Where: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, WA
When: Wednesday, April 27, 2022; 7:00pm PDT
Wait, who are we playing? Landlubber’s Guide to the LA Kings
Local TV: ROOT Sports NW+
Local Radio: 950 AM KJR
SiriusXM: Channel 91
Last Time Out
After dropping their first two meetings with the Kings, the Kraken came out and dominated game three of the season series with a decisive 6-1 victory in Los Angeles. Alex Wennberg opened the scoring 14 seconds into the game with a nifty little backhand rebound. THe Kings tied it shortly thereafter with a goal on their fourth shot of the game, but Chris Driedger stopped the other 36(!) they put on net for the remainder of the contest. All told, 14 Kraken skaters went home with at least a point, including 11 of 12 forwards (Kole Lind being the only one kept off the stat sheet). This was the second time ever that Seattle scored six goals without the help of an empty netter.
Stats, Streaks, & Droughts
The Kings come into this one riding high on the back of a four game winning streak and a fresh playoff berth. This will be their first playoff appearance since 2018. It appears their rebuild is officially done, and they’ve moved back into competing territory. They are still a very beatable team right now, however, as three of those last four wins were all one goal games (if you exclude the empty net goal they scored against the Ducks). Jonathan Quick has been stellar in each of these four outings, posting a .948 save percentage over that stretch and allowing just five goals in total. It helps that the Kings’ defense has limited opponents to around 22 shots on net per game over that time too.
Meanwhile the Kraken have slumped a bit since earning the franchise’s first three game winning streak a week ago. They’ve now lost their last three games, but the good news is that all those losses came on the road, and they’re back in Climate Pledge Arena tonight — where they’ve still got an active three game home winning streak.
Players To Watch
The 34-year old Anze Kopitar once again leads the team with 66 points, and makes dangerous passes like this nightly...
The aforementioned Jonathan Quick has been stellar of late and will make it tough for Seattle to generate offense...
Jonathan Quick (LA32) carried the Kings to a big 2-1 win over ANA.— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) April 20, 2022
He saved 2.1 goals above expected and made some huge acrobatic saves to push the Kings close to their first playoff appearance since 2018.
Here are his most notable saves from last night. #GoKingsGo #NHLPotN pic.twitter.com/yGXKqbfuWP
And then there’s defender Sean Durzi, who’s just happy to be here.
Injuries, Illnesses, Additions, & Scratches
The Kraken’s injury list is longer than usual right now. In addition to Brandon Tanev and Jaden Schwartz, who are both done for the year, Seattle will likely be without Haydn Fleury, Vince Dunn, and Kole Lind. Fleury has missed the last four games, while Dunn and Lind both sat out only last night. Dunn took a stick up high in Saturday’s game against the Stars, and his status is still unknown. Dennis Cholowski and Derrick Pouliot are likely to step in once again, and we will update further if anything changes in that regard. Joey Daccord got the start last night, so expect one of Chris Driedger or Philipp Grubauer in net for the Kraken tonight.
The Kings are without Drew Doughty, who underwent surgery in March and won’t play again until next season. They’re down another defenseman in Mikey Anderson as well, who is currently on LTIR. A couple youngsters in Jordan Spence and Jacob Moverare are expected to be filling in on the blue line. Moverare is still looking for his first NHL goal. Jonathan Quick is expected to start, but with the playoffs officially clinched last night they could opt to give him another rest day. We’ll update further when we know more.
Odds & Ends
- The only game Jonathan Quick allowed more than one goal in his last four starts was last Saturday against the Ducks, and the second goal he allowed that night was objectively hilarious
- Jared McCann has an active 6-game home point streak that he hopes to extend tonight. Matty Beniers also started off another point streak with an assist last night in Vancouver.
- Daniel Sprong is one goal away from matching a career-best 14 goals in a season.
- And lastly, the draft lottery update. Seattle will finish no worse than 30th and no better than 28th in the NHL, giving them somewhere between the 3rd and 5th best odds in the draft lotter coming up on May 10th. Philadelphia and New Jersey are the teams they’re jockeying with in that regard.