NHL: Road-warrior Devils pay visit to Kraken


The Seattle Kraken might want to find a neutral site for Thursday night’s game against New Jersey.

Because the Devils have been nearly unbeatable on the road.

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New Jersey has won the first four games of its five-game trip that concludes at Climate Pledge Arena and improved to 18-2-1 in away games with a 4-3 shootout victory on Monday at San Jose after Jack Hughes scored with 10 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score.

“I can’t explain it,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said earlier in the week. “You know, we’re finding ways to win, and I think that every team, every coach knows you’re going to have to win games in different ways. … I think our game, our detail to our game has been better on the road. We’ve managed the puck better on the road. I think sometimes at home there’s a tendency to be a little bit more flashy, and some of our puck play has hurt us.”

The Devils were playing their third game in four nights in San Jose, and it showed. Still, they rallied for their 14th comeback victory of the season — tying Tampa Bay for the league lead.

“It was an awful way to win, but that’s what good teams do,” said Devils forward Tomas Tatar, who was the lone player to convert in the shootout. “Obviously, we had to overcome the fatigue.”

Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist, and Ondrej Palat had an assist for the Devils, who have won five straight overall and seven in a row on the road. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 29 saves.

“It wasn’t the prettiest win, but at the end, all that matters (is) we came out (of) here with two points,” Hischier said.

The Kraken have the league’s second-most wins away from home at 16-5-2 despite a 5-2 loss Tuesday at Edmonton.

It was Seattle’s second straight loss following a franchise-record, eight-game winning streak.

“We had a good run, we let two games slide. We have to go back home and get back to work,” said Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn, whose goal Tuesday extended his team-record point streak to eight games (five goals, seven assists).

The Kraken set an NHL record by becoming the first team to sweep a seven-game trip with an 8-5 victory Saturday at Chicago before returning home for a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay in a Monday matinee. That loss dropped their record to 10-9-2 at home.

Still, the Kraken can match their victory total from their expansion season by beating the Devils.

“Our roster is significantly different,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “But the guys that were part of it last year carry a lot of pride. We went through some pretty hard stretches last year, but to a certain degree it really fueled guys coming back in. So that sticks with you.

“And when you start day one of training camp with a really competitive group, that has an opportunity then to build into the group that we have now.”

–Field Level Media

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