Kraken clinch 1st-ever postseason berth
For the first time in franchise history, the Seattle Kraken are heading to the playoffs.
The Kraken booked their ticket to the postseason with a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night, giving them 96 points on the season.
Jared McCann started things off with his 38th goal of the year and added two assists for the Kraken. Jordan Eberle also had a goal and a pair of assists, while rookie Matty Beniers chipped in a goal and assist. Vince Dunn rounded out the scoring for Seattle with his 14th tally of the season. Philipp Grubauer stopped 27 shots to earn the win.
“You've got to win to get in the playoffs,” McCann said, according to the Seattle Times' Geoff Baker. "We had the opportunity to do that tonight and we did it. We rose to the occasion."
Making the playoffs caps a remarkable turnaround for the second-year franchise after Seattle finished 27-49-6 in its inaugural season. That was good enough for 60 points and last place in the Pacific Division.
"You look at the leap that we've made and it’s special," Eberle said, per Baker. "We've got a special group in here."
The Kraken become the seventh Western Conference team to clinch a postseason berth this season, leaving only one up for grabs. The Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames are currently tied for the last spot with 89 points, while the Predators sit one point back. The Jets and Predators each have one game in hand on Calgary.
By making the playoffs in their second season, the Kraken follow in the footsteps of the expansion franchise that preceded them, the Vegas Golden Knights. Vegas managed to not only make the playoffs in its first season but went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Washington Capitals. The Golden Knights made the playoffs in each of their first four seasons before missing out for the first time last year.
The Kraken have four games remaining in the regular season, concluding their schedule with a pair of contests against Vegas.
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