Kraken Schwartz, Sabres Skinner

Kraken Game Day 40: Mystery Sabres, 23 Man SEA Roster?

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: Seattle Kraken at Buffalo Sabres

Where: KeyBank Center

When: 4 pm pacific

TV/Radio: ROOT Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Starting goalies: Joey Daccord vs. Devon Levi

Levi has been splitting the net this season with Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and the two have almost identical records.

The Kraken may be carrying the maximum 23-man active roster depending on the health of veteran winger Jaden Schwartz. It appears he’s a game day decision after missing 17 matches due to injury. He’s been practicing with the club for the past week.

If Schwartz is good to go, that leaves Seattle with Kailer Yamamoto and Devon Shore up front as extra forwards. Although he’s cleared waivers before, if and when the club waives Shore, he’s likely to get snapped up by an NHL club.

As expected, Ryker Evans was called up from Coachella Valley for this road trip and gives the Kraken seven D-men.

The Kraken tout a six-game win streak and a franchise record 10-game unbeaten streak. Goalie Daccord has moved up to 5th best in the NHL with his 2.29 goals against average and tied for 4th in the league with his .922 save percentage.

The Sabres haven’t made the playoffs since 2011, the longest drought in the NHL, and they haven’t won a playoff round since 2007. They’re presently in next-to-last place in the Atlantic Division with a sub-.500 record.

It’s been a long haul for one of the great hockey fan-bases in North America.

Buffalo is young in net and elsewhere, but recently have been missing three veteran forwards due to injury. 35-year-old Kyle Okposo is close to returning, as is Victor Olofsson (illness) and Jordan Greenway, notorious for being big, but not playing big.

The Kraken are 4-0 all-time against the Sabres.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

Kraken winger Jordan Eberle had two assists against the Senators. D-man Vince Dunn had a goal and an assist in the match and has eight points over his last five games.

After a lengthy goal drought, center Yanni Gourde has lit the lamp in back-to-back games. NHL All-Star Oliver Bjorkstrand has eight points over his last nine games.

A sophomore slump of sorts continues for center Matty Beniers. The reigning Calder Trophy winner as NHL rookie-of-the-year is pointless in his last five games, which came after a short streak of five points in three games, which came after a pointless streak of six games.

For Buffalo, veteran winger Jeff Skinner had a four point night against the Montreal Canadiens on January 4th and has six points over his last four games. Big Tage Thompson, a 47-goal, 47-assist man last season, has a similar streak going.

Center Casey Mittelstadt leads the club in scoring with 33 points.

Greenway is pointless in five.

Special Teams

The Sabres went 0-for-3 on the power play against the Penguins on Saturday, while the penalty kill relinquished one goal on five Pittsburgh PP chances. On the season, Buffalo ranks 28th in the NHL with the man advantage, a success rate of just 13.8%, while the PK works at just a 78.4% efficiency rate.

The Kraken went 0-for-2 on the power play against Ottawa five nights ago, while holding the Senators to an 0-for-4 PP effort.

Overall, the Kraken are at 20.2% on the man advantage for the season, while their penalty kill has steadily improved to 80.5% on the campaign.

Coming In:

Kraken: 16-14-and-9 following their 4-1 win at home over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Sabres: 17-19-and-4 after Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Recent Kraken:

Simmer’s Sunday 9: Kraken, Canucks, and The New Podcast

— Goalie Expert On Kraken’s Joey Daccord And Winning

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.