|7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET23:00 BRT, April 27, 2022
Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Washington Attendance: 17,151
Playoff-bound Kings seek to keep Kraken reeling
Los Angeles Kings at Seattle Kraken
- The Kings and Kraken have met three times, with the Kings winning the first two games (3-1 on January 15, 4-2 on March 26) and Seattle taking the most recent game (6-1 on March 28 in Los Angeles). The Kraken's five-goal margin of victory in their last game versus the Kings is their largest in any game in their brief history.
- The Kings lost, 9-3, at Colorado on April 13, but they've won their four games since then by scores of 2-1, 2-1, 4-1 and 4-2. This is the Kings' longest winning streak since they won five games in a row from Feb. 18-26.
- Anze Kopitar's two assists against Anaheim on Saturday were the 700th and 701st assists of his NHL/Kings career. Kopitar is tied with Evgeni Malkin for sixth in assists by active NHL players, behind Joe Thornton (1109), Sidney Crosby (892), Patrick Kane (750), Nicklas Backstrom (747) and Ryan Getzlaf (737).
- Jonathan Quick was pulled from his start at Colorado on April 13 after allowing three goals in the first 10:15, but he's 4-0-0 with only five goals allowed in four starts since then (1.25 GAA, .944 save percentage).
- Seattle has won its last three home games, beating New Jersey, Ottawa and Colorado. This is the second three-game home winning streak for the Kraken. They also won three straight games at Climate Pledge Arena from November 21 through December 3.
- Jordan Eberle scored his 20th goal of the season in Seattle's loss at Vancouver last night. This is the seventh season with 20 or more goals for Eberle (five for Edmonton, one each for the Islanders and Seattle), who has had goal droughts of 22 and 11 games this season.
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The Los Angeles Kings are playoff-bound for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
The Kings (43-27-10, 96 points) punched their postseason ticket Tuesday night when Dallas defeated Vegas in a seven-round shootout. With that, Los Angeles was assured of finishing in third place in the Pacific Division.
The Kings, who will meet Edmonton in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs, still have two regular-season games remaining, starting with Wednesday's contest in Seattle.
"You work so hard all year to get to the point that we're in, you give everything for six, seven months and to be on the cusp of what you first strived out for at the beginning of the year is to just get in," Kings forward Blake Lizotte said after Monday's practice. "Yeah, I think it's really exciting to have that come to fruition, that we do have a reality to make the playoffs."
That reality set in Tuesday night.
Coach Todd McLellan has stressed to the Kings players that they should "worry about your own work."
"When we look back on the season, and we'll do that when it's over, we'll evaluate from Day 1 through, we'll look at practices, evolution, ups, downs, strengths, weaknesses," McLellan said. "Right now, we're not really doing that, we're living in the moment and trying to better what we have. I think there's a difference between the two."
The Kings, who have won four consecutive games, have had three days off since a 4-2 victory against visiting Anaheim on Saturday.
That allowed the Kings a rare stretch of practice time.
"We're sharpening up our whole game, the way the schedule has been rolled out for us, we haven't had many opportunities to practice like that, maybe once in the last three weeks," McLellan said. "Good or bad, I don't know, we'll find out. Our three-day break comes with two games left, a lot of teams had it last week or the week before, so we have to take advantage of that."
The expansion Kraken (26-47-6, 58 points) played Tuesday night in Vancouver, suffering a 5-2 defeat -- their third in a row.
The Canucks, who were still in playoff contention when the game started, bolted to a 3-0 lead in the opening 15:05, outshooting Seattle 12-1 in the process.
"It was very uncharacteristic of us," said Kraken forward Jared McCann, whose team had taken 2-0 leads in each of the previous two games. "Obviously, they're a good team and we've been playing pretty well as of late. We're just going to try to move past this one."
Seattle had chances, but it scored just went 1-for-8 on the power play.
The Kraken, who had been outscored 8-0 in the second period of the previous two defeats, pulled within 3-2 going into the third before allowing two late goals.
"After the start that we had, sometimes you wonder if we can get going -- get the legs going -- but we did," Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. "And by far, we had enough chances to get back even."
Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn missed Tuesday's game with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 27, 2022