The Seattle Kraken shut out the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 in front of a sellout crowd of over 30,000 fans at the 2024 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Monday.
Kraken goalie Joey Daccord was the star of the show, stopping all 35 shots he faced to record just the third shutout in the 17-year history of the NHL’s annual New Year’s Day outdoor showcase.
Daccord Stones Golden Knights in Defensive Clinic
The 25-year-old Daccord put on a goaltending clinic, robbing Vegas stars Mark Stone, Jack Eichel and Phil Kessel multiple times to keep Seattle’s net empty.
“I felt good all game. The guys did a good job letting me see pucks,” Daccord said. “It was just an unbelievable experience I’ll remember forever.”
Daccord’s 35 saves are tied for the second-most in a Winter Classic game behind Chicago’s Corey Crawford, who made 37 in the 2015 edition against Washington.
Kraken coach Dave Hakstol heaped praise on his young netminder after the franchise’s first shutout.
“What else can you say? Joey gave us a chance to win every night he’s played. Tonight he took it to another level,” Hakstol said.
Vegas put heavy pressure on Daccord and the Kraken defense in the third period, outshooting Seattle 16-5, but couldn’t crack the brick wall in front of the net.
“We threw everything we had at him,” Vegas defenseman Alec Martinez said of Daccord. “On a normal night, we’d have three or four goals with the chances we had.”
Daccord said keeping focused during the Golden Knights’ late push was critical to preserve the clean sheet.
“When a team presses like that, you know they are going to get their looks. I just tried to stay patient and wait for the puck,” he explained.
Jaden Schwartz Has Goal, Assist to Lead Offense
While Daccord grabbed headlines with his shutout performance, the Kraken offense also clicked, tallying three goals on 22 shots against Vegas starter Logan Thompson.
Jaden Schwartz scored on the power play in the first period and assisted on Adam Larsson’s second-period tally for a multi-point game. The veteran forward now has eight points in his last seven contests as he finds his groove in Seattle.
Andre Burakovsky potted an empty-netter late in the third period to provide the final margin.
Kraken captain Mark Giordano was thrilled to get offensive contributions across the lineup in the biggest game in franchise history.
“Scoring by committee — that’s the recipe for this team. We don’t rely on any one guy and we saw that tonight,” said Giordano.
First Shutout in Winter Classic History
With the 3-0 triumph powered by Daccord and the offense, the Kraken made history as the first road team to record a shutout in the 17 editions of the NHL’s annual outdoor game.
Winter Classic Shutouts
|3-0 vs. Vegas
|4-0 vs. Chicago
|2-0 vs. Buffalo
Vegas captain Mark Stone called the Kraken’s defensive performance “exceptional” while noting the disappointment for his club to come up empty on a big stage.
“It’s frustrating. With the atmosphere, the energy in the stadium, you want to give the fans something to cheer about,” Stone said. “We didn’t do that tonight.”
Perfect Setting for Inaugural Winter Classic
Beyond the history-making outcome, the first NHL Winter Classic in Seattle provided a picture-perfect backdrop to showcase hockey in the Pacific Northwest.
The game originally was scheduled for December 31st but got postponed due to inclement weather. The extra day allowed crews to clear heavy snow from the field to make the playing surface NHL-ready.
Come game time on January 1st, skies were sunny with temperatures in the low 40s — perfect conditions for outdoor hockey.
“We got lucky with the weather. Couldn’t have asked for a better setup,” said Kraken general manager Ron Francis.
A raucous sold-out crowd packed T-Mobile Park, normally home to the Seattle Mariners baseball club. Local landmarks like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market were visible through the open-air stadium’s retractable roof, which was closed to keep out wind and rain but allow in sunlight.
Seattle fan Corinna Christoff brought her family to the game dressed in Kraken sweaters and was blown away by the spectacle.
“This whole thing has been unbelievable. The energy in the stadium, the views — this is a perfect way to show our city and our fans to the hockey world,” Christoff said.
Several NHL stars echoed Christoff’s sentiments about Seattle as a host for the 2024 Winter Classic.
“The city did a great job putting this thing together,” Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “It was first class from the local communities getting behind it to the Kraken building hype. Top notch.”
What’s Next After Historic Winter Classic?
For the hometown Kraken, focus shifts back to the regular season and a push to lock down a playoff spot in just their second year of existence.
At 19-14-3, Seattle sits third in the Pacific Division, two points behind the Edmonton Oilers. While not where they expect to be long term, the Kraken are ahead of projections so far thanks to stellar goaltending and balanced scoring.
If Daccord and the offense can sustain Monday’s performance, Seattle should remain in postseason position for a potential Cinderella run come spring.
The Golden Knights look to rebound from the shutout loss and get their lineup healthy. At just 17-15-3 and outside a playoff spot, Vegas has struggled with injuries and inconsistency all season after making the Western Conference Finals in 2023.
Getting star forwards Kessel and William Karlsson back from injury in the coming weeks would provide a needed spark. And trade rumors continue to swirl about the team seeking reinforcements on the blue line before the trade deadline.
For both clubs, a historic trip to Seattle starts 2024 with optimism for the future.
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