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At the Rink blog

Search for scoring leads Hunter to crack Kings' lineup

Thursday, 11.10.2011 / 3:38 PM

By Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Search for scoring leads Hunter to crack Kings' lineup
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Trent Hunter was a good story for the Kings when he parlayed a pro tryout contract into a late free agent signing in training camp until coach Terry Murray scratched him in six of the first nine games.

But L.A. has struggled mightily to get offense outside of the top line, and Hunter was a two-time 20-goal scorer for the New York Islanders.

"Quite simply, we're looking to get some scoring going here," Murray said.

Hunter has only played five games this season, but feels better equipped for more action. He'll play with Jarret Stoll and Kyle Clifford on the third line.

"The more you spend around the guys, the more comfortable you get for sure," Hunter said. "That would be the biggest thing for myself. I'm just going to focus on my game and just play within yourself."

The insertion of Hunter and Colin Fraser comes at the expense of grinder Brad Richardson, who is expected to be scratched for the first time this season.

"Brad right now is not finding the back of the net," Murray said. "He's bringing everything else that we want. He's intense. He's enthusiastic. He recovers pucks. He's giving us good penalty kills … it's just the need for some offense right now."
Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff