Kraken fall to Vegas, await playoff opponent; Burakovsky update

Apr 13, 2023, 10:59 PM | Updated: 11:18 pm

Seattle Kraken Vegas Golden Knights...

Vegas' Pavel Dorofeyev interferes with Alex Wennberg of the Seattle Kraken. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — Alec Martinez broke a tie midway through the second period and the Vegas Golden Knights won their third Pacific Division title with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken in the regular-season finale Thursday night.

Vegas Golden Knights 3, Seattle Kraken 1: Stats

Vegas finished 51-22-9 with 111 points, tying the franchise record for victories and holding off the late surge from Edmonton to win the division title and clinch home-ice advantage in the Western Conference.

Vegas will face Winnipeg in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Martinez’s goal at 12:37 of the second period came during a delayed penalty against Seattle. Martinez swatted a rebound past Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer for his third goal of the season and undoubtedly the most important.

Reilly Smith also scored for Vegas on what technically was its first shot of the game but didn’t touch his stick blade. Vince Dunn’s pass from behind the Seattle goal bounced off Smith’s skate and slipped past Grubauer. The goal came nearly 10 minutes into the first period.

Chandler Stephenson added an empty-net goal, deflecting the puck from his own zone with 38 seconds left.

Jaden Schwartz scored his 21st of the season for Seattle’s only goal on a night the Kraken dominated chances but couldn’t convert.

Matty Beniers and Adam Larsson both hit posts and Daniel Sprong was stuffed on a breakaway by Laurent Brossoit, who made 31 saves.

Seattle (46-28-8, 100 points) entered the finale still with an outside shot of catching Los Angeles and finishing third in the Pacific Division. But the Kings held up their end beating Anaheim and the Kraken had to settle for the top wild card berth in the Western Conference.

Seattle will have to wait until Friday night to learn its playoff opponent. The Kraken will face either Colorado or Dallas depending on the outcome of Friday’s game between the Avalanche and Predators in Nashville.


The Kraken announced after Thursday’s game that forward Andre Burakovsky, who has been out since early February due to a lower body injury, has undergone a surgical procedure and will miss the start of the playoffs.


Phil Kessel appeared in his 1,064th consecutive game and played in 82 games for the 11th time in his career.

Brayden McNabb and William Karlsson also appeared in all 82 games this season for Vegas. Ivan Barbashev also appeared in his 82nd game but the first 59 of those came with St. Louis.

Larsson was one of five players to appear in all 82 games for the Kraken and is the only one to play in every game in the first two seasons of the franchise. Will Borgen, Jordan Eberle, Brandon Tanev and Alex Wennberg also appeared in every game.


Jack Eichel and Shea Theodore both returned for Vegas. Eichel had missed two straight while Theodore had missed the previous seven.


Vegas Golden Knights: Will face Winnipeg in the opening round. Vegas was 3-0-0 against the Jets this season.

Seattle Kraken: Seattle will wait to see the result of Colorado’s game at Nashville on Friday that will determine its opponent in the first round of the playoffs.

Seattle Sports staff contributed to this post.

Rookie Beniers grows into leader for playoff-bound Seattle Kraken

Seattle Kraken

Seattle Kraken trade target...

Zac Hereth

Kraken reportedly interested in former first-round pick

The Seattle Kraken were recently linked to Carolina Hurricanes centerman Martin Necas as a trade target during an NHL Tonight segment.

16 days ago

New Seattle Kraken coach Dan Bylsma...

Zac Hereth

Morosi: Why Dan Bylsma is ‘best possible’ coach for Kraken

NHL insider Jon Morosi explains why he believes new head coach Dan Bylsma was the right hire for the Seattle Kraken.

22 days ago

Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis...

Mike Salk

Salk: Who Seattle Kraken can target in crucial offseason

Seattle Sports co-host Mike Salk analyzes the Seattle Kraken and two offseason additions the team could make to improve.

25 days ago

Seattle Kraken Philipp Grubauer...

Brent Stecker

Potential Sonics return may have played role in Kraken coach change

The Seattle Kraken may have shown more urgency in letting Dave Hakstol go because the NBA could be close to bringing the Sonics back to town.

25 days ago

Seattle Kraken coach Dan Bylsma...

Brent Stecker

NHL insider: Why Dan Bylsma was chosen as Kraken coach

Longtime NHL insider Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet in Canada shared a few things that led the Seattle Kraken coach job landing with Dan Bylsma.

26 days ago

Seattle Kraken coach search Dan Bylsma...

The Associated Press

Dan Bylsma rediscovers the joy in coaching, lands Kraken job

“I think I needed to discover the joy of coaching again and changing a little bit in establishing relationships with the players,” new Seattle Kraken coach Dan Bylsma said.

26 days ago

Kraken fall to Vegas, await playoff opponent; Burakovsky update