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Mar 23, 2024 8:06 pm

Kraken, Canadiens out to snap losing streaks

Ryker Evans

Say this for the Seattle Kraken: At least they’re consistent.

During a seven-game winless streak (0-5-2), the Kraken have failed to score in the opening two periods five times.

Yet they’ve trailed just 1-0 heading into the third in three of those games and have been in a scoreless tie twice.

So don’t expect an offensive explosion Sunday night when Seattle plays host to the Montreal Canadiens.

The Kraken (28-28-13, 69 points) return home after a two-game trip. They lost 3-1 at Vegas on Thursday as they allowed the go-ahead goal with 1:20 remaining.

In Seattle’s 2-1 overtime defeat Friday at Arizona, the Coyotes scored the tying goal with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker with 1:08 left in regulation, then got the winner on a breakaway.

“Bottom line, we were in a position, an excellent position, to win this hockey game and no question we worked hard to put ourselves in that position,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “That’s a game we should have been able to close out.”

The loss spoiled the first NHL goal for Kraken defenseman Ryker Evans and a strong performance from goaltender Joey Daccord, the former Arizona State standout who made 24 saves in his return to Tempe, Ariz.

Evans, a second-round pick in 2021, has filled in the past eight games for Vince Dunn (upper-body injury).

“Obviously, it took a little bit, but it’s good to get the first one out of the way,” said Evans, who has seven assists in 24 NHL games.

“That’s a big moment to get your first NHL goal,” Daccord said. “He’s a great kid and he loves hockey. Super dedicated. He works hard, and I’m really happy for him.”

The Canadiens (25-32-12, 62 points) have also struggled offensively of late, scoring no more than two goals during a four-game winless streak (0-2-2). Montreal has just one victory in its past seven games (1-4-2).

The Canadiens lost 4-1 at Vancouver on Thursday despite Juraj Slafkovsky scoring to extend his point streak to six games.

“We didn’t create enough offensively. They just kind of smothered us,” Montreal assistant coach Trevor Letowski said. “We didn’t get a lot of sustained offensive-zone shifts.

“We got a couple decent looks from the interior, but not nearly enough to score goals and win. We didn’t have a lot of answers offensively, but our guys played hard, we competed, but just couldn’t generate enough.”

The Canadiens went 0-for-3 on the power play for the fourth consecutive game.

“If we score on the power play, it’s a different game,” Slafkovsky said. “Today it didn’t go in, but I still feel our power play is pretty good and we’re just learning, and we’ll get it done next time.”

Despite trailing just 3-1 entering the third, the Canadiens managed just three shots on goal in the period.

“We struggled to really generate a lot of (offensive-zone) time,” Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson said. “I think we’d spent way too much time in our (defensive) zone the first two periods and we were a little gassed by the time the third period came around to make a push.

“We have to go back and learn from it and figure out how we can break that pressure better earlier in the game.”

–Field Level Media

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