Kraken to face defending Cup champ Avalanche in first ever playoff series

Colorado Avalanche v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JANUARY 21: Evan Rodrigues #9 of the Colorado Avalanche shoves Will Borgen #3 of the Seattle Kraken during the first period at Climate Pledge Arena on January 21, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

The Seattle Kraken finally have their future cleared up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, officially slated for a first round matchup with the Colorado Avalanche. 

Game 1 of the first round series will open at Ball Arena in Denver, on Tuesday, Apr. 18 at 7pm PT. 

After the two teams square off again in game 2 of the series on Thursday, the series will shift to Seattle starting on Saturday, Apr. 22 at 7pm PT, the first home playoff game in Kraken history at Climate Pledge Arena, for game 3. 

Game 4 will follow in Seattle, on Apr. 24. 

The series, if necessary, will alternate between Denver and Seattle through games 5-7, with opening puck drop times to be announced. 

The Kraken battled the Avalanche, the defending Stanley Cup champion, to a 2-0-1 record in three regular season series games and lost their only matchup to the Avalanche in a shootout at Climate Pledge Arena on Jan. 21. 

Former Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer headlined an impressive 3-2 victory in Denver on Oct. 21, making 17 saves before giving way to Martin Jones because of a lower body injury that would keep him out for over a month. 

Grubauer returned though for the next visit to Denver on Mar. 5 – and while he was solid with 21 saves, it was Yanni Gourde who stole the show and arguably vaulted the Kraken to the inside pole for a playoff berth with a dramatic, game-winning overtime goal and 3-2 victory. 

Colorado won the Central Division with a regular season finale 4-3 victory over Nashville. They’re led by superstar center Nathan MacKinnon, with 111 points in 71 games and Mikko Rantanen’s 55 goals. But the Avalanche have missed captain Gabriel Landeskog, ruled out for the season after undergoing knee surgery and have been without star defenseman Cale Makar for the last week with a lower body injury.

Kraken radio coverage will open with the Coors Light Pregame Show, extended to an hour before each playoff game. 

Game 1: Tuesday, Apr. 18 at Colorado - 7pm
Game 2: Thursday, Apr. 20 at Colorado - 6:30pm
Game 3: Saturday, Apr. 22 at Seattle - 7pm
Game 4: Monday, Apr. 24 at Seattle - 7pm
Game 5: Wednesday, Apr. 26 at Colorado - TBD *
Game 6: Friday, Apr. 28 at Seattle - TBD *
Game 7: Sunday, Apr. 30 at Colorado - TBD *
* If necessary

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