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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

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."

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory