres in Carolina.
The 35-year-old’s had a rough start to the year. He’s minus-2, and saw his ice time drop from 20:12 in the season opening loss to Florida to 15:23 in Tuesday’s defeat to Tampa Bay.
Jamie McBain will replace Corvo in the lineup, making his season debut. Carolina coach Kirk Muller hopes McBain will help keep the ‘Canes from falling behind early.
(They trailed Florida 4-0 after the first and Tampa Bay 2-0 after one.)
“When you trail in six periods it’s a different game,” Muller told the Raleigh News and Observer. “How you use your bench, which guys you use. But we need better first periods. We come out tentative for some reason.
“We have to come out hard tonight and just play simple and have a good first period.”
ESPN New York’s Katie Strang says Kreider is a healthy scratch tonight for the Rangers.
Not a huge surprise, given Kreider was called out by head coach John Tortorella recently and is potentially facing demotion to AHL Connecticut.