Seattle Kraken, Winter Classic

Kraken Game Day 38: Outdoors Against The Vegas Golden Knights

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: Vegas Golden Knights at Seattle Kraken

Where: T-Mobile Park

When: 12-noon pacific (with actual puck drop many minutes after)

TV/Radio: TNT / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Starting goalies: Logan Thompson vs. Joey Daccord

For all the excitement surrounding the Seattle Kraken playing in the NHL Winter Classic, for all of the pomp and circumstance and atmosphere, there’s still a regular season game to be played with an important two points on the line against the tied-for-1st-place Pacific Division Vegas Golden Knights.

The defending Stanley Cup champs are 5-and-5 over their last ten games and come in off a three day break. They’re in a neck-and-neck battle for first place in the division with the Vancouver Canucks.

Vegas is without talented defenseman Shea Theodore and goalie Adin Hill, both on injured reserve.

The Kraken have been one of the NHL’s hottest teams, having won four in a row while going unbeaten in regulation over their last eight. They’re 6-3-and-1 in their last ten games.

Andre Burakovsky returned to the line-up against the Flyers on Friday night, playing 14:33 with one shot on goal, while veteran forward Jaden Schwartz isn’t quite ready and will miss his 14th consecutive game with a lower body injury.

4th-line center Pierre-Edourard Bellemare remains on injured reserve, as does goalie Philipp Grubauer. Both were on hand Sunday to watch practice and get into the Winter Classic team photo.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

Mark Stone has a six game point streak for Vegas and 12 points over his last eight games.

Center Jack Eichel leads the Golden Knights with 40 points. He potted a goal his club’s last match.

For the Kraken, Oliver Bjorkstrand played in his 500th NHL game on Friday night and picked up two assists. He’s second on the Kraken with 29 points.

D-man Vince Dunn, the club’s leading scorer with 30 points, has five points over his last three games.

Special Teams

The Golden Knights didn’t see a power play opportunity against a disciplined Kings team four nights ago and remained at 22.4% on the season. Vegas’s penalty kill handled both LA PP chances and improved a bit to 81.5% on the season. Both are very solid numbers.

The Kraken had an eventful evening on special teams against the Flyers, going 1-for-2 on the power play while giving up a shorthanded goal. They killed off all three of Philly’s man advantages.

Overall, the Kraken improved to 20.9% on the PP for the season, 15th best in the NHL, and 79.6% on the penalty kill, 17th best in the league.

Coming In:

Golden Knights: 22-10-and-5 after Thursday night’s 3-2 win at home over the Los Angeles Kings.

Kraken: 14-14-and-9 following their 2-1 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.

Recent Kraken:

— Kraken Send D-man Ryker Evans To The American League

— Video: Seattle Kraken special teams practice at T-Mobile Park …

Power play work at T-Mobile Park.

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.