2024 NHL Winter Classic score: Kraken shut out Golden Knights at T-Mobile Park for fifth straight win

The Seattle Kraken took control of the 2024 Winter Classic just minutes into the game and never relinquished that hold. Sparked by a balanced scoring effort and a spectacular performance from goaltender Joey Daccord, the Kraken dominated the Vegas Golden Knights, 3-0, on Monday.

With the win, the Kraken extended their point streak to nine straight games and their winning streak to five games.

Daccord was the story throughout this episode of the Winter Classic as he stopped all 35 shots he faced. It was the second career shutout for the veteran goaltender, who recorded his first career shutout on December 12 in a 4-0 victory over the Florida Panthers.

The Kraken opened the scoring just 4:50 into the first period. Star defenseman Vince Dunn fired a shot from the point and forward Eeli Tolvanen beautifully redirected the puck past Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson.

It was the sixth point in the last four games for Dunn, who also leads Seattle with 31 points.

Just 2:19 into the second period, Kraken defenseman Will Borgen completely uncorked a shot to give the Kraken a 2-0 lead. Thompson made an early save, but the puck ricocheted to the top of the faceoff circle. Borgen was in the right place at the right time and didn't miss a scorching slap shot.

Borgen's goal was his first of the season.

The Golden Knights made a huge mistake early in the third period that put the contest out of reach. Kraken forward Yanni Gourde managed to lift Paul Cotter's stick in the Golden Knights zone and take the puck back from Cotter. Gourde's initial shot was stopped by Thompson, but he was able to score on his own rebound.

Joey Daccord shines in front of the net

Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord absolutely thrived throughout the 2024 Winter Classic. Daccord stopped 35 shots to help the Kraken secure the victory. It was the second shutout of his career. Daccord's shutout was the first in the history of the Winter Classic, which began in 2004.

Daccord has only played in 19 games over his previous four seasons, but he has already played in 22 games (19 starts) during the 2023-24 campaign. Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer is currently dealing with a lower body injury and has missed the last two weeks. As a result, Daccord rose to the occasion and won each of his last four starts. In his last 11 games, Daccord posted a 6-2-3 record, a 1.55 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage. Daccord's exceptional play is a big reason why the Kraken are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now.

Vince Dunn's elite play continues to pace Kraken

Clearly, Joey Daccord was one of the main reasons the Kraken came away victorious in Monday's Winter Classic. However, defender Vince Dunn also played an important role in the team's success.

Dunn recorded an assist and saw 22:44 of ice time in the 3-0 win. The veteran defenseman did a great job throwing the puck on net, resulting in a deflection goal from Eeli Tolvanen in the first period. Yet it may not have been his most important contribution of the afternoon. In the first period, the Golden Knights looked poised to produce their best scoring chance of the game up to that point. Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson had a two-on-one opportunity with Jonathan Marchessault, and he tried to slide the puck to Marchessault. However, Dunn deflected the puck with his stick, and so the Golden Knights were unable to create a scoring chance.

Dunn is currently on a four-game point streak and has two goals and four assists during that streak. The star defenseman now has 31 points (six goals and 25 assists) this season, which ranks him sixth among all NHL defensemen. Dunn continues to be a defensive anchor for the Kraken, while also being a force on the offensive end of the ice.

Golden Knights' struggles continue

These are two teams going in very opposite directions. The Kraken are now on a five-game winning streak after Monday's victory. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights have lost six of their last eight games, and they've definitely had their share of struggles.

The Golden Knights certainly had plenty of chances against Joey Daccord throughout the Winter Classic, but just couldn't put the puck in the net. Star center Jack Eichel recorded five shots this afternoon, but none got past Daccord. Perhaps the most egregious shot came late in the third period when Chandler Stephenson completed a cross-ice pass to a wide-open Eichel, but Daccord came up with a breathtaking glove save. A few shots from Eichel could have come into play if not for a few spectacular saves from Daccord.

The Golden Knights are averaging 2.75 goals per game over their last eight games. If you take a six-goal performance against the Ottawa Senators and a four-goal outing against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas has averaged just 2.0 goals per game over those other six games. There's probably no reason to panic for the Golden Knights as they're tied for third for the most points (49) in the entire NHL. Still, the tough stretch is a bit alarming, and Vegas will need to step up its scoring efforts to be a top seed when the playoffs arrive.

Source link

Leave a Comment