Kraken aim for consistency against streaking Blues

League: NHL

Posted on: 25 Jan, 2024 at 10:53 PM

Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Kraken could afford to make a few mistakes and still beat lowly Chicago 6-2 Wednesday. After all, the Blackhawks have lost 18 road games in a row (0-17-1).

"There were some hiccups for sure," said Kraken forward Tomas Tatar, who scored twice in the third period. "But I feel like every time we had to turn it on, we did."

The Kraken might not be so fortunate if they do the same Friday when the St. Louis Blues come to town.

The Blues have won three consecutive games to pull within a point of the Western Conference's second and final wild-card playoff berth entering Thursday's games, one point ahead of the Kraken.

St. Louis' run includes a 4-3 victory Wednesday at league-leading Vancouver as Brayden Schenn scored at 1:54 of overtime.

St. Louis' Jake Neighbours scored a goal and added an assist, Alexey Toropchenko and Pavel Buchnevich also scored and goaltender Joel Hofer made 29 saves.

"We're playing good hockey right now for the most part, and we're building our game, and you can see we're really starting to come together as a team and play for each other and support each other," Neighbours said. "It's really fun to see, and it's fun to be a part of and (we) just got to kind of keep her going."

The Blues overcame a third-period hat trick by Vancouver's Pius Suter, including the tying goal with 52 seconds remaining in regulation.

"Disappointing we weren't able to get out with a regulation win, but I thought the overtime, it was good to see Schenn get another goal," St. Louis coach Drew Bannister said.

"He's been playing really well for us of late. It's a heck of a win from our guys. We showed a lot of character."

The streaky Kraken snapped a four-game losing streak Wednesday, as Joey Daccord made 34 saves and Jared McCann scored his team-leading 19th goal of the season.

Jaden Schwartz, Alex Wennberg and Brandon Tanev also tallied and Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz had two assists apiece for Seattle, which had franchise-record streaks of nine wins and 13 games with points (11-0-2) before the skid.

"This game was huge for us," Eberle said. "We've lost four in a row. You know, we see the standings, we need to start climbing. That's a massive game (and two points).

"We got ahead there and then we stopped playing for 10 minutes in the first period. They came back, so we responded and found a way. But we still have little details we need to fix and you know, Joey was there to make some huge saves."

Daccord has started 17 of the past 19 games for Seattle with Philipp Grubauer out since Dec. 9 with an undisclosed injury. Grubauer was activated Wednesday and served as the backup. Kraken coach Dave Hakstol hasn't announced who will start against St. Louis.

This will be the second of three regular-season meetings between the Blues and Seattle. Host St. Louis won 2-1 in a shootout on Oct. 14.

--Field Level Media