An 8-5 victory Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center gave the Seattle Kraken the distinction of being the first team in NHL history to sweep a road trip of at least seven games.
Defeating the Blackhawks also allowed the Kraken extend their current win streak to eight games, starting with a 4-1 victory on New Year's Day against the New York Islanders at Climate Pledge Arena and continuing as the team embarked on a seven-game, 13-day trip.
The eight-game streak is also the longest winning streak in the franchise's two-year history, and is the second time this season the Kraken have won at least seven straight games. The first streak ran from Nov. 19 to Dec. 1.
"It's a great accomplishment for the players to be able to do that," Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. "It shows the consistency and work they've put in from the start of this road trip."
Exactly how did the Kraken place themselves in such a historic position? By scoring goals, and lots of them.
Part of the narrative around the Kraken's turnaround from lottery team to playoff hopeful has been shaped by goals. The Kraken are averaging 3.66 goals per game this season, which ranks third in the NHL. A year ago, they averaged 2.6 goals per game, which ranked 28th out of 32 teams.
It has been more of the same this trip. The Kraken entered Saturday averaging 4.83 goals in the first six games of the trip, which included scoring 18 in their first three games. Kraken winger Daniel Sprong opened the game with his career-best 14th goal less than three minutes into the first period before Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews tied it almost two minutes later.
Then the Kraken pulled ahead by scoring five unanswered goals in three minutes, 41 seconds, which ranks as the 15th-fastest sequence in which a team has scored five goals, according to NHL records.
Jared McCann scored two of those goals before completing his hat trick in the third. Matty Beniers, who will represent the Kraken at the All-Star Game, also scored to grab his sixth goal in seven games to lead all rookies with 17 goals this season. The six goals were also the most the Kraken have scored in a period this season.
"We didn't have the best year last year, especially on the road," McCann said. "We've added some new faces and made our team a lot deeper."
And if that was not enough? The victory gave the Kraken their 26th win of the regular season in 42 games and they are now one win shy of tying their win total from last season. None of that was lost on McCann.
"Being able to score in a game like this is just huge," he said. "And obviously we made some history tonight, so [that] was nice."