Blues Thomas, Kraken Eberle

Kraken Game Day 48: Early Battle For Playoff Spot

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: St. Louis Blues at Seattle Kraken

Where: Climate Pledge Arena

When: 7 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Root Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Expected starting goalies: Jordan Binnington vs. Joey Daccord

The St. Louis Blues have one more point than the Seattle Kraken and have played one less game. St. Louis is three points back of the second and final Western Conference wild card spot while Seattle is four points back.

The Blues have won three consecutive games, including the first two on this three-game western road trip. This is their third game in four nights after beating the Flames on Tuesday and the Canucks (OT) on Wednesday by identical 4-3 scores. Prior to leaving home, they shut-out the Washington Capitals 3-0 on Saturday.

Since the start of last season the Kraken are 2-0-and-2 against the Blues. In their lone match-up this season, back on October 14th in Seattle’s third game of the campaign, St. Louis won 2-1 at home in a shoot-out.

St. Louis might be without 31-year-old defenseman Justin Faulk, who’s day-to-day with a lower body injury. Scott Perunovich has been filling in. Winger Kasperi Kapanen is apparently out four weeks with a high ankle sprain.

For the Kraken, center Matty Beniers could return to the line-up on Friday while fellow pivot Pierre-Edouard Bellemare remains out.

The Blues power play is 5th worst in the NHL.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

Robert Thomas (pictured) has run away with his team’s point lead. The center has 49 for the Blues, 15 more than winger Pavel Buchnevich. Thomas had two assists on Wednesday night and has five points over the last three games.

Brayden Schenn scored the overtime game winner in Vancouver and is averaging a point-a-game over his last five. Brandon Saad had two goals on Tuesday in Calgary while defenseman Nick Leddy tallied three assists against the Flames.

Forward Kevin Hayes has just two points over his last 13 games.

For the Kraken, Oliver Bjorkstrand is averaging a point-a-game in his last ten against St. Louis.

Jordan Eberle, Jared McCann, Tomas Tatar and D-man Justin Schultz all had multi-point games against the Blackhawks two nights ago.

Blueliner Vince Dunn has a seven-game home point streak dating back to mid-December.

Rookie forward Tye Kartye has just four points over his last 16 games.

Special Teams

The Blues and the Canucks both went 1-for-3 on the power play in their match-up two nights ago. St. Louis ranks 27th in the NHL on the man advantage, clicking just 14.2% of the time. Their penalty kill is rated 22nd at 78.2%.

In their last game the Kraken went 0-for-3 on the PP against the Blackhawks while the PK gave up one goal on three Chicago opportunities. The Seattle power play and penalty kill are ranked 18th and 19th in the league respectively, at 20.5% and 79.4%.

Coming In:

Blues: 24-20-and-2, in 3rd place in the Central Division, after their 4-3 overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.

Kraken: 20-18-and-9, in 5th place in the Pacific Division, following their 6-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

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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.