Kraken look to extend hot streak as Kings visit

Kraken look to extend hot streak as Kings visit

On the first day of the NHL’s free agency signing period this summer, the Seattle Kraken inked forward Andre Burakovsky, defenseman Justin Schultz and goaltender Martin Jones to contracts.It’s hard to imagine where the Kraken would be without that trio as they prepare to play host to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.Burakovsky leads the Kraken in scoring with 15 points through 17 games (four goals, 11 assists).Jones has been a workhorse since No. 1 goalie Philipp Grubauer got injured, going 8-4-2 with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage overall.Schultz has been a reliable second-pairing defender, and he scored twice, including the overtime winner, in Seattle’s 3-2 victory over the visiting New York Rangers on Thursday night.Those are three of the reasons the second-year Kraken enter Saturday just two points behind Los Angeles for second place in the Pacific Division with three games in hand. Seattle is 6-1-1 in its past eight games.”That’s a good (Rangers) team. … I’ve played them a lot the last few years, and (they have) like a lot of skill and our team did a good job all night battling through,” said Schultz, who spent the previous 6 1/2 seasons with Pittsburgh and Washington, two of New York’s Metropolitan Division rivals. “It wasn’t going our way and just finding a way to get two points. ‘Jonesy’ was huge again in net and is giving us a chance to win every night.”Kraken forward Jared McCann agreed regarding Jones’ impact.”Big saves. He’s been doing it all season for us,” McCann said. “We’re lucky to have him.”Jones, who has started 10 of the past 11 games, was quick to credit his teammates.”Really good job in front of the net,” Jones said. “I’ve been able to see pucks, (they’ve been) picking up sticks. There hasn’t really been a lot of screen and deflection goals.”Grubauer, who has been out since Oct. 21 due to a lower-body injury, was activated Friday.

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