Rangers Panarin, Kraken Bjorkstrand

Kraken Game 44: Dinged Up Seattle Looks To Start New Streak In NYC

Kraken Game Facts

Today: Seattle Kraken at New York Rangers

Where: Madison Square Garden

When: 4 pm pacific

TV/Radio: ROOT Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Expected starting goalies: Chris Driedger vs. Igor Shesterkin.

Will Driedger actually play or will Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol come back with Joey Daccord for an eighth straight start? Logic would suggest Driedger, who made 37 saves and won his lone start of the season on December 27th in Calgary,

We were surprised Driedger didn’t start in Pittsburgh, setting up Daccord to play at Madison Square Garden following a personal day off as opposed to going in back-to-back games.

The Kraken had their nine-game win streak and 13-game regulation unbeaten streak snapped on Monday afternoon in Pittsburgh. Goalie Tristan Jarry pitched the 3-0 shut-out for the Penguins.

The Kraken appear a bit dinged up or ill. Both Andre Burakovsky and Matty Beniers left Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Burakovsky early, Beniers late. The previous is a mystery while the latter took a huge hit along the boards in the 2nd period from Cole Sillinger, prompting a retaliatory fight by Kraken D-man Vince Dunn.

Beniers has been placed on injured reserve. John Hayden was called up from Coachella Valley.

Dunn then missed Monday’s game without explanation before his D-partner Adam Larsson left the game in progress.

We brought up the flu-bug suggestion.

The Rangers ended a four-game skid with a 2-1 victory over Washington on Sunday in what was the 2nd half of a home-and-home, back-to-back. The Blueshirts lost the Saturday game to the Capitals in DC 3-2.

Veteran bottom-six forward Tyler Pitlick could be back from injured reserve while top-6 center Filip Chytil remains there.

Shesterkin starts about 2/3rds of New York’s games. Former two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Los Angeles Kings Jonathan Quick is the back-up.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

No one was hot in Pittsburgh for the Kraken; they were mostly sick or listless.

We’ll see if Kraken leading scorer Vince Dunn (35 points) is back in the line-up. He has ten points over his last eight games.

Finnish winger Eeli Tolvanen had a five-game point streak snapped against the Penguins. He tallied seven points during the stretch.

NHL All-Star Oliver Bjorkstrand is averaging a point-a-game over his last 13.

Winger Artemi Panarin has points in eleven of his last twelve games for the Rangers, a stretch that has seen him put up 16 points. He’s 5th in NHL scoring with 59 points.

Center Vince Trocheck has 13 points over his last eight games.

Top line center Mika Zibanejad has just two points over his last six games while his winger and former 2nd-overall NHL Draft choice (2019) Kaapo Kakko tallied just three points in twenty games before missing 21 with a leg injury. He returned to the line-up and was pointless on Sunday.

Special Teams

The Kraken went 0-for-2 on the power play on Monday in Pittsburgh and slipped to 20.8% on the season. Seattle killed both Penguins chances, putting the PK at 80.8% on the season.

The Rangers went 0-for-5 on the power play at home on Sunday while holding the Capitals to an 0-for-2 game. New York still has a devastating PP at 28.2% on the season, 2nd best in the NHL. The PK works at a very solid 83.9% efficiency rate.

Coming In:

Kraken: 19-15-and-9 following their 3-0 loss at the hands of the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Monday afternoon. The Kraken are in 5th place in the Pacific Division with 47 points.

Rangers: 27-13-and-2 after beating the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Sunday. Despite the recent four-game skid, the Broadway Blueshirts are on top of the Metropolitan Division with 56 points.

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.