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Seattle Kraken at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread

The Kraken have found success in their second season

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Seattle Kraken Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Kraken at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME# 28

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, ROOT-NW, ESPN+

Opponent SBNation Site: Davy Jones Locker Room

DraftKings Odds: Lightning -1.5 O/U 6.5


Last season the Seattle Kraken didn’t pick up their 16th win until February 11th as they struggled through their inaugural season (as all expansion teams should). This year, they’ve turned things around by improving pretty much all aspects of their game. They’ve also gotten decent (not spectacular) goaltending out of Martin Jones and Phillip Grubauer.

Grubauer struggled as the starter last season as he posted an .889 SV%, 3.16 GAA, and -26.4 Goals Saved Above Average. With Chris Driedger recovering from knee surgery, Martin Jones was brought in as a veteran back-up. He’s done a little more than that. Grubauer missed some time with injury and Jones took over as the starter.

Jones enters the day with a 2.91 GAA, .890 SV%, and 13 wins in 19 starts. He is stopping pucks slightly below expectations as he’s posted a -3.63 GSAx, but has made enough key saves for a pesky Kraken offense to bail him out.

The Kraken currently sit in the second spot in the Pacific Division with 35 points, 7 behind the Vegas Golden Knights. They’re currently 6th in the NHL in scoring as they average 3.56 goals per game despite a middle of the pack power play (they are 12th). Teams have been scoring on them as they are allowing 3.15 goals per game, and they are struggling to kill penalties (69.7% success rate).

Their best line has been led by rookie Matty Beniers with Jared McCannn and Jordan Eberle on the wings. The trio has combined for 12 goals together at even strength and is one of the top scoring lines in the league. With that line as a solid scoring threat, coach Dave Hakstol is able to drop Yanni Gourde down onto the third line in a shutdown role with Ryan Donato and thorn-in-the-Lightning’s side Oliver Bjorkstrand (13 points in 18 career games against the Bolts).

As for the Bolts, expect them to keep trucking along. They’ve had back-to-back solid games with wins against the Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators. The defense has been better, they’re getting scoring from more than one line, and Andrei Vasilevskiy is looking like Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Vlad Namestnikov is questionable for the game as he missed another practice on Monday. He’s been rested between games over the last couple of games (the team has called them “maintenance days”) but chances are he’s dealing with some small lingering injuries. If he can’t go, and Rudolphs Balcers is still out, Coach Cooper may choose to go with an 11/7 line-up.

Comparison chart:

Seattle Kraken at Tampa Bay Lightning comparison

Game #28 Tampa Bay Lightning Seattle Kraken
Game #28 Tampa Bay Lightning Seattle Kraken
Overall Record 17-9-1 16-8-3
Home Record 10-4-1 7-6-2
Road Record 7-5-0 9-2-1
Goals For 95 96
Goals Against 82 85
xGF 93.91 79.95
xGA 85.73 74.81
PP% 27.7% 23.9%
PK% 79.6% 69.7%
Stats from NHL and Natural Stat Trick

Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Steven Stamkos - Nick Paul - Alex Killorn

Ross Colton - Anthony Cirelli - Pat Maroon

Vlad Namestnikov (?) - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Nick Perbix

Ian Cole - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Cal Foote


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

The lines are based on practice on Monday. Vlad Namestnikov was not on the ice, but he’s missed the last few practices and still suited up for the games.

Seattle Kraken Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Jaden Schwartz - Alex Wennberg - Andre Burakovsky

Jared McCann - Matty Beniers - Jordan Eberle

Ryan Donato - Yanni Gourde - Oliver Bjorkstrand

Daniel Sprong - Morgan Geekie - Brandon Tanev

Defense Pairings

Vince Dunn - Adam Larsson

Carson Soucy - Justin Schultz

Cale Fleury - William Borgen


Martin Jones

Philipp Grubauer

The Kraken lines are based on their last game against the Florida Panthers.