What a night for the Seattle Kraken hosting the LA Kings at Climate Pledge Arena. One team trying to take the next step to a first ever playoff birth, the other trying to sneak into the top spot in the NHL’s Western Conference or at least in the Pacific Division.
With the Kraken looking for the four-game season series sweep, Seattle and Los Angeles didn’t disappoint,. The pace was fast and the physicality intense from the get go, all while being tight checking.
Martin Jones picked up his second straight start in net for the home club; Pheonix Copley (that is how he spells it) got the nod for the visitors.
Seattle iced the same line-up they utilized in the 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.
— The highlight effort of the first period came with the lone power play opportunity. It belonged to Seattle when Kings forward Blake Lizotte went off for slashing at 10:11. Just as impressive as the Kraken offensive zone time was the LA penalty kill’s ability to prevent high quality shots.
— And with that, 0-0 after one. Shots were even 6-6. The best scoring chance for Los Angeles came when Seattle forward Oliver Bjorkstrand’s stick shattered on an outlet pass inside his own zone and a brief 2-on-1 chance ensued for LA. Seattle backcheckers ruined the opportunity that came with a few minutes remaining in the period.
— In a game this tight, if it’s not a glaring mistake, it’s often a lucky bounce or two that makes the difference. That was the case when Kings defenseman Sean Durzi gave LA a 1-0 lead at the 11:45 mark. Alex Iafallo’s shot from the high slot was blocked by the stick of Jared McCann, the deflection ended up with Durzi next to the left post. He tucked it home with no chance for the unsuspecting Martin Jones. Durzi had fallen down along the end boards on the forecheck and just happened to be in the right place at the right time upon recovering.
— With the 1-0 lead, the Kings consistently sank into their 1-3-1 trap alignment in the neutral zone, inviting the Kraken to try and work their way up the ice. Shots were 14-14 after two periods.
Kraken Goal Scorers:
2-1 Kings – Power Play – Oliver Bjorkstrand (18) from Daniel Sprong and Justin Schultz, 18:25
Bjorkstrand capitalized on a scramble in the slot off a carom off the post in behind Copley.
— The Kings added an empty netter from Kevin Fiala.
— The Kraken outshot the Kings 26-19. Power plays: Los Angeles 0-for-1, Seattle 1-for-2.
— Seattle hosts the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night.