Offense explodes as Kraken set a franchise record win streak

Seattle Kraken v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 11: Jared McCann #19 of the Seattle Kraken skates against the Washington Capitals during the third period at Capital One Arena on January 11, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)Photo: Patrick Smith / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Joey Daccord is the reason the Seattle Kraken are in this spot, in the first place.

His eye-popping numbers, which has sent him on a meteoric rise to near stardom in the NHL almost in overnight fashion, stabilized the Kraken in net and their playoff hopes. But on a night where he wasn't at his best, the offense helped take care of the job, and the Kraken blitzed the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 7-4 victory on Saturday night at Nationwide Arena.

The Kraken are real, they're back, and are comfortably cruising with their renewed identity. Their nine-game win streak is a new franchise record, besting the eight-game run of 12 months ago that put them on the inside track of the playoff race for good. They scored seven goals for the fourth time this season, tied for the most in the NHL. Most importantly, they kept up with the scorching hot Edmonton Oilers, who won for the 10th time in a row, and are both now a point behind the third place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division.

Jared McCann, shaking off a nine-game goal drought, led the way with a pair of goals and a three point effort.

"It shows we can score goals, it shows our depth scoring is a huge part of our team," said McCann, who hit 300 points for his NHL career.

"It's not like usually though - we have to rein it back in, playing against a good team, next game."

The Kraken, as they will aim for defensive adjustments that forced Daccord to make several high danger saves out of the will have to deal with another hit to their lineup, potentially two players down when they meet Pittsburgh for a matinee game on Monday. Andre Burakovsky, who has struggled to shake off injury issues over the last calendar year, left the first period with a lower body ailment. Matty Beniers, who absorbed a bone-crunching hit by Cole Sillinger in the second period, missed the third period.

Head coach Dave Hakstol said no updates were available on either player's timetable, likely with an update after Sunday's day off.

"Our team showed a lot of resiliency today," said Hakstol.

The Kraken, shaking off an early deficit just 1:41 into the game and at most down 3-2 after a two-man advantage goal by Kiriil Marchenko, roared back with four unanswered goals, rallied by Tye Kartye, Oliver Bjorkstrand, McCann's second, and a snipe by Brian Dumoulin.

Jordan Eberle put the Kraken on the board for a tie game, and Eeli Tolvanen finished the Blue Jackets with an empty netter, with 1:05 left.

The Kraken pierced Daniil Tarasov for six goals on 35 shots, who took the loss.

One big takeaway:

We know what the Seattle Kraken are all about by now. They can roll four lines, acting as four "second lines" as elaborated last week from McCann. The five-on-five offense isn't as threatening, so for much of this season, the race has been won at four goals. Goaltending, especially from the Daccord corner has given them stability. A lockdown 1-2-2 scheme usually has finished the job with a lead over the last few weeks.

This time, matters went extremely off script, and the Kraken had to win in an offense mudslinging contest with the Blue Jackets, likely bound to be a lottery team in a few months. Daccord, left out in the cold from the All-Star Game despite monster numbers this season, didn't have his best numbers while several defensive holes exposed him to high-grade scoring opportunities.

In addition, they lost Beniers soon after he took a big hit from Sillinger. Where at times the Kraken have previously seen their star players take runs and refuse confrontation, that changed dramatically when Vince Dunn dropped the gloves immediately with Sillinger as a response. From there, the Kraken ripped off three straight goals, capitalizing on a moment of adversity with a galvanizing force.

What's evolving at an imperative time is a Kraken team that can win on a multi-dimensional level, a threatening trait that's established a franchise record - and continues to climb closer to the Conference leaders.

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