Kings swipe season series finale from Kraken, 3-1 (AUDIO)

Los Angeles Kings v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - APRIL 01: Matty Beniers #10 of the Seattle Kraken attempts a wrap-around shot against Pheonix Copley #29 of the Los Angeles Kings during the third period at Climate Pledge Arena on April 01, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Pheonix Copley turned in a 25 save effort, outdueling Martin Jones’ 16 saves to help the Los Angeles Kings get by the Seattle Kraken, 3-1 on Saturday night before a sellout crowd at Climate Pledge Arena. 

Sean Durzi broke a tight game and scoreless tie at 11:45 of the second period and Carl Grunstrom gave the Kings enough space to finish the wire-to-wire effort, going bar-down on Martin Jones at 5:22 of the third period. The Kraken delivered a significant push after that and cut the Kings lead to 2-1 on Oliver Bjorkstrand’s 18thgoal of the season on the power play, but Kevin Fiala wrapped up the game with an empty netter. 


The Kraken will conclude a three-game homestand on Monday, 7pm PT against the Arizona Coyotes (93.3 KJR / Kraken Audio Network). 


1.     Well, a 9-8 game, it wasn’t. That was four months ago. This was April. This was a game of inches. Chances are that a dirt pile of defensive mistakes like what happened in November would have amounted to team fines this time. The Kraken and Kings played through a game that was a complete 180 degree reversal: tight, constricting, compressing, and a battle for every inch of the ice. 

The Kraken had a grand total of one scoring chance in the “home plate area” of the ice, at five-on-five, through two periods. Once the Kings scored the first goal of the game, this was the game they were interested in playing – and the Kraken only had less than half of a game to crack the code. This will be the game the Kraken have to be comfortable playing in the playoffs, and comfortable enough to win. A turnover by Brandon Tanev led to Grunstrom’s game winning goal, and the Kraken only generated three high-danger scoring chances (five-on-five) all night, lowest since a January loss at home to Tampa Bay. Every mistake is magnified, every decision with the puck is critical. Lesson learned again, with seven games to play. 

2.     Oliver Bjorkstand’s continued rise: The issues that plagued his production are a long-gone, thing of the past. Scoring a power play goal at 8:25 of the third period to get the Kraken back in the game was a testimony of owning space at the front of the net to score a goal. Bjorkstrand cleaned up a rebound after Pheonix Copley barely stopped enough of a Daniel Sprong power play blast at the left circle, his seventh goal in 15 games since the start of a torrid month of March. 

Scoring 28 goals last season and coming over in trade with still four more years of control on his contract put the Kraken faith into continued production. He’s now just two goals shy of 20 on the season, a successful contribution on a team loaded with goal-scoring depth. 

3.     Seven games left, and still in control: While a loss is much more magnified at this time of year and leaves a possessed feeling of no margin for error, the Kraken still have the odds in their favor to get this job done for a playoff berth. They’re done with facing playoff bound teams until the last two games of the season, a home-and-home series against the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Coyotes, Blackhawks, and Canucks are up next. Nothing is a guaranteed win night anymore in the NHL, but the odds are in the Kraken favor, with oddsmakers projecting as a 60% chance or higher to win in four of the next five games according to The only game they stand as an “underdog” is the Tuesday, Apr. 4 game at Vancouver, against a team they’ve figured out offensively with an average of five goals a game in the season series (they just need another defensive delivery like in a Jan. 25 win, 6-1 in Seattle). Calgary’s strength of schedule is relatively weak, and they’re 6-2-2 in the last ten games. But they still have dates with Winnipeg, Nashville, and an upset trap door in San Jose. Nashville’s strength of schedule is the second highest in the league, at .629, and have dates with Dallas, Vegas, Carolina, Minnesota, and Colorado on tap. 

Despite a Saturday night loss, with the outright magic number at nine, control still lies with the Kraken. 




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