Kraken look to stay red-hot vs. scuffling Ducks

Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol wasn’t into any big-picture declarations after his second-place Kraken defeated Pacific Division-leading Vegas on Friday night, even if it was his team’s first-ever win against the Golden Knights in five tries.

“We needed two points,” Hakstol said. “We’re not looking for a measuring stick. We’re playing the game. We’re playing to win games. They’re an important two points on the road.”

The second-year Kraken are 6-1-1 on the road entering Sunday’s game at Anaheim.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Kraken, who improved to 9-1-1 in their past 11 games.

Andre Burakovsky, who scored twice against Vegas, called it a “huge win.”

“They’re ahead of us (in the Pacific Division). We want to chase them down,” Burakovsky said. “It was an important game. We lost last time against them (5-2 on Oct. 15), so we were hungry for the win. It was good to get it done. Obviously, it’s always nice to help the team get on the board.”

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer celebrated his 31st birthday by making 20 saves. It was Grubauer’s first appearance since suffering a lower-body injury Oct. 21.

“Obviously a little bit rusty (in the early going),” Grubauer said. “The guys have been playing unbelievable. They made it really easy for me. Once you make a couple (saves), it seems like everything settles down a little bit. It is just amazing to watch from back there, how everybody is contributing and doing the right thing. There are no selfish plays.”

When asked about winning on his birthday, Grubauer joked, “Besides my dog, the two points are the best birthday gift I’ve received.”

The Ducks, who got their first regulation victory of the season Wednesday as John Gibson made 41 saves in a 3-2 decision against the New York Rangers, couldn’t follow that up.

They suffered a 5-1 defeat Friday against visiting Ottawa, which scored three power-play goals and went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.

“The lesson there is that we have a young team,” Anaheim defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “We have a lot of guys in here who are starting to realize how hard it is to win in this league.”

Max Jones scored the lone goal for Anaheim, which has lost four of its past five games.

“Penalties were kind of everywhere,” Jones said. “Ruins the flow of the game. There were a lot of them. It’s hard to stick in it through those games like that. I think that’s something we’ve got to figure out moving forward. … All around, just kind of a mess.”

The Ducks yielded eight power plays.

“We certainly don’t want to be going to the box the way our penalty kill has been going this year,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “I thought Ottawa did a great job at drawing penalties a certain way. Every team in the league is the same. You don’t want to take a penalty unless you’re going to save a goal.”

Ducks defenseman John Klingberg was scratched with a lower-body injury Friday and is considered day-to-day.

This will be the second meeting of the season between the teams. The host Ducks rallied for a 5-4 overtime victory Oct. 12 in their season opener, with Troy Terry scoring twice, including the winner.

–Field Level Media

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