Friday night could be historic for the Kraken.
A win over the St. Louis Blues at Climate Pledge Arena would be the Kraken’s third in a row, a franchise first. They’ve won two in a row a few times, this week against the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks.
Monday’s shootout win against Chicago ended a nine-game losing streak, and the tide seems to have turned for the Kraken, at least a little.
“We’ve got a new challenge (Friday) against a real good hockey team that’s going to be rested,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said after Thursday’s win. “Let’s take that challenge on (Friday). And you know, we’re going to have to be more complete. And we’re going to make sure we have to be a little better starting (Friday).”
The Kraken have played five back-to-back sets already this season and have 15 during their first NHL season, tied for the second-most. They are 1-4 in the second games of those sets, the lone victory coming at Florida on Nov. 27.
“Throughout the NHL, there’s likely a few more (back-to-back sets) for everybody this year with the initial Olympic (schedule) that was in place for us,” Hakstol said after Friday’s morning skate. “We’ve still got quite a few to go as we go down the stretch.
“The first thing is simplicity and competitiveness, on the back-to-back, being able to come in and make sure you get to start on time. And as I said, play a simple, hard straight-up hockey game.”
Hakstol also discussed last week’s Kraken’s penalty issues in the second period of their game at St. Louis, the second game of a back-to-back set they lost 2-1.
Some of those issues reappeared during the third period Thursday against the Sharks, but they survived and won 3-2.
Projected Kraken lines
Based on Thursday’s game vs. the Sharks:
Marcus Johansson-Jared McCann-Jordan Eberle
Calle Jarnkrok-Yanni Gourde-Alexander Wennberg
Karson Kuhlman-Morgan Geekie-Joonas Donskoi
Ryan Donato-Riley Sheahan-Mason Appleton
Will Borgen-Mark Giordano
Adam Larsson-Vince Dunn
Carson Soucy-Jeremy Lauzon
- Joey Daccord will get his third start of the season in goal and his first since Nov. 1 at Edmonton.
- Hakstol wouldn’t comment on any other potential lineup changes.
- There was no update on defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, who has been out since Wednesday because of a non-COVID illness.
Time/place: 7 p.m., Climate Pledge Arena.
TV: ROOT Sports.
Radio: KJR-AM (950).
About the Blues
This season: 23-11-5 (last game: 5-2 win over Nashville)
Player to watch: Jordan Kyrou
Notes: Pavel Buchnevich, who scored the game-winner vs. the Kraken last week in St. Louis, is back from COVID protocol. … St. Louis is tied for the NHL’s best power play at 29.5 percent. … The Blues’ penalty kill is sixth-best in the NHL at 84.3 percent. … The Blues have won 11 games by three goals or more, tied for the third-most in the league. … Blues defenseman Colton Parayko has 86 blocked shots, seventh-most of any NHL player.