As a crowd of over 13,000 filed into Crypto.com Arena for the opening face-off, a substantial downpour consumed Los Angeles, lasting from the start of puck drop that left the area soaked with a massive impression.
But enough about the Seattle Kraken offense.
Inside a storied 22-year old venue that was shielded from rainy conditions on a Monday night in southern California, the Kraken never trailed and in tidal wave fashion, crushed the Los Angeles Kings in a 6-1 victory, salvaging two wins on their three-game road trip and a two-game split in Los Angeles.
The six goals were the most the Kraken scored since a 7-4 rout of Buffalo on Nov. 29.
“I felt we earned it,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “We earned everything in the first 35 minutes of this hockey game. We played hard with the puck and put some miles on them defensively.”
Six different members of the Kraken scored, defenseman Vince Dunn had a pair of assists and dropped the gloves with Sean Durzi in the third period, and goaltender Chris Driedger earned his first road win since Feb. 11 at Anaheim with a 36-save effort, stopping the final 28 shots he saw over the last two periods.
“I didn’t see a whole lot the first 35 minutes and then, bang, bang, bang,” said Driedger. “I felt pretty good, felt patient, just felt like I was in good position for the point shots.”
The Kraken stayed away from a morning skate session on Monday, with Driedger sharing it as the first morning skate he’s missed.
“Doesn’t feel like I’ll be pre-game skating much after this,” said Driedger, chuckling.
The Kraken spoiled Los Angeles head coach Todd McLellan’s 1,000th NHL game behind the bench by shattering the Kings 1-3-1 forecheck with 38 shots.
“We didn’t let them set up in their structure as much tonight,” said forward Yanni Gourde. “Last game I felt like they were in their structure and where they wanted us. Tonight we just turned the puck, went north, and it helped us with everyone on the same page. We were much faster tonight.”
Alex Wennberg set the tone with the fastest goal to begin a game in Kraken history, 14 seconds after puck drop while going 9-of-18 at the face-off circle. The Kraken bested the Kings, 53 percent at the dot.
“(The Kings) have been the top face-off team in the league the last six to eight weeks,” said Hakstol.
“(Alex Wennberg) in the first period was 7-1 on draws. That’s a great indicator he showed great leadership for us there.”
After Arthur Kaliyev tied the game 5:23 into the first period on a power play goal, Adam Larsson’s point shot deflected off traffic for a 2-1 lead at 8:24.
Victor Rask buried his first goal with the Kraken for a 3-1 lead with 6:05 left in the second period. Jordan Eberle, on a breakaway at 7:05 of the third period, and Jared McCann scored 29 seconds apart and Daniel Sprong put on the finishing touches with a three-game goal streak with 7:47 left in regulation.
Cal Petersen took the loss in net with 32 saves.
The Kraken and Kings wrap up the season series on Apr. 27 in Seattle, and the Kraken open a three-game homestand on Wednesday, 7:00pm PT against the Vegas Golden Knights.