Kraken handle business, inch closer to playoff berth with 4-1 victory over Ducks 

Photo by Aaron Nelson / fi360 News

Seattle, WA – Returning home to Climate Pledge Arena following a four-game road trip where they secured five points, the Seattle Kraken pulled away in the third period to defeat the Anaheim Ducks. A team with nothing to play for, despite going down by two goals in the first period, Anaheim kept their head in the fight and put even more pressure on Seattle when they scored in the second period to bring the score within one. The Kraken dug deep, as fourth-liner Daniel Sprong pounded home a power play goal to extend Seattle’s lead and effectively put the game to rest. The Kraken, with their win and a Nashville loss, pushed their magic number to make the postseason down to nine.  

With the regular season ticking down and every point ever important, urgency is critical for the Kraken. Seeking their first postseason berth in just their second year of existence as an NHL franchise, Seattle has a tricky road to the Stanley Cup playoffs as they face some teams with a bit of a Wild Card aspect to them. Playing known winners in Los Angeles and Las Vegas in the end of the season schedule, teams such as Arizona, Vancouver, and Chicago all make appearances. While these look-like easy points on paper, Seattle has had its struggles against mediocre opponents throughout the season, and you can never count an opponent out.  

“It’s the National Hockey League. You build wins through 60 minutes. Everybody’s playing for something. Everybody is motivated by something and it’s no different for [Anaheim] them… This group inside of this room has continued to find a way to push for some things that we’ve wanted to push for. We continue to be in that position. There’s still work to do. [But] tonight’s a great two points,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol on tonight’s win.  

With that urgency coming into play, the Kraken have needed to find their offensive touch once again and they need to do so in whatever method possible. Seattle has slowly and gradually improved at getting net front to score those greasy goals, but they must continue to improve in that area and at finding those sneaky goals in general as we approach game 82 on the NHL’s regular season. The Kraken were able to do that tonight and get production from three different lines in this win against Anaheim.  

“We want to take advantage of every game, we want to get better, we want to keep improving. The two points are big. Obviously, if you look at the standings, teams are trying to move up, and you don’t want to leave it to the last two games of the year to have to win, to get in. You want to build as much of a lead as you can. So, these are big, and we want to play a little bit better at home, too. Our record hasn’t been quite where we want it to be,” Kraken forward and alternate captain Jaden Schwartz on the importance of finishing the season strong.  

Kraken goaltender Martin Jones got his first start since March 13th in tonight’s divisional contest, and Seattle desperately needed him to find a better form than his last seven starts, as he had allowed at least three goals in all of them. With Philipp Grubauer dealing with an illness that he had been trying to return from since March 18th, the Kraken opted in favor of emergency-usage goaltender Joey Daccord for two starts before Grubauer returned, which may tell you something. Jones was solid in his first start back in action, stopping 18 of the 19 shots that he faced and having to bail his skaters out a few times.  

Seattle will continue a three game homestand in just two days when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, April 1st with a puck drop of 7PM PST. The Kraken will have their hands full as they host a Kings team that’s won six of their last ten and have been on a general tear since the All-Star break. The Pacific Division continues to be a troublesome territory for the kraken to navigate, but with Seattle taking care of business tonight and Nashville (the team they need to lose to help their magic number go down) facing a brutal schedule, the postseason is within reach.