Seattle Kraken vs. Vegas Golden Knights Pick & Prediction MARCH 12th 2024

That the Seattle Kraken are chasing a Western Conference wild-card bid after an up-and-down season is no surprise.

The team they are chasing is.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights are currently hanging on to the West’s second and final wild-card berth entering their Tuesday night game in Seattle.

The Kraken are eight points behind Vegas with a game in hand.

The Golden Knights snapped a four-game skid with a 5-3 victory Saturday against the visiting Detroit Red Wings. Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault netted his third hat trick of the season — including the go-ahead goal with 2:44 remaining.

“I’m pretty proud of our group, just the resilience we had,” Marchessault said. “We were a little sensitive in the past few weeks, getting down where we’re down one goal, two goals. We played good overall and a good 60 minutes.”

Added Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy: “It was a bit more of our identity. Putting people on their heels. We have the personnel to do that and you have to have the mindset to want to do that and it’s up to me to keep pushing for that.

“I liked the way we won. Forecheck was good. We were getting inside. We were creating chances by going to the net. We had good discipline for the most part. We did a lot of things well and got the win as a result of that. Playing the right way and getting the win and dealing with some adversity, you’re checking a lot of boxes that we hadn’t checked in a while.”

Reinforcements are on the way for the Golden Knights as general manager Kelly McCrimmon was busy before last Friday’s NHL trade deadline. Vegas acquired forward Tomas Hertl from the San Jose Sharks, defenseman Noah Hanifin from the Calgary Flames and forward Anthony Mantha from the Washington Capitals.

“We wanted to help our team,” McCrimmon said. “Our recent play hasn’t been good enough.”

The Kraken’s lone moves before the deadline were to ship center Alex Wennberg to the New York Rangers for draft picks and to sign forward Jordan Eberle to a two-year contract extension.

The latter seemed to show the players that management has faith in the current roster.

Yet it didn’t help Friday night, as Seattle had a two-game winning streak snapped with a 3-0 loss to the visiting Winnipeg Jets.

“It’s a great feeling if you believe in this group,” Seattle forward Tomas Tatar said, “and hopefully we can pay that price back. Today was the first start. It wasn’t really how we pictured it. But we know what we have to do to get in. It’s just one game, so we need to put it behind us. The next game is huge and it will be against the team we need to catch.”

Added Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord: “It’s tough, but we’ve got to bounce right back. We’ve got a lot of big games coming up, especially next week — we’ve got some huge games.”

Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn, who quarterbacks the team’s top power-play unit, has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury sustained on March 4 in Calgary. His status for the game against the Golden Knights had yet to be announced.

–Field Level Media

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