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RECAP: ‘Hawks boost playoff hopes, Kraken notch comeback wins

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | January 4, 2023 4:21 PM

SEATTLE — The Seahawks received a boost to their playoff hopes, while the Kraken snapped a three-game losing skid. Check out this week’s pro sports recap for an update on the two squads.

Seahawks

With their playoff hopes on the line, the Seattle Seahawks put themselves back in the picture with a 23-6 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, where Seattle quarterback Geno Smith eliminated his former team from postseason contention.

While both teams were fighting for their playoff chances, the Seahawks were the only team that seemed to show up on Sunday afternoon. Seattle began the game with a 60-yard run by rookie running back Kenneth Walker III and scored on its first three possessions of the matchup (two touchdown passes by Smith sandwiching a Jason Myers 25-yard field goal).

New York’s secondary held Seattle receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in check on Sunday (three combined receptions for 18 total yards), but Smith found other receiving options on Sunday; tight end Colby Parkinson hauled in five passes for 36 yards and a touchdown; tight end Noah Fant caught two passes for 40 yards; running back Deejay Dallas had three catches for 55 yards, 41 of which came on a play where Smith ran out of the pocket and flipped the ball to Dallas. With 183 passing yards against the Jets, Smith crossed the 4,000 passing yards in a season mark for the first time in his 10-year career.

Seattle’s 198-yard rushing performance made it the second consecutive week that Seattle had recorded over 100 yards rushing after failing to reach that mark in the five previous games, four of which had ended in losses. If the Seahawks were to make a run at the playoffs, their run game is getting going at the right time as they prepare for a top-ten run defense in the Los Angeles Rams.

For the Seahawks to make the playoffs, they will have to defeat the Rams at home on Sunday and have the Detroit Lions defeat or tie the Green Bay Packers.

Kraken

Seattle’s three-game home stand didn’t get off to a hot start, with back-to-back losses to the Calgary Flames on Dec. 28 and a five-goal loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 30.

Against the Flames, Kraken center Ryan Donato and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak both scored to give Seattle a 2-1 lead, later evened at two after a Calgary goal in the second period. Another Flames goal in the third period gave Calgary the lead, where the Kraken failed to score an equalizer.

Two days later, Edmonton opened the game with a four-goal performance in the first period alone. Seattle right wing Daniel Sprong stopped the bleeding momentarily with a goal, but the Oilers added another two goals in the second period. By the end of the matchup, Edmonton left Seattle with a 7-2 win over the Kraken.

On the same day that the Seahawks hosted the New York Jets, the Kraken hosted a New York team of their own in the Islanders. Defenseman Adam Larsson got things started with a first-period goal that was quickly matched by New York’s Matthew Barzal. From there it was all Seattle, who saw goals by Eeli Tolvanen and Oliver Bjorkstrand in the second and Brandon Tanev in the third period. The win snapped a three-game skid.

After losing at home to the Oilers last week, the Kraken traveled to Edmonton, Alberta to face off against them again. Down 2-0 after a goal by Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, Seattle scored four goals in the second period to take a 4-2 lead, later adding an empty netter to earn a 5-2 win.

Seattle improved to 20-12-4 on the year and currently sits in third place of the Pacific Division with 44 points. Over the next week, the Kraken will travel to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Buffalo.

Ian Bivona can be reached via email at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

photo

AP Photo/Stephen Brashear

The Seattle Kraken ended a three-game losing streak with their 4-1 win over the New York Islanders on Sunday, which was followed by a 5-2 comeback win over the Edmonton Oilers.

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