It’s not a home-and-home for the Seattle Kraken, it’s a home-then-home against the Dallas Stars. The Central Division leaders (83 points) will be battling to improve their playoff seeding with a visit to Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday night and then again on Monday.
As it stands Dallas is two points in front of the Minnesota Wild in the Central and in a tight battle for home ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs.
As you’ll hear from Piper Shaw of Root Sports NW just below, Stars netminder Jake Oettinger has been very good for Dallas. He’ll be at one end while Philipp Grubauer gets the nod again for the Kraken, his fifth straight start.
‘Grooby’ didn’t struggle as badly as we originally indicated after Thursday night’s 5-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators. Upon further review, the D-zone coverage was shaky, particularly early on when the Kraken fell behind 3-0 in the first period. He probably had one goal he’d like back, but Grooby held the fort and allowed his team to come from behind to take a 4-3 lead in the third period.
Ottawa tied it and won it on an “own goal”, when Seattle defenseman Will Borgen accidentally deflected the puck through Grubauer and into his own net.
That sounds like it could be the name of a pretty cool automobile race. Actually it means Seattle defenseman Jamie Oleksiak is playing in his 500th career NHL game tonight. Obviously not all of them with the 2nd-year Kraken, but he is up to game 131 with the sea creatures.
The 30-year-old “Big Rig”, a Toronto native, was drafted in the 1st-round of the NHL Draft by the Dallas Stars back in 2011 and played his first five-and-a-half seasons with the organization.
The lefty blueliner has shown excellent perseverance considering much of that time with Dallas was split between the big club and the AHL affiliate near Austin. After being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2017-’18 season, Oleksiak returned to Dallas midway through the following campaign where he played again up until the summer of 2021. That’s when the Kraken snagged him in the NHL expansion draft.
He has nine goals and nine assists in 58 games this season. Not only would it be cool if he nabbed goal number-10 against his former team on Saturday night, he would also become the 14th Kraken player to reach that mark this season. Oleksiak has 34 goals and 107 career NHL points.
— No line rushes at morning skate on Saturday. Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said Jordan Eberle would be a game time decision while it looks like Ryan Donato might cycle back in to replace Morgan Geekie.
Enjoy the Hockey Action!!