Fresh off back-to-back wins against opponents as challenging as they come, the Seattle Kraken are on a streak again. Their aim for their first three-game run will come with another challenge: the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, 4:00 p.m. (Coors Light Pregame Show, 3:30pm on 1090 KJR) at Amalie Arena.
The obvious “revenge game” lies with one of the top Kraken forwards: Yanni Gourde, who has 11 points in 15 games while sitting two points shy of 200 in his NHL career, will face his former Lightning teammates for the first time since he was taken in the expansion draft.
Gourde, who said the return is “special” and “weird,” spent five-plus seasons and 310 career NHL games in a Lightning sweater, earning 16 goals in 69 Stanley Cup Playoff games along witha signature shorthanded game-winner in Game 7 of last season’s Conference Final against the New York Islanders.
Philipp Grubauer will start his third straight game between the pipes, and he’s been stellar in two wins against early season contenders such as Washington and Carolina, looking more like the Vezina finalist from last year: 72 saves on 75 shots.
-No Calle Jarnkrok tonight, with head coach Dave Hakstol confirming Jarnkrok is not on the trip after leaving early on Wednesday night and still under evaluation.
-Ryan Donato will come back into the lineup after sitting as a healthy scratch
-The Kraken power play, all of a sudden trending as a strength after going 0’fer in 23 straight chances, has scored in five straight games, 7-of-19 in that span.
-Tampa Bay is missingNikita Kucherov and Brayden Point to injuries, projected to miss several weeks. Steven Stamkos, a six-time all-star center, leads Tampa Bay with 10 goals and 22 points.
-Grubauer’s career totals against Tampa: 4-0-1, .924 save percentage.