Lightning Kucherov, Kraken Schultz

Kraken Game Day 28: D-Man Scratched, Stamkos Sick

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: Tampa Bay Lightning at Seattle Kraken

Where: Climate Pledge Arena

When: 7 pm pacific

TV/Radio: ROOT Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Starting goalies: Andrei Vasilevskiy vs. Philipp Grubauer

The 2nd best power play in the NHL comes to town as the Lightning play their third game in four nights. It would behoove the Kraken to play a full sixty minutes and try to take advantage of a road weary club.

“The Big Cat” Vasilevskiy is starting to look like his old self after returning 20 games into the season following summertime surgery on his back. He’s been known to steal games.

Captain Steven Stamkos is under the weather and unlikely to play. He didn’t skate in the am. Fellow forward Conor Sheary is on the trip but not quite ready coming off an upper body injury.

The Kraken continue to shuffle men around in an attempt to find some magic and end a six-game skid. Andre Burakovsky is gone again, week to week upper body, after tallying an assist against New Jersey on Thursday.

Forward Marian Studenic was called up from Coachella Valley earlier today due to Burakovsky’s injury.

Ryker Evans will see his 2nd NHL game on the blueline and it looks like this time he will bump fellow-lefty Brian Dumoulin out of the line-up. Justin Schultz will hop back in after a night off and play on Evans’s right side.

It’s Indigenous Peoples Night at Climate Pledge Arena.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

The Bolts Nikita Kucherov is the man to watch. Number-86 leads the NHL in scoring with 44 points, 17 of them goals. Prior to going pointless against the Predators on Thursday, “Kooch” had seven points in his previous four games. On November 24th he had a six-point game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Yanni Gourde is always one to keep a close eye on for the Kraken, especially when playing against his old mates from the back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in Tampa. His former head coach Jon Cooper singled him during our morning conversation (see below).

Head-to-head, Kailer Yamamoto has four points in his last three games vs. Tampa Bay, that while playing with the Oilers, while Jared McCann has three points over his last three against the Lightning.

Special Teams

The Lightning have an outstanding power play, clicking 30.5% of the time, 2nd best in the NHL, although they went 0-for-4 two nights ago in Nashville. They also weren’t sterling on the penalty kill vs. the Predators, giving up two power play goals on three chances.

The Kraken went 0-for-2 against the Devils on Thursday night which put the season PP rate at 21.2%. The Seattle penalty kill held New Jersey (0-for-3) off the board, and the overall PK rate of effectiveness is gradually improving.

Seattle killed off all seven opposing power plays thus far on the homestand, bumping the overall percentage to 75.6%. Still not close to adequate.

In the head-to-head match-up in Tampa on October 19th, the Kraken went 2-for-3 on the man advantage while the Bolts went 1-for-2. Seattle won in OT 4-3.

Coming In:

Lightning: 12-11-and-5 after a 5-1 loss to the Nashville Predators two nights ago.

Kraken: 8-13-and-6 following their 2-1 defeat at the hands of the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

Game Day Kraken:

— A “Simmer’s Morning Skate” with two-time Stanley Cup champion Lightning head coach Jon Cooper …

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper on “Simmer’s Morning Skate”

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.