NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Kraken vs. Senators (March 10)
Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ottawa Senators leftwing Tim Stutzle (18) is congratulated by teammates after scoring
- The Senators begin a stretch of home games with their first ever meeting with the Kraken.
- While Ottawa has had its troubles this year, Seattle has struggled to get things going in its inaugural season.
- Our analyst breaks down the matchup, plus her prediction and pick, below.
Kraken vs. Senators Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
They’re both a long way from a playoff spot, but there’s reason for hockey bettors to pay attention when the Ottawa Senators and Seattle Kraken face off for the first time in history on Thursday night.
The Senators are back home after a five-game trip that took them nearly all the way across the southern U.S., while the Kraken are winless so far on a five-game eastern trip of their own.
Here’s the latest on both teams, and where the value lies on Thursday.
Seattle Kraken Crumbling
No matter how you slice it, things haven’t gone as planned during Seattle’s inaugural season. The Kraken sit one point out of the Western Conference basement. They’re 28 points out of a playoff spot, with 23 games left to play. And their goal differential of minus-61 is third-worst in the league.
The Kraken can find some points of pride in their advanced stats, especially on the defensive side. Their Corsi Against per 60 is seventh-best in the league and their expected goals against per 60 is third-best. But when your team also ranks second-worst in expected goals for and is tied for fourth-worst in actual goals against per game, you’re not going to land in the win column on very many nights.
Seattle is 1-8-1 in its last 10 games and 10-17-3 on the road this season. Thursday’s game in Ottawa will be the fourth in a five-game road trip that has already seen the Kraken lose in regulation in Washington, Carolina and Toronto.
After getting top-line forwards Jaden Schwartz and Jared McCann back from injury last week, the Kraken are relatively healthy. And while they managed four goals against the defensively challenged Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, there hasn’t been a significant offensive uptick as their lineup has rounded back into form. Only forwards Brandon Tanev and Karson Kuhlman remain on the sidelines, both with long-term issues. But Seattle is averaging just 2.38 goals per game since the All-Star break, almost level with its season-long average of 2.36.
Despite his wildly disappointing performance in net this season, 2021 Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer continues to roll as Seattle’s No. 1 netminder. He’s now at 12-25-5 for the season, with an .887 save percentage. Backup Chris Driedger has delivered similar results, so it doesn’t matter much which keeper coach Dave Hakstol chooses to tap on Thursday night.
Ottawa Senators Starting Home Stretch
Over in Ottawa, the Senators haven’t lived up to general manager Pierre Dorion’s preseason declaration that their rebuild is over. The Sens are 26 points out of a playoff spot in the East.
But they’ve been getting some good goaltending of late, particularly from Anton Forsberg. He’s now at 9.8 goals saved above expected for the year, sandwiched between Connor Hellebuyck and Jacob Markstrom in the rankings.
Forsberg’s goalie partner Matt Murray is now back on injured reserve. But up front, a recently depleted forward group is getting healthier, with Josh Norris and Colin White now back in the lineup.
The Sens are coming off a solid 4-1 win over St. Louis on Tuesday, which ended a five-game losing streak. It also wrapped up a long and winding five-game road trip that started with games against the Florida teams before heading west to Arizona and Vegas, then back to the Midwest.
Thursday’s game against Seattle opens a five-game Ottawa homestead where all opponents will be non-playoff teams.
The Senators’ power play has also been impressively sharp of late — 4-for-6 in their last three games, including a 2-for-2 performance in St. Louis. Tim Stutzle is the hot hand, with points on all four of those goals and six points in total in his last three games. Norris and White have also been chipping in.
Kraken vs. Senators Pick
This may be a game between two of the NHL’s bottom feeders, but Ottawa should be able to dispatch Seattle with relative ease at home. The Senators offense is back to generating some goals, particularly on the man advantage, while the penalty kill is another weak spot for the Kraken, tied for third-worst in the league. The Maple Leafs went 3-for-6 with the man advantage in their 6-4 win over Seattle on Thursday.
Ottawa is also getting good goaltending right now. That should make it even tougher for the offensively-challenged Kraken to score enough goals to win.
Back the home team in this matchup. For a little extra juice, consider taking Ottawa to get the win within 60 minutes at plus money.
Pick: Senators in regulation +130 | Bet to: +110