Seattle Kraken vs. Los Angeles Kings Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 16th 2023


Last season, the Seattle Kraken’s success came primarily because they could roll out four lines without much of a dip in production.

Entering their home matchup with the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, the Kraken have returned to that model in the past couple of games, which has led them to snap an eight-game winless streak (0-6-2) and outscore their opponents 11-1 in their past two wins.

The Kraken’s fourth line of Devin Shore, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Kailer Yamamoto combined for five goals and three assists and with a plus-11 rating the past two games, both at home, 4-0 over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday 7-1 over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

“Got us off to a great start again (Thursday) and continued to provide it throughout the night,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “That scoring that they’ve provided the last couple nights has been a big part of our success.”

Yamamoto, a native of Spokane, Wash., who signed with the Kraken as a free agent in the offseason, opened the scoring in both games.

“Big for the confidence and big for the team,” Yamamoto said. “I know we had a tough stretch there, but to get these last two was big for us.

“I think it just gives the guys energy up (on the) top (lines). You know, we’re not scoring every game, so it’s good to be able to contribute. I mean, I think it really helps the team out.”

It hasn’t been only the fourth line that’s been clicking.

Forward Oliver Bjorkstrand had a three-point night against Chicago (goal, two assists).

“It’s definitely nice (to score seven goals),” Bjorkstrand said. “I think it helps guys get going a little bit and feel a little bit more confident with the puck, so it’s never a bad thing. That said, we’ve got to keep going. And next game is a new game, and we start from the beginning.”

Defenseman Will Borgen has two assists in each of the past two games, and rookie blue-liner Ryker Evans has three assists and is a plus-4 over his first five NHL games.

“It’s nice to see some of that (offensive swagger),” Hakstol said. “It’s nice to see different guys get on the score sheet. That’s important to have different guys contributing.”

Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord, filling in for the injured Philipp Grubauer, stopped 45 of 46 shots over the past two games.

The Kings have lost three in a row, starting with a 3-2 overtime defeat on Dec. 9 against the New York Islanders that snapped their NHL record 11-game road winning streak to start the season.

Los Angeles lost 4-1 Sunday at the New York Rangers before returning home to take a 5-2 defeat to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.

“It’s been a while since we had a rough patch,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “You could look back to the beginning of the year where we played like this and gave up five goals a night or whatever it was, and we had to figure out ways to fix it. We’re capable of doing that, and we expect the group to respond to it.”

The Kings hope to get forward Arthur Kaliyev back after he didn’t play Wednesday due to flu-like symptoms.

–Field Level Media

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