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At the Rink blog

Sutter: Carter finding his niche with Kings

Saturday, 03.03.2012 / 3:33 PM

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

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At the Rink blog
Sutter: Carter finding his niche with Kings
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The stat sheet says Jeff Carter has yet to produce a point in three games as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

But coach Darryl Sutter isn’t concerned because Carter has been getting chances. He has eight shots on goal in three games and has hit at least two post going into Saturday' game againt Anaheim.

“He’s been really good,” Sutter said. “He’s had more quality scoring chances than anybody on our team. He moves it around on the power play.”

Sutter also likes that Carter’s role as second-line wing with Mike Richards allows the Kings to use the Dustin Penner-Jarret Stoll-Trevor Lewis line as a shut-down line.

Carter also plays up top on the penalty-killing unit with Richards. The Kings have killed all 10 penalties since Carter joined them in last week's blockbuster trade with Columbus that sent Jack Johnson to the Blue Jackets.

“The important part of it for us is that allows us to have a third line,” Sutter said. “It doesn’t bother us to get the right three there to play against anybody.”

Clifford back: It appears that Kyle Clifford will return to the lineup after he was a healthy scratch for the first time this season.

Clifford has continued to show great potential as an aggressive fourth-line winger who can chip in a goal. But, he committed pivotal penalties against Phoenix and had a turnover against Colorado that led to a goal. Sutter talked to Clifford and the message was clear.

“I need to get my identity back,” Clifford said. “Every player goes through tough stretches. It’s about finding your identity and being the player that you are.”

Said Sutter, “He’s got a clear role, and when that role slips he becomes an American League player. You have to make clear to him what his identity is. We were saying as a captain or a physical defenseman and seems to step out of that role. Young guys do all the time. You have to reinforce it and be patient with it, but there’s also a point where you have to see it.”

Sutter on Selanne: Sutter caught parts of Friday night’s Anaheim-Calgary game and watched 41-year-old Teemu Selanne create a 2-on-1 and deliver a perfect saucer pass to Bobby Ryan for Anaheim’s first goal.

“Teemu, he must seem about 20 years (younger),” Sutter said. “Unbelievable. If we weren’t playing them so much, I could talk about him all day.”

DUCKS

Niklas Hagman-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Bobby Ryan-Saku Koivu-Teemu Selanne
Jason Blake-Andrew Cogliano-Devante Smith-Pelly
Matt Beleskey-Nick Bonino-George Parros

Francois Beauchemin-Cam Fowler
Lubomir Visnovsky-Luca Sbisa
Toni Lydman-Sheldon Brookbank

Jonas Hiller
Jeff Deslauriers

KINGS

Dustin Brown-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams
Dwight King-Mike Richards-Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner-Jarret Stoll-Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford-Colin Fraser-Jordan Nolan

Drew Doughty-Rob Scuderi
Willie Mitchell-Slava Voynov
Matt Greene-Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier
   
Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets