The Colorado Avalanche and Seattle Kraken square off Monday night in Game 4 of their first round NHL playoff series. The puck drops at 10:00 p.m.ET at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle where the Avalanche are listed at -150 moneyline favorites. The Kraken are priced +130 and the total is 6.
Colorado Avalanche (53-25-4-3, 2-1, #3 seed)
Colorado took a 2-1 series lead thanks to Saturday’s 6-4 victory. Mikko Rantanen scored twice in the third period during a three-point performance to lead the defending Stanley Cup Champions:
Mikko Rantanen chips in his first of the playoffs 🚨 #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/1M2BWU3QxW
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) April 19, 2023
Nathan MacKinnon also scored twice:
Nathan MacKinnon’s burst is something to behold pic.twitter.com/94AbTqhCIt
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) April 23, 2023
Cale Makar also had a goal and an assist. Goalie Alexandar Georgiev made 25 saves including a beauty on a Kraken breakaway:
Oh my Alexandar Georgiev with the awesome save on the kraken 3 on 1 chance, this series rocks pic.twitter.com/VTPMLUMQ2s
— Alex Micheletti (@AlexMicheletti) April 21, 2023
The Avalanche won 31 of their final 42 games, finishing with franchise-record 29 road wins. They’ve won 12 straight away from the Mile High city and their last road loss came on March 4.
Seattle Kraken (47-30-4-4, 1-2, #7 seed)
Jaden Schwartz scored twice for Seattle, which was playing its first home playoff game in 104 years. His early score was one for the record books:
Congrats to Jaden Schwartz on the first home playoff goal in #seakraken franchise history, 1-0 Seattle, tips in the Justin Schultz shot, Badger to Tiger pic.twitter.com/izv0Ix8AXi
— Alex Micheletti (@AlexMicheletti) April 23, 2023
Jamie Oleksiak and Matty Beniers also tallied for the Kraken while goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 28 shots against his former team. Here’s Grubauer in the final seconds of the Kraken’s Game 1 victory:
All love for Philipp Grubauer following that performance. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/t19LFSyhvw
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 19, 2023
Grubauer is sixth in the NHL postseason with a .917 save percentage, stopping 100 of 109 shots.
It’s not a huge surprise that the Kraken would lose at home. Colorado has been red hot on the road and the Seattle lacks a true home ice advantage skating to a pedestrian 20-19-4 mark at CPA.
Game 4 Notes
Colorado says Valeri Nichushkin remains out of the lineup due to “personal reasons”. Nichushkin had 47 points in 53 regular-season games, and he scored Colorado’s game-tying goal in a 3-2 win in Game 2 of the first-round series. He’s signed with the Avalanche on an eight-year contract through 2029-30, with a $6.125 million average annual value.
Offense needs to step up for Kraken
Seattle was the fourth highest scoring team in the league this year and they’ll need to step up in Game 4.
Since winning Game 1 of this Stanley Cup playoffs series then stunning Colorado with a 2-0 lead early in Game 2 Thursday in Denver, the Kraken have been outscored 9-4.
It might not be the ultimate “must win” scenario but Seattle doesn’t want to go down 3-1. Especially with the series moving back to Denver for Game 5.