NHL: After woeful showing, Ducks draw Kraken again

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After tying the team record for fewest shots on goal in a game, the Anaheim Ducks get a chance to redeem themselves against the team that shut them down when they face the host Seattle Kraken on Thursday night.

It’s the second game of a two-game set in Seattle that began with the Kraken (29-29-13, 71 points) snapping an eight-game losing streak with a 4-0 win on Tuesday night. Joey Daccord needed to make just 12 saves to record his third career shutout.

The 12 shots on goal tied a team record for fewest in a game for Anaheim (24-44-4, 52 points), which has been done four times in team history. It also set a record for fewest shots allowed in a game for Seattle.

It was the ninth loss in the past 10 games for the Ducks (1-8-1), who have already been eliminated from the playoff race.

The atmospheres in the locker rooms were quite different afterward, as one might expect.

“That’s what winning does, right?” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said when asked about the improved mood in the Kraken locker room. “There’s only one way to get that feeling, and you have to do the work. You’ve got to grind through. I mean, it’s been a long haul here over the last seven to 10 days.”

Anaheim coach Greg Cronin said, “They kicked the (crap) out of us — simple as that. They wanted the puck more, they outskated us, and they won all the puck battles. We stood around and watched. It was completely unacceptable.”

Eeli Tolvanen and Matty Beniers each had a goal and two assists for Seattle, which outshot the Ducks 13-4 in the first period while building a 2-0 lead on goals by Tolvanen and Jordan Eberle. The Kraken extended the lead to 4-0 in the second period on a power-play goal by Oliver Bjorkstrand and another by Beniers.

Seattle had a 27-9 edge in shots on goal after the first two periods.

“I felt we were just flat to start,” Anaheim forward Troy Terry told NHL.com. “Someone told me that they hadn’t won a game in a while. You could tell that they were just hungrier than we were, and it’s unacceptable to start a game like that.

“Whatever the reasons were, I thought they kind of jumped out early and kind of dictated the game, which led to us taking too many penalties because they had the puck. Once you kind of get in that cycle, it’s hard to break out of.”

There was some good news for the Ducks. Center Trevor Zegras, the team’s first-round pick in 2019 who had back-to-back 23-goal seasons in 2021-22 and 2022-23, returned to the lineup after missing 31 games with a broken ankle sustained Jan. 9 at Nashville.

Zegras, who has just four goals and seven points in 21 games this season, had two hits in 15:57 of ice time while playing on the third line with Isac Lundestrom and Brett Leason.

Seattle will try to win back-to-back games for the first time since March 4-5 when it won at Calgary (4-2) and Winnipeg (4-3). The Ducks and Kraken also play on April 5 in Anaheim to cap a stretch of three meetings in 11 days.

–Field Level Media

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