Kraken hope road-trip momentum carries over into meeting with Ducks
It seems like whenever the Seattle Kraken need a lift, they just have to hit the road.
The Kraken return home to face the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night after completing a four-game road sweep with a 3-2 overtime victory against the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.
Seattle, which swept a seven-game trip earlier this season, also won games at St. Louis, Detroit and Columbus on its most recent road swing. The Kraken’s 21 road victories are the most in the Western Conference and third in the NHL.
“We’re happy with the two points,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “We had to really stay with it, had to get a little bit better throughout the game in the small competitive areas. We wanted to be a little bit better as we went through the game, it’s something we talked about after the first period.”
Yanni Gourde scored 1:24 into overtime for the Kraken, who won the opening faceoff in the extra session and never gave up the puck.
“I think (this) is the exact kind of game that you’re going to see in the playoffs,” said Gourde, who won back-to-back Stanley Cups with Tampa Bay in 2020 and 2021. “Low-scoring games, a little bit physical.”
Alex Wennberg and Brandon Tanev also tallied for Seattle, the latter with 2:30 remaining in regulation to tie the score. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who previously played for the Avalanche, made 21 saves.
“Sometimes you might be (out-) playing them, but you’re still down,” said Seattle forward Jaden Schwartz, who had two assists against Colorado. “You’ve just got to stay positive. Believe in ourselves, in our system. That’s what we did (Sunday).
“We didn’t hesitate. We didn’t really sit back. We just kept going.”
While Seattle is in third place in the Pacific Division, two points behind Los Angeles, the Ducks are languishing in seventh, just two points ahead of cellar-dwelling San Jose.
But Anaheim is riding a season-high-tying five-game point streak (4-0-1) after Friday’s 3-2 victory against visiting Montreal.
Mason McTavish and Jakob Silfverberg scored power-play goals in the third period as the Ducks broke a 1-1 tie. Anaheim entered the game last in the NHL on the power play with a 15.6 percent conversion rate and was 1-for-17 in the previous five games.
“We try not to really think of the last couple games, even if we’re doing good or bad, we just kind of take it game by game,” McTavish said. “Take the approach that every day is a new day, an opportunity to get better.”
Jayson Megna also scored, and goalie John Gibson made 26 saves. Gibson is 3-0-2 in his past five starts with a .940 save percentage.
“We were in a game in kind of (our) own weight class here,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “I think when you’re in those kind of games, you show a little bit better. As we go on the road here and get some desperate teams, I hope we can keep that level of play up.”
–Field Level Media