The Kraken are in brand-new territory.
Not lengthy losing streaks; they’ve gotten used to that in their first season. But now losers of eight in a row, they’re in the midst of their longest streak of consecutive losses ever.
The last time the Kraken had a bad run was in November when they lost six in a row. They surged out of that with wins over Washington, Carolina and Florida. Faced with a similar challenge this week with road games against three good teams, it didn’t go their way.
Now they have a stretch of seven games at Climate Pledge Arena to try to snap out of it again before an east coast trip and the All-Star break. It’s later in the season this time though, and getting going doesn’t carry the same promise of chipping away back into contention.
Chris Driedger will get another chance in net on Saturday night after he made 25 saves against the Blues on Thursday night, in a loss where they surrendered a third-period lead.
“His performance is one part of it,” said Kraken coach Dave Hakstol following morning skate on Saturday. “And part of the thought process around the team around here, and we’re getting into a busy stretch. So we’ll need both guys.”
Driedger has an .896 save percentage in 10 games this season and has started consecutive games only one other time, when he won against Florida and Buffalo in late November before missing time with an injury.
Perhaps he can be a spark, but the Kraken also need to give him more goal support than just the single tally they scored against the Blues. The Kraken have scored more than three goals just twice since Dec. 11, and they lost both of those games.
Projected Kraken lines
Based on Thursday’s morning skate:
Marcus Johansson – Jared McCann – Jordan Eberle
Calle Jarnkrok – Yanni Gourde – Joonas Donskoi
Ryan Donato – Alexander Wennberg – Colin Blackwell
Riley Sheahan – Alexander True – Mason Appleton
Jeremy Lauzon – Mark Giordano
Adam Larsson – Vince Dunn
Carson Soucy – Jamie Oleksiak
- Driedger gets his second consecutive start after he played in St. Louis on Thursday night.
- Morgan Geekie remains out of the lineup with an upper-body injury. This will be his third consecutive game missed.
- Alexander True reenters the lineup for Max McCormick, who played in St. Louis and Dallas this week, based on the morning-skate line combinations.
Time/place: 7:00 p.m. PT, Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle
TV: ROOT Sports
Radio: KJR-AM (950)
About the Kings
This season: 19-13-5 (last game: 6-2 win vs. Pittsburgh)
Player to watch: Adrian Kempe
Notes: The Kings’ 96 goals against are the seventh fewest in the NHL. … Los Angeles has the eighth worst power play in the league at 16.8 percent. … The Kings’ penalty kill is also the seventh worst at 75.5 percent. … The Kings allow the eighth fewest shots on goal against per game at 29.7. … Kings defenseman Drew Doughty averages the ninth highest time on ice per game in the NHL at 25:08.