After a 30-game dry spell, Rangers winger Dryden Hunt finally found the back of the net on Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild, and the elated skater expressed his happiness with ending the drought.
“I didn’t know it was 30 games, [but] I knew it was a long time,” Hunt said after practice on Wednesday. “30 games is quite a long time to not get on the score sheet and you kind of just have to stick with it.”
The goal came with 14:57 remaining in the second period of the road game, when Hunt and Ryan Strome broke away for a 2-on-1, and a cross-ice pass led to a Hunt one-timer that Wild goalie Cam Tolbot couldn’t stop.
The shot marked Hunt’s 4th goal of the season, and 10th of his career. His last goal came on Dec. 1.
After going undrafted, Hunt spent time playing with the Florida Panthers, and later signed with the Arizona Coyotes, before heading to New York in free agency this offseason.
While he had typically played left wing, he’s been lining up on the right as of late, playing on the second line — along with Strome and Artemi Panarin.
“They’re two really good players — obviously super high skill. For me, I’ve just got to get a read off it,” Hunt said of his linemates. “They have so much skill you don’t want to get in their way or anything.”
The line has been playing well lately, after some frustrations over the course of the season.
“Obov throughout the season you go through ups and downs, but the last 5 or 6 games we’ve had the puck a lot, we controlled the play,” Hunt added.
His lack of scoring clearly bothered the Ranger, who lamented his lack of production while playing his high-powered offensive teammates.
“It was tough. You just try not to think about it, and try to bring other things to your game,” he said. ““Playing with those guys, you want to produce.”
Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant added his satisfaction in seeing his player break his dry spell, noting the extraordinary effort Hunt brings to the ice each game.
“It was nice to see him break that little goose egg he had for a while,” Gallant said. “He plays hard and he competes.”
The Rangers boast a 36-16-5 record, which is good for second place in the Metropolitan Division, where they are 6 points behind the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Blue Shirts’ next game comes on Thursday night in a road matchup against the St. Louis Blues, before heading to Dallas for a matchup against the Stars.