It’s an interconference matchup on the ice in the Buckeye State as the newest team to hit the ice takes on a recent expansion club of their own. The Seattle Kraken are on the road as they make the trip to face the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night. Seattle comes in off the first victory in franchise history as they edged Nashville 4-3 on the road Thursday night. Columbus rolled to a one-sided 8-2 victory over Arizona at home Thursday night in their series opener. Seeing that the Kraken are playing their third contest in franchise history, this marks the first time that the two teams have taken the ice against each other.
Seattle Kraken Look to Build Off First Win in Franchise HistorySeattle, after rallying from a three-goal deficit to tie the game before falling to Vegas in the first game in franchise history, continued a road swing to open their inaugural campaign. The Kraken got their offense going and had enough success in their own end of the ice to come up with the first road win in team history. Now, Seattle looks to build on that victory as they look to make it two straight victories by prevailing here. They’ll have their work cut out for them against a Columbus team that piled up plenty of offense in their season opening contest. Will the Kraken be able to make it back-to-back victories?
Against Nashville, Seattle started strong and managed to hold off Nashville down the stretch to earn the victory. The Kraken outshot the Predators 12-4 in the opening period and took a 2-1 lead to the dressing room at the first intermission. After falling behind 1-0, Jared McCann tied the game with his second of the season, on the power play, at 15:27 off assists from Mark Giordano and Jordan Eberle. Later in the period, Brandon Tanev scored his first of the year, on the power play, at 17:33, off assists from Joonas Donskoi and Alex Wennberg to give the Kraken the lead. In the second period, the shots were even at 13 and the goals were even at one, leaving Seattle up 3-2 after 40 minutes of play. After Nashville tied the game, Wennberg scored his first of the year at 9:54 off an assist from Alex Barre-Boulet to give the Kraken the lead again. In the third period, Seattle was outshot 13-1 but the goals were even at one, giving Seattle the win. Tanev scored his second of the game and the season into an empty net at 18:39 off assists from Mason Appleton and McCann to make it 4-2. The Kraken gave up a goal in the final minute but hung on for the win. Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves for Seattle, who was outshot 30-26, in the victory. He’s expected to be in goal again for this contest.
Columbus Blue Jackets Try to Build Off Offensive BonanzaColumbus had a rough offseason, with the lowlight being the death of Matiss Kivlenieks on July 4 when he was struck by a mortar shell in the chest from a firework. That case remains under investigation. On the ice, the Blue Jackets honored their fallen goaltender as well as anyone could by bombing Arizona at home. The Blue Jackets played with plenty of emotion and, while that will be tough to replicate over the course of 82 games, it at least paid dividends for one night. Will the Blue Jackets earn a home victory and remain unbeaten here or will they be upended after emptying their emotional tank in the opener?
Against Arizona, the Blue Jackets scored early and often en route to the one-sided victory over the Coyotes Thursday night. The opening period saw Columbus outshot by an 11-10 margin but they skated off with a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes of action. Alexandre Texier gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead just 40 seconds into the game with his first of the year off assists from Vladislav Gavrikov and Max Domi. Oliver Bjorkstrand made it a 2-0 game with his first of the season, on the power play, at 14:05 off assists from Zach Werenski and Jakub Voracek. In the second period, the Blue Jackets were outshot 13-9 but outscored Arizona 3-1 to take a 5-1 advantage after two periods. Boone Jenner made it 3-0 with his first of the year at the 35-second mark off an assist from Domi. After Arizona made it a 3-1 game, Bjorkstrand scored his second of the game at 11:10 off assists from Jack Roslovic and Gavrikov to restore the three-goal advantage. Jake Bean made it 5-1 with his first of the year at 14:16 off assists from Patrik Laine and Voracek. In the third period, the Blue Jackets were outshot 14-7 but outscored the Coyotes 3-1 to roll to the victory. Werenski made it 6-1 with his first of the year, on the power play, at 4:33 off assists from Bjorkstrand and Laine. Domi made it 7-1 with his first of the season at 8:48 off assists from Cole Sillinger and Andrew Peeke. After Arizona got on the board again, Gustav Nyqvist closed the scoring with his first of the year at 18:36 off assists from Roslovic and Bjorkstrand. Elvis Merzlikins made 36 saves for the Blue Jackets, who were outshot 38-26, in the victory. He’ll be back in goal for this contest.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
While Columbus rode the wave of emotion to a one-sided victory in the opening game of the season, one has to wonder if they have anything left or if that was a purging of a lot of bottled-up emotion. The Blue Jackets were just tied for 28th in goals per game last season as they averaged 2.39 goals per contest. Columbus is at home here but Seattle is gaining momentum as they have a couple games under their belt at his point in time. The Kraken won’t be intimidated by the Blue Jackets or being in a hostile environment after playing in Vegas and Nashville already. Look for Seattle to maintain their composure and come up with the victory in this contest.
Full-Game Total Pick
Seattle has been involved in a couple of higher than expected scoring contests to start their franchise history. Each of the Kraken’s two games have seen seven goals on the board, with both of those contests winding up over the number. As for Columbus, we saw a total of 10 goals on the board in their season opening game. That was well over the mark as well. It also marked a stark contrast to last season, when the Blue Jackets were 11-9-8 at home with a -7 goal differential. The Blue Jackets saw an average total of 6.18 goals per game on home ice last season compared to a 5.68 goal per game average overall. We won’t see double-digit goals on the board here but this one still ends up over the total.