NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 OT SO Tot
New Jersey 2 0 1 0 0 3
Seattle 1 2 0 0 1 4
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 16, 2022
Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Washington  Attendance: 17,151

Devils, Kraken on mission to build momentum for 2022-23

New Jersey Devils at Seattle Kraken

  1. New Jersey is 2-1-0 on a five-game road trip and a victory at Climate Pledge Arena would clinch just its second winning road trip this season of at least three games. The Devils also are trying to sweep the season series from the Kraken after getting a pair of assists from defenseman Ryan Graves in a 4-2 home win over Seattle on Oct. 19.
  2. Jesper Bratt, who scored New Jersey's lone goal in a 3-1 loss at Colorado on Thursday, needs one point to reach the 200 mark for his career. He also needs five assists in his last eight games to become the first Devil to register 50 assists in a season since Taylor Hall in 2017-18.
  3. New Jersey has gone a season-high eight games without scoring a power-play goal (0-for-21) and has one power-play tally in its last 10 road contests (1-for-32). The last time the Devils went more than eight games without a power-play goal was a nine-game drought from Feb. 21-March 8, 2019.
  4. Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer is 4-0-0 in his career against New Jersey with a 1.75 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. Three of those starts came as a member of the Colorado Avalanche and one with the Washington Capitals.
  5. Former Devil Adam Larsson, the only member of the Kraken to play every game this season, scored his third goal in his last 11 contests on Tuesday but Seattle surrendered four third-period tallies in a 5-3 loss at Calgary.
  6. The Kraken have gone a season-high nine straight games without scoring a power-play goal (0-for-15), although they've had more than two power-play chances just once in that span. They're also 1-for-23 on the power play in their last nine home games.

While the first season for the Seattle Kraken is going similarly to many expansion teams before them, the New Jersey Devils are two weeks away from concluding a season they anticipated would unfold much differently.

Two teams playing out the string with an eye towards next season will get together Saturday night when the Kraken host the Devils.

Other than the Vegas Golden Knights making a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018 during their initial campaign, most first-year teams struggle -- and Seattle's showing as the NHL's 32nd team is on par with the 1992-93 Tampa Bay Lightning (53 points) but better than the 1992-93 Ottawa Senators (24 points) and 1991-92 San Jose Sharks (39).

Seattle (23-44-6, 52 points) is 6-7-0 over its past 13 games since a 1-9-2 skid from Feb. 14-March 10. The Kraken have done well against fellow non-contenders in this stretch, with wins over the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks.

Seattle is playing for the first time since getting swept in a home-and-home set with the Calgary Flames. The Kraken dropped a 4-1 decision to the Flames on April 9 and then absorbed a 5-3 loss Tuesday in Calgary, when they blew a two-goal lead by allowing four goals in the third period, including two on the power play.

Like many non-contending teams, the Kraken are getting a look at some recent signings from college. Matty Beniers tallied an assist in his NHL debut a day after signing with Seattle following his two-year career with Michigan.

"His hockey sense and his ability to know and understand what's around him on the ice showed to be excellent tonight," Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said of the second overall pick in last year's draft. "Most importantly, I thought he just really showed good poise throughout the entire day, on the ice, off the ice."

New Jersey (26-42-6, 58 points) was not necessarily projected to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2018, but it was expected to be closer in the race. Instead, the Devils own the third-worst point total in the Eastern Conference in a season that has been derailed by injuries to key players such as Jack Hughes.

Hughes scored 26 goals but has only appeared in 49 games due to a pair of injuries. He is out for the rest of season with a left knee injury after being checked by Oliver Wahlstrom of the New York Islanders on April 3. Hughes also missed over a month with a shoulder injury when he was checked by Seattle defenseman Jeremy Lauzon on Oct. 19.

New Jersey has gone 2-3-0 since Hughes was lost for the season and is 2-1-0 on a five-game road trip that ends with Monday's visit to the Golden Knights.

The Devils opened the trip with a dramatic 3-1-win last Saturday over the Dallas Stars and a 6-2 win over Arizona on Tuesday but dropped a 3-1 decision to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. Jesper Bratt scored midway through the third period -- but only after New Jersey trailed by three goals.

"We stepped up in the third period and we played harder," Bratt said. "When we play a fast-paced game and don't turn pucks over on the blue line and get them deep we create some scoring chances."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 15, 2022

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