The Kraken have seen the Edmonton Oilers before. It didn’t go too well.
That was Nov. 1, a 5-2 Oilers win in Edmonton, Alberta, that was the second game of a back-to-back set.
The Oilers have been one of the NHL’s best teams this season, but they meet a different Kraken team on Friday night at Climate Pledge Arena. Seattle is playing well, going 4-1-1 in its past six games.
“We know their group well,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “They’ve been as consistent of a team as there has been in the league this year in all different phases.”
The Oilers, led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, have one of the league’s most dangerous offenses. Since the Nov. 1 game, the Kraken have improved drastically at defending the rush and around the net in general.
Edmonton will challenge that progress Friday night.
“Everybody points to them offensively, and rightfully so with the firepower and ability that they have and the depth that they have,” Hakstol said. “But they’ve also been hard to play against defensively. … It’s going to be a big task, and a great challenge for our guys tonight.”
The Kraken have fared well recently despite the losses of injured forwards Jordan Eberle, Jaden Schwartz and Calle Jarnkrok. But Edmonton is a tougher foe than their previous two opponents, Buffalo and Detroit.
Then again, the Kraken have also had a lot of success against strong teams, with wins against Washington, Carolina and Florida in the past two weeks.
“Nobody cares if you have injuries,” Hakstol said. “There’s two points on the line tonight. We have an opportunity to come home in our building, so we have to play really well against a good team.”
Projected Kraken lines
Based on Wednesday’s game in Detroit:
Ryan Donato-Yanni Gourde-Joonas Donskoi
Marcus Johansson-Alex Wennberg-Mason Appleton
Brandon Tanev-Morgan Geekie-Jared McCann
Colin Blackwell-Riley Sheahan-Kole Lind
Jamie Oleksiak-Haydn Fleury
Carson Soucy-Vince Dunn
Jeremy Lauzon-Adam Larsson
- Goalie Philipp Grubauer will start his second consecutive contest and face the Oilers for the first time this season.
- Based on morning skate special-teams units, Fleury and Soucy seem likely to play.
- Jarnkrok skated, but Hakstol said he is day to day.
- Eberle skated in red before the team, but he and Schwartz remain out and are day to day.
Time/place: 7 p.m., Climate Pledge Arena.
TV: ROOT Sports.
Radio: KJR-AM (950).
About the Oilers
This season: 16-5-0 (last game: 5-2 win over Pittsburgh).
Player to watch: Connor McDavid.
Notes: The Oilers’ 82 goals rank fourth in the NHL. … Edmonton’s 35.9 percent on the power play is the best in the league. … The Oilers’ 97.1 percent on the penalty kill is fourth-best. … Edmonton scores 3.81 goals per game, third-best.