The Seattle Kraken and the Vegas Golden Knights play during the first period of the NHL Winter Classic on Monday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

The Seattle Kraken and the Vegas Golden Knights play during the first period of the NHL Winter Classic on Monday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Daccord posts shutout as Kraken blast Vegas in Winter Classic

Eeli Tolvanen had a goal and an assist in Seattle’s 3-0 win.

  • By TIM BOOTH AP Sports Writer
  • Monday, January 1, 2024 10:41pm
  • SportsKraken

SEATTLE — As the last one on the ice, Joey Daccord skated in a circle with his goalie stick in the air and the home fans chanting his name in unison.

The reaction from the crowd was deserved after the young Seattle Kraken goaltender shut out the defending Stanley Cup champions on one of the NHL’s biggest stages.

“It’s truly the coolest thing in the world to have that support from them,” Daccord said.

Daccord made 35 saves in his second career shutout, Eeli Tolvanen had a goal and an assist, and the Kraken beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 on Monday in the Winter Classic.

A crowd of 47,313 at T-Mobile Park watched the Kraken dominate the reigning Stanley Cup champions in a matchup of the league’s last two expansion franchises. Seattle improved to 7-0-2 in its past nine games and continued its climb into playoff contention after a disappointing start to the season.

“To have the opportunity to do this in this ballpark, in front of our home fans, get the result that everybody wanted makes it pretty special and that’s the best way to remember this event,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said.

Tolvanen scored his 10th of the season, redirecting Vince Dunn’s shot from the blue line early in the first period. Tolvanen picked up the assist on Will Borgen’s slap shot that beat Vegas goalie Logan Thompson early in the second.

Yanni Gourde gave Seattle a 3-0 lead 2:10 into the third on an effort play, stealing the puck from Paul Cotter at the blue line and poking it into the net after Thompson whiffed trying to sweep the puck aside.

But the biggest development for Seattle in this game and for the past few weeks has been Daccord, who seems to be establishing himself as Seattle’s No. 1 option in net.

“You always talk about goalies and what a really good goalie is and the best way to describe it is he saves the ones he needs to and then he saves one or two more that he shouldn’t save. And that’s what he’s done for us basically every game,” Seattle center Matty Beniers said.

Daccord posted the first shutout in a Winter Classic and fifth shutout overall in the NHL’s 39 outdoor games since 2003. The Kraken are 6-0-2 in Daccord’s past eight starts, and he posted his second shutout in the last three weeks after blanking Florida on Dec. 12.

Daccord made the easy saves look easy and stood strong when the Golden Knights threatened. Jack Eichel had a great opportunity late in the first period off a turnover by Brian Dumoulin, but Daccord made a solid save with his left pad.

Mark Stone hit the post with a redirected shot late in the second. Eichel hit the crossbar with seven minutes left and a few minutes later was robbed on a glove save by Daccord.

Since he didn’t get a chance at shooting toward the empty Vegas net in the closing seconds, the glove save was the moment that stood out the most for Daccord.

Played in almost perfect condition with party cloudy skies, temperatures in the 40s and most importantly the retractable roof of T-Mobile Park wide open, the Kraken rewarded a sellout crowd with one of their more complete performances of the season.

After Tolvanen put Seattle in front, Borgen made it 2-0 with his first goal since Game 4 of last season’s first-round playoff series against Colorado.

Seattle’s nine-game point streak is the longest in franchise history, topping an eight-game win streak last season.

Vegas lost for the fifth time in six games and struggled to generate many good scoring chances against Seattle.

The Golden Knights arrived for the game in Elvis costumes but their performance lacked the showmanship of “The King.”

The flash on this afternoon belonged to Seattle’s young goalie.

“It was something that I’ll never forget and probably one of the coolest days my whole life,” Daccord said.

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