The Seattle Kraken keep on winning and passing the important checkpoints.
This matchup won’t be as daunting as Friday when the Kraken took down the Pacific Division leading Vegas Golden Knights for their fourth straight road win. But as players will often tell you, no game is a guaranteed two point night, and the Kraken will look to stay sharp against the last place Anaheim Ducks tonight, 5pm PT (93.3 KJR / Kraken Audio Network) at Honda Center.
“It’s not going to be an easy game,” said defenseman Justin Schultz. “There are no easy games in this league.”
Still, the tale of the first quarter of the NHL season tells a completely different story between the two teams, on ice in Orange County. The Kraken are surging, well into early playoff contention despite the remnants of a “fresh out of the box” scent of a second year franchise. They are 9-1-1 in the last 11 games, hold second place in the Pacific Division, and are just six points back of Vegas for the lead.
“We’ve played pretty consistent hockey throughout,” said head coach Dave Hakstol.
“Back on the road tonight, it’s a real simple formula for us, to getting contributions, skating, checking, and playing the game in a 200 foot sense.”
The Ducks won 5-4 in overtime in the season opener over the Kraken on Oct. 12. The result would be far from an omen. Anaheim has won just five other times in the last 20 games and is three points into the Pacific Division basement.
Still, they possess a valuable weapon that has haunted the Kraken over the last 12 months, since the two teams started meeting head-to-head. Troy Terry, sharing the Ducks lead with Trevor Zegras by scoring eight goals, also leads with 21 points in 21 games.
Even more so against the Kraken, he is a threat. Terry has eight points in four lifetime meetings.
“Time and space are a real premium,” said Hakstol. “If you give a player like Troy a little time and space, he can make things happen.”
The Kraken will start Martin Jones in net after getting a breather in the Vegas win on Friday. Jones is 12-12-1 with a .912 save percentage lifetime against the Ducks. No further changes to the Kraken lineup are expected.
Anaheim, who did not skate on Sunday, comes off a 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators and have been plagued with special teams issues, last in the league for both power play and penalty killing.
PROJECTED LINEUP, KRAKEN AT ANAHEIM, 11/27: