Predators Nyquist, Tatar Kraken

Kraken Game Day 66; Wild Card Team Vs. The Distant Pursuer

Kraken Game Facts

Saturday Night: Nashville Predators at Seattle Kraken

Where: Climate Pledge Arena

When: 7 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Root Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Expected starting goalies: Juuse Saros vs. Philipp Grubauer

The Predators come in on a hot streak, without a loss in regulation in their last 13 games (11-0-and-2). They sit in the top wild card playoff spot in the Western Conference. They have a seven point cushion on the Minnesota Wild, their closest pursuer of the teams presently not in the playoffs.

“Smashville” has the same number of losses as Seattle, 25, but has eight fewer OT/shoot-out losses and ten more wins.

The Kraken will have to go 13-and-4 over their final 17 games to have a chance at the playoffs.

The franchise can start giving prospects the opportunity to play with the big club.

D-man Vince Dunn has missed four games and forward Jaden Schwartz three, both with upper body injuries.

The game features forwards Gustav Nyquist of the Predators vs. Tomas Tatar of the Kraken (both pictured), who at one point were the heir apparents to Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk in Detroit. There was a lot of pressure on the young players to continue the postseason tradition in Motown, one that eventually puttered out after 25 consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Tatar, a 2nd-round NHL Draft pick in 2009, moved on from the Red Wings after six seasons; Nyquist, a 4th-rounder in 2008, after eight.

Who’s Hot? And Not?

Nashville captain Roman Josi has 23 points over his last 18 games from the blueline. He’s a point-a-game player vs Seattle in five games played. (6 in 5)

Nyquist has seven points over his last five games and 15 over his last 10.

Saros is 8-0-and-2 in his last 10 starts.

Forward Anthony Beauvillier is pointless in three games with Nashville since being acquired from Chicago. He went without a point in his final ten games with the Blackhawks.

Kraken 2nd leading scorer (47 points) Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the lone goal for his team on Thursday night and has seven points, five of them goals, over his last eight games. He’s a point-a-game player in his last seven against Nashville.

Ex-Predator Eeli Tolvanen, picked up off waivers by the Kraken in December, 2022, has two goals over four games against his former team, including the game winner last March 23rd.

Seattle forward Andre Burakovsky has just four points in his last 16 games dating back to January 26th. His turnover, after holding on to the puck too long, led to Washington’s game winning goal in the 3rd period on Thursday night. It’s been a tough season for him, having missed a substantial number of games to injury for the second straight year and with his production down in general.

Special Teams

The Pred’s went 0-for-3 on the power play on Wednesday night in Winnipeg while allowing the Jets to go 1-for-3. The Capitals are a little below average on the PP at 19.9 while the penalty kill is well below at 76.6% on the season.

Nashville is an impressive 5-for-16 on the power play in the month of March.

The Kraken went 1-for-3 on the power play against the Capitals on Thursday night while Washington went 1-for-4.

Seattle’s special teams have hovered around the same percentages for a month. The PP works successfully 21% of the time while the PK is a bit below average at 79%.

Coming In:

Predators: 38-25-and-4, in 4th place in the Central Division with 80 points. Nashville beat the Jets 4-2 in Winnipeg on Wednesday night.

Kraken: 28-25-and-12, in 6th place in the Pacific Division with 68 points, nine points back of a Western Conference wild card spot. Seattle lost to the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Thursday night.

Recent Kraken:

— Golden Knights Come Back To Beat Kraken In OT, 5-4

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.
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