They're here. The Seattle Kraken have positioned themselves among the NHL's elite teams.
The latest -- and loudest -- statement from the league's youngest franchise came on Thursday, as they handed the Boston Bruins a 3-0 loss. It marked the Bruins' first regulation home loss of the season.
In the process, the Kraken notched their seventh consecutive victory, which tied the team's longest winning streak in the franchise's brief history. The win was Seattle's 15th of the 2022-23 season, which is just two away from matching their win total from their entire 2021-22 inaugural season.
The Kraken now find themselves in third place in the Pacific Division with just four points separating them from the division-leading Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights earned two points with a 4-2 comeback win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday to keep pace.
Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark has been the goaltending story throughout the first half of the NHL season as he leads the league in wins (22), goals-against-average (1.88) and save percentage (.938). On Thursday, though, Kraken goaltender Martin Jones was the star of the show.
Jones turned aside all 27 shots that he faced and shut out the Bruins for the first time in 41 games. The veteran goalie also recorded his second consecutive shutout after stopping all 21 shots in a 4-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.
"I thought that was probably our most complete game of the season," Jones said after the win, according to the Seattle Times. "To come in and play how we did and come out with a win in this building, that's a big step forward for us."
Jones has become the Kraken's starting netminder this season due to the early season struggles of veteran Philipp Grubauer, who owns a 3.49 goals-against-average in 14 games on the year. Meanwhile, Jones has been a steady presence in net as he's gone 20-5-3 with a 2.69 goals-against-average and a .898 save percentage.
This also marked Jones' third shutout of the 2022-23 campaign.
The Kraken opened the scoring at the 7:14 mark of the first period when winger Brandon Tanev deflected a Daniel Sprong shot past Ullmark. Tanev had positioned himself at an awkward angle almost behind the net, but still managed to get his stick on the Sprong shot attempt for the game's first goal.
"That's obviously a great hockey team that's been playing some really good hockey at home," Tanev added. "Our group understood the challenge. We wanted to come out here and play our best game, and I think that's what we did tonight."
Forward Eeli Tolvanen gave Seattle an insurance goal late in the second period when he ripped a turn-around shot past Ullmark. Tolvanen, who was claimed by the Kraken off of waivers on Dec. 12, was able to tuck his shot just under the crossbar in what proved to be a backbreaking goal for the Bruins.
Veteran forward Jaden Schwartz added an empty-netter late in the contest when Boston elected to pull Ullmark.
Seattle stands a great chance to record a franchise record eighth consecutive win when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Saturday.