SUN Hockey Pool

Penner back on top line

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

ST. LOUIS -- Dustin Penner's relegation to the fourth line didn't last long.

The Edmonton Oilers winger started last night's game against the St. Louis Blues back on the top unit alongside Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff.

Penner did not register a point, but did get involved physically early on, registering three hits in the first period. He also had a couple of chances to convert in the third period.

"I think we have to give him the opportunity now," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish prior to the game.

"We played him on the fourth line, he did OK in the last game. We all know and agree he's the best fit there if he's playing. We need the big body there and he can ride shotgun for Hemmer (Hemsky) when they're taking liberties with him. That's a big part of him.

"We have to give him the opportunity and hopefully his game can come into shape."

DEMOTED

The Edmonton Oilers forward was demoted to the fourth line after being ineffective in the previous two games.

Penner has not registered a point in his last five games and has not scored a goal since Jan. 18 in a 6-3 win at home against the Phoenix Coyotes.

However, the last time they were in St. Louis, the Oilers spotted the Blues a two-goal lead before storming back to win 4-2.

Horcoff had a goal and an assist and got into a fight in the contest. Penner scored a goal and added an assist in the contest.

"He's played well in this building before," MacTavish said. "We all know that he's a good fit on that line and hopefully he goes in a plays a good game.

"He's got to get his legs moving and if he does that, he'll be fine. But we know that when he's there that line works best when he's playing well. It's time to give him that opportunity."


Videos

Photos