Perhaps the magic tonic for a winning formula is found in the California sun.
At least, that’s what the Seattle Kraken are searching for. Tonight, a rare one-off trip, in their final visit of the regular season to Northern California, will bring them back to SAP Center against the host San Jose Sharks at 7pm PT (950 KJR / Kraken Audio Network).
In a season mounting with continuous struggles, the Kraken are 0-5-1 and haven’t won since they were on the road 16 days ago:
That game, in Southern California, built up a 4-3 win over a strong Anaheim Ducks squad that required Jordan Eberle’s late third period winner to get the job done.
With Philipp Grubauer confirmed to start once again in between the pipes, the Kraken are looking for a 3-0 record against San Jose.
“They’re a hard team to play against,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “They don’t’ give up very much. It’s hard to get pucks to the net. They’re in shot lanes and they defend well.”
“We’ve done a good job in those aspects with finding a few pucks inside offensively.”
Hakstol said after an optional morning skate at SAP Center there would be no changes to the lineup, scheduling the same group to face San Jose that squeezed a standings point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
With Jared McCann out of the lineup, Jordan Eberle leads the Kraken among active skaters with 15 goals. The last time the Kraken beat San Jose, 3-2 on Jan. 20, they fended off the absence of Jamie Oleksiak (non-COVID illness) with a makeshift defensive pair of Mark Giordano and Carson Soucy, who combined for four points and a +6 rating.
Calle Jarnkrok, moving up to the top line center spot with McCann out Thursday, recorded the 100th goal of his NHL career in that win over San Jose.
The Sharks, once a playoff contender, are facing their second game in as many days after a 3-1 loss to Boston last night. They have just two wins in their last 14 games and are going through an offensive drought: just 16 goals since Jan. 30, a string of eight games.
Timo Meier, leading the Sharks with 24 goals, scored San Jose’s only goal last night. Tomas Hertl, a pending unrestricted free agent, is two behind Meier and hasn’t scored in eight straight games.
The Kraken have been outshot 59-47 combined in the first two meetings but have limited San Jose to three goals total. Calle Jarnkrok and Carson Soucy each have scored twice against San Jose, leading the Kraken in the head-to-head series.
“You have to earn your offense against this team,” said Hakstol. “We’ve been able to do that previous two games. That’ll be the challenge for us tonight to do that again.”
KRAKEN PROJECTED LINEUP, FEB. 27: