Kraken Schwartz, Capitals Ovechkin

Game Day 41: Kraken Face Midway Point, Rock The Red Capitals

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: Seattle Kraken at Washington Capitals

Where: Capital One Arena

When: 4 pm pacific

TV/Radio: ROOT Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Starting goalies: Joey Daccord vs. Darcy Kuemper

Daccord has won six straight games and is now top five in NHL goals against average and save percentage for the season.

The Kraken presently own a seven game win streak while going unbeaten in regulation in eleven matches. Their last flat out loss was 3-0 at home to the Minnesota Wild on December 10th.

Veteran winger Jaden Schwartz returned to the line-up last game after missing 17 due to injury and posted a goal and an assist. That leaves Kailer Yamamoto and Devon Shore as extra forwards.

Seattle went with their six veteran defensemen in the win over the Sabres on Tuesday, although rookie Ryker Evans is on the trip. For now the Kraken are carrying a full 23-man roster on the six-game journey.

Like Seattle, Washington is right in the meat of a wild card race, theirs being in the Eastern Conference as opposed to the west. They’re one point out of a playoff spot with games in hand on the teams they’re pursuing.

Everett native, 37-year-old winger T.J. Oshie, is expected back tonight from a lower body injury after missing 11 straight games. Right defenseman Rasmus Sandin should also return after missing a couple of games due to illness.

Spencer Carbery is in his first year as head coach of Washington.

Seattle is 2-and-2 all-time against the Capitals, with both losses coming on the road.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

D-man Vince Dunn keeps rolling along as the Kraken’s leading scorer. He scored his eighth goal of the season against the Sabres and has nine points over his last six games.

NHL All-Star Oliver Bjorkstrand had an assist in Buffalo and now has nine points over his last ten games.

Yanni Gourde has scored a single goal in each of the last three Seattle games. Eeli Tolvanen tallied two assists two nights ago and has five points over his last three games.

The ‘Great 8’ Alex Ovechkin has six points, two of them goals, over his last five games. It’s been a slower year than usual for “Ovie” with just eight goals on the season, although he does lead the Capitals in scoring with 26 points.

Dylan Strome is the team leader in the goal scoring department with 15.

4th-liner Nicolas Aube-Kubel had a goal and two assists against LA in Washington’s last game. Forward Nic Down and D-man John Carlson each had a goal and an assist.

Veteran center Evgeny Kuznetsov is more “off”, than “Koozy”. A healthy scratch along the way, he has just two points over his last 14 games, part of that a ten-game pointless streak.

Special Teams

The Kraken went 1-for-1 on the power play against Buffalo on Tuesday, while also going 1-for-1 against the Sabres on the penalty kill.

The basic benchmark for a decent power play is 20% while for a penalty kill it’s 80%. The Kraken have now eclipsed both of those numbers on the season. The PP is at 20.9% and the PK at 80.7%.

The Capitals power play is abysmal at 14.2% on the season, while the penalty kill is a subpar 78.6%. They managed to win on Sunday despite giving up two PP goals to the Kings.

Coming In:

Kraken: 17-14-and-9 following their 5-2 win at the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

Capitals: 19-13-and-6 after Sunday’s 4-3 home victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Recent Kraken:

— Kraken NHL Wednesday: Streaky Seattle, ‘Jonesy’ Again

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

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.