WASHINGTON (AP) — Joey Daccord got his right pad on Connor McMichael’s shot to keep the puck out of the net, then kicked the leg out one more time to stop the rebound. Even almost surprised himself.
“That was pretty cool,” Daccord said. “It’s nice when those are going your way.”
That’s just how things are rolling right now for Daccord and the Seattle Kraken, who won their eighth consecutive game by beating the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Thursday night. They tied the longest winning streak in the three-year history of the franchise and are 10-0-2 in their past 12.
“We’re playing well, and we’re just doing the right things, doing the little things,” said Tye Kartye, who ended a nine-game goal drought with his first goal since Dec. 14. “We’re not focused on the streak, kind of. We’re just taking it game by game. Hopefully we can keep doing that.”
Alex Wennberg and defensemen Justin Schultz and Adam Larsson also scored for the Kraken. Seattle hasn’t lost since before Christmas, a run that included Daccord posting a shutout in the Winter Classic at the home of Major League Baseball’s Mariners.
Daccord, in his first full season in the NHL, improved to 7-0-0 in his past eight games, with a 1.14 goals-against average and .966 save percentage over that span. He has gotten the bulk of the work in net since Philipp Grubauer went down with injury and could play three more times on this road trip.
“It’s a lot easier to find kind of your groove when you’re playing a lot,” Daccord said. “It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m just trying to enjoy it and ride the wave.”
Seattle is rolling not just because Daccord — the former Arizona State star who lost to the Capitals’ top affiliate, the Hershey Bears, in the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Finals in June — is on his game but also because of balanced scoring. Kartye and Larsson became the 15th and 16th players to score during this streak.
“We play pretty evenly throughout the whole team,” Kartye said. “When everybody’s contributing, I think that bodes well for us.”
Wennberg had his second winner in a row, and Schultz scored for the second time in five games. The Kraken have surged into the playoff race in the Western Conference at nearly the midway point after losing 12 of their first 17 games.
The Capitals had been treading water, but they’ve now lost seven of nine despite increased production from Alex Ovechkin. The captain assisted on Max Pacioretty’s first goal since re-tearing his right Achilles tendon roughly a year ago.
“I’ve been getting more and more comfortable four games in a row now, but you still want to obviously win the game and contribute a little more,” Pacioretty said. “We had a couple chances there to get us within one and you never know if you bury one of those and then the crowd gets into it, then you give yourself a chance to win.”
Darcy Kuemper was beaten cleanly on two goals, giving up four on 23 shots. Washington welcomed winger T.J. Oshie back from an 11-game absence but was without All-Star Tom Wilson because of a broken nose.
Kraken: At Columbus on Saturday night.
Capitals: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday to open a home-and-home, back-to-back set.
AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL