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Seattle Kraken clinch Stanley Cup playoffs spot

It's time to unleash the Kraken in the postseason.

SEATTLE — It's time to unleash the Kraken in the playoffs.

The Seattle Kraken clinched a spot in the 2023 National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs with a 4-2 win on Thursday night over the Arizona Coyotes, completing an impressive one-year turnaround. 

The Kraken has won 44 games this season -  the most wins by a second-year NHL team since the Original Six era, which ended in 1968. It's a big turnaround for Seattle, which was 27-49-6 in its first season and finished last in the Pacific Division. 

Led by Jared McCann (38 goals), Matty Beniers (23), Daniel Sprong (20) and Jaden Schwartz (20), the Kraken have formed one of the league's most prolific scoring units. Only three other NHL teams have scored more goals than the Kraken this season. It will be the team's proclivity for goals and top-to-bottom offensive depth that could push the Kraken to make a run in this year's postseason. 

McCann, who had two assists, scored his team-high 38th goal at 19:36 of the first period to put the Kraken ahead.

Vince Dunn followed that up with a goal 28 seconds into the second period. Jordan Eberle sneaked one past Vejmelka at 5:52 to make it 3-0.

Hayton scored Arizona’s first goal at the 12-minute mark of the second.

Beniers made it 4-1 at 16:09 of the third period with his 23rd goal of the season. Eberle had the second of his two assists on the goal.

Philipp Grubauer had 27 saves for Seattle, which won its third straight game.

Here are the other six teams in the Western Conference that have already clinched a playoff spot. There is still one wildcard spot up for grabs in the conference. The Kraken's first-round opponent has not been determined. 

  • Vegas Golden Knights
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Colorado Avalanche 
  • Dallas Stars
  • Minnesota Wild

The 2023 NHL playoffs will begin on April 17 and end in June. 


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