SUN Hockey Pool

Penner quick on the draw

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- It was the biggest draw of the afternoon and the Edmonton Oilers decided to use a winger.

The way Dustin Penner was performing in the faceoff circle against the Minnesota Wild yesterday, it seemed like the best bet.

"He's done it before, maybe not to the extent that he did it today," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

"He's the strongest guy on the ice outside of maybe (Steve) MacIntyre and (Derek) Boogaard. He's got pretty quick hands and I thought he did a good job."

Penner won seven of the nine draws he took on the afternoon, including a key one late in overtime.

"I thought he played well," MacTavish said.

"He got skating with the puck and got moving. If he's moving he's playing well and if he's throwing the body around, he's playing well.

"It helped that he scored in the Detroit game to get his confidence up, and I thought he played another good game today."

Without Shawn Horcoff in the lineup the Oilers were forced to take draws by committee.

Sam Gagner and Kyle Brodziak took a majority of the faceoffs as the Oilers won just over half of their draws.

Horcoff, who has taken more draws than anybody else in the league this season, has missed the last two games with a charley horse which he picked up in the victory over the Blues.

"Hopefully he'll be back Wednesday," MacTavish said. "He was upset that he couldn't play today, but it just wasn't worth the risk on something like that."

The Oilers return host the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday before departing on another four-game road trip starting Saturday in Los Angeles against the Kings.


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