The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (29-12-3) at the Seattle Kraken (26-14-4). SBN Blog: Davy Jones Locker Room.
The Time: 10:00 PM ET
The Broadcast: TV - MSGSN/ROOT
The Last Devils Game:
The Devils came back from a 2-1 deficit and and a poor first period to tie in on a goal by Jack Hughes with 10 seconds left in regulation. The shot deflected off of Karlsson’s stick and past Reimer. The Devils would go on to win after the end of regulation, with Tomas Tatar scoring the only goal of the shootout.
The Devils struck first in that game, with Ryan Graves scoring just 29 seconds in. The Devils would only have a measly 3 shots for the rest of the period, however. The Sharks would come back with a goal at 16:44 to tie it and a PP goal with 4 seconds left in the period to take a 2-1 lead. Shots were 13-4 at this point.
The Devils would fight back in the 2nd, taking 16 shots and holding the Sharks to 6, although they did not score. In the 3rd, shots were 17-10 in favor of the Devils. Hischier scored 11 seconds in to tie it, but 5:45 later Bonino gave the Sharks back the lead. With 10 seconds left the Devils emptied their net and Hughes scored to tie, and then Tatar won it in the shootout.
If you want the full recap, Chris wrote it here.
The Last Kraken Game:
The last Kraken game was a 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Shots were 33-31 in favor of Edmonton. However, it doesn’t look like it was a shooting or goaltending difference. Looking at the NST report for the game, xGs were 4.08 to 1.99. Most stats are pretty even, but the difference came in high danger chances. The Kraken allowed 19 and only had a lowly 3 of their own. So the quantity was about the same for both teams, but the Kraken were allowing a good amount of chances close to their net and getting none close to the Oilers net.
Given this information, and knowing about their poor goaltending, I’d say a key to the game is to put pressure on the Kraken defense. The Devils should be happy to take any HDC the Kraken will over them, and racking up the chances always helps against a team with poor goaltending.
The Last Devils-Kraken Game:
The last time the Devils and Kraken faced off was on April 16, 2022, the first time the Devils went to Seattle. The Kraken won 4-3 in a shootout. Daws and Grubauer both allowed 3 goals on 26 shots. Soucy, Beniers, and Borgen had the goals for Seattle, and McCann had 2 assists. For the Devils, McLeod had 2 As, and Boqvist, Bratt, and Severson were the goal scorers. Both teams have been much better this season than last so it should be a higher quality game than that one.
How are the Kraken doing?
The Kraken are having a much better sophomore season, as they are currently in second place in the pacific division. They are 4th in the NHL in goals for, not something I was expecting to see, considering they were a more defensive team last season. Their goal scoring has been spread out pretty evenly, with McCann leading with 22 goals, 6 players with 10 or more goals, and 17 players with 4 or more goals. Andre Burakovsky leads them in points with 12-25-37. Jordan Eberle is tied for 1st in assists with him with 25. Beniers is in 2nd place in points with 36. Vince Dunn is their highest scoring dman with 33 points.
In the goaltending department, the Kraken have not done well for the second straight season. Their starter is Martin Jones, with a .893 sv%. The Kraken are at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of shooting, as they currently lead the league in shooting % at 12.3
Nathan Bastian was a full participant in practice yesterday, so he might make his return tonight. Here were yesterday’s practice lines:
Palat - Hischier - Bratt
Haula - Hughes - Mercer
Sharangovich - Boqvist - Tatar
Wood - McLeod - Bastian
Foote - Zetterlund - Holtz
Siegenthaler - Hamilton
Graves - Severson
Okhotiuk - Smith
Bahl - Marino
For the Kraken, dailyfaceoff has their lines as
Bjorkstrand is certainly a familiar name for us Devils fans. I for one am glad he’s been relegated to only playing us twice a year. We’ll find out tonight if his anti-Devils magic still works out west.
Adam Larsson is also a familiar name, of course. He’s been a steady blueliner for the Kraken, the defensive counterpart to Dunn’s offensive game. That pair was recently +6 in the first period of a game against the Blackhawks. I’d say they’re doing pretty well.
What do you think about tonight’s matchup? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.