Penguins Crosby, Kraken Dunn

Kraken Game Day 43: Seattle Streaks; Penguins Cool

Kraken Game Facts

Today: Seattle Kraken at Pittsburgh Penguins

Where: PPG Paints Arena

When: 10 am pacific

TV/Radio: ROOT Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Starting goalies: Joey Daccord vs. Tristan Jarry

Don’t be fooled by the Penguins being tied for 6th place in the Metropolitan Division. They’re only one point back of a wild card playoff position and they’re a plus-13 in goal differential. Come the end of the season, you’ll generally notice that plus-goal-differential teams make the playoffs, while minus-goal-differential teams don’t.

Daccord has personally won eight straight starts while back-up Chris Driedger made 37 saves and won his only start of the season, a 2-1 victory in Calgary against the Flames on December 27th. Apparently the latter will start Tuesday in New York City.

The Kraken presently own a franchise record nine-game win streak after extending their unbeaten-in-regulation run to 13 straight games.

After leaving Saturday’s game, winger Andrew Burakovsky is a question mark. He’s still on the Kraken’s active roster. Center Matty Beniers took a big hit in the game and left during the third period.

The injured reserve list presently contains 4th line center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, out with a lower body injury for the last nine games, and goalie Philipp Grubauer.

It’s a homecoming for Kraken D-men Brian Dumoulin and Justin Schultz, who both won two Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh (2016, 2017).

The Penguins are without wingers Matt Nieto and Reilly Smith while center Noel Acciari is a game day decision.

Pittsburgh is coming off back-to-back overtime losses to the Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

The list is long right now. Kraken leading scorer Vince Dunn (pictured)(35 points) picked up an assist in Columbus and has ten points over his last eight games. He came to the defense of Beniers last game and beat the crap out of Blue Jackets forward Cole Sillinger.

Finnish winger Eeli Tolvanen scored a goal against the Blue Jackets on five shots-on-goal. He added 3 hits in the game. He has seven points during his five-game point streak.

NHL All-Star Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal, two assists, and a whopping seven shots-on-goal on Saturday and has 13 points over his last dozen games.

Jared McCann ended a slow scoring stretch with a two goal/one assist night in Columbus. He played every forward position in the game and has seen quite a bit of time recently at center.

Dumoulin is coming off a three-point night.

Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby (pictured) has three points over his last two games and six over his last five.

Jake Guentzel, the club’s leading scorer with 46 points and the recent subject of trade rumors, has a three-game point streak.

D-man Erik Karlsson, the reigning Norris Trophy winner, has six points over the last five games.

Center Lars Eller is pointless in five of his last six.

Special Teams

The Kraken went 1-for-2 on the power play on Saturday in Columbus and improved to 21.2% on the season. Seattle gave up one PP goal on three Blue Jackets chances, putting the PK at 80.5% on the season.

The Penguins went 0-for-4 on the power play on Saturday in Carolina while holding the Hurricanes to an 0-for-3 night. Pittsburgh has a surprisingly poor record on the man advantage, just 13.4%. Their penalty kill improved to 82.4%

Coming In:

Kraken: 19-14-and-9 following their 7-4 win at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night. With their 47 points, Seattle sits tied for 4th place in the Pacific Division with the Edmonton Oilers, a team that’s won ten games in a row.

Penguins: 20-15-and-6 after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes two nights ago.

Recent Kraken:

— The Kraken, Schedule Strength And The Red Hot 5

— Kraken’s Gourde Sees Patience Rewarded, Symbolic Of Team Streak

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.