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Kraken look for another positive result in rematch with Flyers

Feb 14, 2023; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Seattle Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) stops a shot by Winnipeg Jets left wing Kyle Connor (81) in the shoot out at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Kraken won just once on their five-game, post-All-Star break trip, a 4-3 victory on Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

They will try for the same result when the teams meet again Thursday night in Seattle.

The Kraken went 1-3-1 on the trip, though they did register points in the final two games, against the Flyers and in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

Jared McCann scored his team-leading 25th goal against the Jets, and goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 38 saves.

“(Tuesday was) a hard-fought road game for us,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “That’s a good team, a lot of respect for the ability and the way they play. Disappointed not to get two (points), but that’s a real important road point for us.”

Against Philadelphia, Jaden Schwartz scored twice and Jordan Eberle added a goal and an assist.

Schwartz returned to the lineup during the trip after missing a month with an undisclosed injury, but the Kraken lost one of their leading point producers, Andre Burakovsky, to a lower-body injury.

“I’ve had some practices and a few games under my belt,” Schwartz said. “When you’re out, you can do as much as you can in the gym and on the ice, but nothing feels the same as it does when you’re actually in a game.”

Seattle rookie Matty Beniers also returned during the trip after a concussion caused him to miss the All-Star Game.

“It definitely stinks, but you can’t really control that,” he said. “You get a concussion, and that’s one of those things where you need to make sure you’re OK and be extra safe.”

Beniers, who is pointless in his past 10 games, argued the Kraken haven’t been as bad as their recent record.

“I think it’s awesome we can establish what’s going wrong, what we’re not doing well. Put it into action and fix it,” Beniers said. “A strength of our team has been that we’re able to bounce back from losing games.

“I don’t think we were playing poorly (after the All-Star break). I thought we were playing pretty well. It’s just finding those pieces that put us over the edge and won us games before. We got that back (against Philadelphia and Winnipeg).”

Philadelphia has been idle since the Sunday loss to Seattle in which Owen Tippett had a goal and an assist.

Flyers coach John Tortorella blamed the defeat not on a lack of intensity but a lack of speed.

“I just thought they were quicker,” Tortorella said. “I thought they were quicker thinking. After the first few minutes of that first period, we were a step behind all night.”

The Flyers are 1-2-1 this month after a strong January (8-4-2) put them back in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference.

“To me, when you’re playing meaningful games at this time of year, it’s exciting,” Tortorella said. “We’re gonna find out about some people when we start playing these games here, in the checking part of it, because teams are going to ramp that up and it’s going to be really interesting to see how guys react.”

–Field Level Media

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