SUNRISE, Fla — The Kraken have seen this situation before.
They’re hoping it doesn’t play out the same way.
After winning two games in a row in what were their best-played contests of the season, the Kraken were shut out for the first time all year with a 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Friday night.
With another game on Saturday, they don’t have too much time to dwell; their next foe, the Panthers, haven’t lost on home ice all season.
“They are a team that transitions and attacks as well as anybody in the league,” said Kraken coach Dave Hakstol. “So, two things have to happen. One, we have to have good, solid structure, and we have to be moving in groups of five. Those are two things that are going to be very important.”
The last time the Kraken dropped a game after a quick win streak they ended up losing six games in a row. After the loss in Tampa, Hakstol was insistent those things are unrelated.
But it’s true the Kraken haven’t mastered the art of momentum yet, and are now in a difficult spot to try to reclaim it in the midst of a four-game east-coast swing.
“If you try to defend this team all night long, it’s going to be a very long night,” said Hakstol. “So we’ve got to do a good job being able to come up with the puck and limit some of their O-zone time, which as a group they’re pretty efficient at creating a lot of O-zone time for themselves.”
That’s what burnt the Kraken in Tampa. The Panthers are a similar team; to avoid another long night, Seattle needs a stronger start.
On the second night of a rough back-to-back, that’s a lot easier said than done.
Projected Kraken lines
Based on Saturday’s game in Tampa Bay:
Marcus Johansson-Alexander Wennberg-Jordan Eberle
Brandon Tanev-Morgan Geekie-Jared McCan
Mason Appleton-Yanni Gourde-Jaden Schwartz
Ryan Donato-Colin Blackwell-Joonas Donskoi
Jamie Oleksiak-Haydn Fleury
Carson Soucy-Vince Dunn
Jeremy Lauzon-Adam Larsson
- Chris Driedger will start in net against the Panthers, the team from which the Kraken selected him in the expansion draft.
- Kraken captain Mark Giordano is still in COVID-19 protocol after missing Friday’s game in Tampa Bay.
- Hakstol said there would be a “couple” of lineup changes but said he wouldn’t speak to them in the morning.
- Riley Sheahan was added to the Kraken roster early Saturday from AHL Charlotte.
Time/place: 3 p.m. PT, FLA Live Arena.
TV: ROOT Sports.
Radio: KJR-AM (950).
About the Panthers
This season: 14-3-3 (last game: 4-3 loss to Washington).
Player to watch: Jonathan Huberdeau.
Notes: The Panthers are 11-0-0 at home this season and one win away from breaking the NHL record for home wins in a row to start a season. … Last year’s Selke winner, Aleksander Barkov, is injured and out of the lineup for the Panthers. … Like the Kraken, the Panthers are coming off of a loss in the first game of a back-to-back. … Florida’s 76 goals scored are the most in the NHL this season.