Seattle, WA – For the final time this season, a Pacific Division battle between the Seattle Kraken and Los Angeles Kings took place, and this contest vastly differed from the one played in Los Angeles back in November. It was no high scoring matchup, unlike the November 29th game that saw both teams combine for 17 goals, and defensive play was the theme as the Kings prevailed three-to-one over the Kraken. With the loss and a Nashville Predators win, Seattle’s magic number remains at nine points.
Los Angeles is a team that has become very comfortable in close games, playing many of them over the course of the year despite their hot form since All-Star break. Seattle, on the other hand, is still learning to dig deep and secure points in those instances, as was the case tonight when the Kraken failed to break the ice until late. By then, the Kings had put two on the board, and Seattle needed to bring an extra skater on late, allowing Los Angeles to find an empty net goal to finish things off. The first Kings goal highlighted a Kraken mistake, as all five skaters were caught on one side of the ice, leaving Los Angeles’ Sean Durzi all alone back door to tap the puck past Seattle’s Martin Jones. A second goal came off a pickpocket of Brandon Tanev, and with their plays at the right time, Los Angeles built their lead.
“They kinda sit back and play good defensively, it makes it hard to get chances. You really gotta work hard for your shots, net presence, and so on. It was kind of a playoff-like game,” Kraken forward Oliver Bjorkstrand reflected.
Seattle was able to get on the board late, as Oliver Bjorkstrand was able to punch home a rebound chance that had sizzled off the stick of Daniel Sprong. Sprong’s initial one-timer was stopped at first by Kings goaltender Pheonix Copley, but it leaked behind him and into the crease, where Los Angeles failed to clear it. Bjorkstrand was in the right place at the right time, pushing the puck into an empty net for a power play goal, giving the Kraken a lifeline late. Seattle failed to generate much danger before they ultimately had to pull their goalie and put a sixth skater on the ice with a minute left. The Kraken weren’t able to get the puck past Copley, and the Kings found an empty netter to finish things off.
“Both teams checked really well, it’s getting to that time of the year where teams are getting ready for playoffs. There’s just not a lot of room out there, neither team was able to really break free and make a lot of plays offensively. I thought that we had a good push in the third, but their goalie played pretty well,” Seattle goaltender Martin Jones reflected
The Kraken return to action on Monday, April 3rd when they host the Arizona Coyotes in the first of three contests that the teams will play this month. In the first game of a back-to-back, the Kraken will host the Coyotes with a puck drop of 7PM PST before immediately leaving for Vancouver following the conclusion of the game against Arizona. While the Coyotes have struggled as of late, dropping their last three, they remain a scrappy team that’s will surely put up a fight against Seattle in all their matchups.