Los Angeles Kings vs. Seattle Kraken Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 20th 2023

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The Seattle Kraken salvaged a point with a late regulation goal in each of their last two games. But they’re hoping for a better overall result when they visit the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.

The Kraken scored with 2:29 left in the third period on Saturday night to tie the score against the visiting Kings, but they lost 3-2 in a shootout.

Two days later, in the opener of a four-game road trip, Seattle scored the tying goal with 22 seconds left against the Dallas Stars but ultimately lost 4-3 in overtime.

“We just have to take the positive from this game and play like that in the next one,” Seattle left wing Tomas Tatar said after scoring in the loss to the Stars, his first goal with the Kraken since he was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

Despite the back-to-back losses, the Kraken have earned at least a point in five of their last six games (2-1-3) and Seattle coach Dave Hakstol is pleased with their consistency over that span.

“We’ve been working,” he said. “We’ve been able to generate enough offense to put us in good spots, and we’re playing well defensively.”

Seattle forwards Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Jared McCann left the most recent game with lower-body injuries. Bellemare was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, while McCann appears doubtful against Los Angeles.

The Kraken already were without injured forwards Andre Burakovsky and Jaden Schwartz because of upper-body injuries.

The Kraken recalled forward Kole Lind from Coachella Valley of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.

Tatar said he feels comfortable skating on the top line with Jordan Eberle and Matty Beniers, who ended a nine-game scoring drought with a goal against Dallas.

“I think the three of us, we were closely supporting each other,” Tatar said of the trio. “We were winning battles and it was a lot of fun to play with those two.”

The Kings are coming off a 4-1 win at the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, so getting off to a good start against a potentially weary team will be key for Seattle.

The Kraken have won once in 12 times when trailing after the first period, while the Kings are 12-1-1 when leading after the opening frame.

“We just have to be confident and get the mindset that we have to start on time,” Kraken forward Eeli Tolvanen said.

Seattle will be up against a hot goalie in Cam Talbot, who backed up David Rittich against the Sharks on Tuesday night. Talbot has blended his superb season into December, going 3-1-1 in five starts with a 1.99 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

He beat the Kraken in his most recent outing on Saturday, making 16 saves in regulation and another in overtime and turning away 6 of 9 attempts to win the shootout.

Trevor Moore continues to be the biggest surprise for the Kings this season. He scored his 15th goal of the season on Tuesday night, bringing him within two of his NHL career high set in the 2021-22 season.

Kevin Fiala and Phillip Danault earned assists on the play, continuing their roles on the most productive line for the Kings.

“By being direct, we play better defensively as well,” Danault said. “It’s weird to say, but that’s how it is.”

–Field Level Media

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