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Game # 35

 

Seattle 2 Stars 5

 

Pavelski has 5 points in Stars' 5-2 win over Kraken

 

By AP
Updated: 5 hours ago
 

DALLAS -- — While Joe Pavelski missed out on another hat trick, the 37-year-old center did something he had never done when the Dallas Stars finished their scoring with a 179-foot empty-net goal.

 

Pavelski's third assist of the game came on that final score with 1:42 left, which with his two goals gave him the first five-point game in his 13 NHL seasons as the Stars won 5-2 in their first meeting against the expansion Seattle Kraken on Wednesday night.

 

“It’s nice to finally get one, but the win was definitely important,” Pavelski said.

 

“Everyone knows how good a player he is,” said Roope Hintz, his linemate who had a goal and two assists. “He was around the net a lot. He deserved that.”

Jason Robertson, the other part of that line, extended his NHL-best home point streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist.

 

That line got going in the game's opening minute with Pavelski's pass to the left circle for Robertson's shot that went off the skate of Hintz, who got credited with his 14th goal.

 

Hintz got the primary assist on Robertson's power-play goal that put the Stars up 3-1 with 6:59 left in the first period. Robertson had a some nifty stick work for a short backhander past Philipp Grubauer.

 

Both of Pavelski’s goals, giving him 15 for the season, were from right by the net. It was his fourth two-goal game this season, all in the past 16 games.

 

Midway through the first period, Miro Heiskanen took a laser shot from near the blue line that went just left of the net, then ricocheted hard off the boards and was knocked in by Pavelski waiting for the puck.

 

“As it's going, your just reading the puck, hoping it came off the end wall like it did,” Pavelski said. “That’s a nice one to get to get you going.”

 

The Stars regained their two-goal lead late in the second period when, right after killing of a penalty, Esa Lindell passed to Pavelski just outside the crease.

 

“It’s his ability to sniff out the loose pucks, his ability to get in the open, and his anticipation of where the pucks is going,” coach Rick Bowness said. “Great poise around the net. Goal scorers know where to put the puck. .... He's just got natural offensive instincts that you can't teach.”

 

After Hintz and Pavelski assisted on Jani Hakanpaa's empty-netter, Pavelski got one more shot on goal but wasn't able to get his seventh career hat trick.

 

Jared McCann had his team-leading 15th goal and also assisted on Calle Jarnkrok’s power-play goal for the Kraken, who are 0-5-1 in their last six games.

Seattle was even at 1-1 with 11:35 left in the first period on Jarnkrok's fifth goal.

 

Pavelski scored the tiebreaker about 2 1/2 minutes later and the Stars led the rest of the way.

 

“Obviously we’ve talked a lot about ... taking the positives away from things, but kind of enough is enough here. Everybody’s getting pretty frustrated," McCann said.

 

“I have no issues with our effort and compete in the second and third periods. We didn't match them in the first,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “They won the first period. They beat us in the first period.”

 

Dallas has won its last five home games, and 13 of 14 at the American Airlines Center.

 

Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger had 23 saves. Grubauer stopped 20 of 24 shots.

 

Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak was the player Seattle took from the Stars in the expansion draft.

 

A video of Oleksiak highlights with Dallas was shown during the game's first timeout, and he got a nice ovation when shown on the Seattle bench, and he applauded the fans from there. Oleksiak played 286 regular-season games over nine seasons for Dallas after being the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft.

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Game # 36

 

Seattle 1 Blues 2

 

Thomas, Buchenvich score, Blues come back to beat Kraken 2-1

 

By AP
Updated: 5 hours ago
 

ST. LOUIS -- — Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich scored in the third period as the St. Louis Blues came back to beat the Seattle Kraken 2-1 on Thursday night.

 

Ville Husso made 31 saves and the Blues extended their home point streak to 13 games, dating to Nov. 18.

 

It is the third-longest stretch in franchise history.

 

“We knew that they play hard and there’s never easy games when you look at the standings and stuff,” Husso said. “We knew it’s going to be a hard game and everybody played a full 60 minutes. That was good for us.”

 

Alex Wennberg scored and Chris Driedger made 25 saves for the expansion Kraken, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.

 

“It’s obviously not the way we want it to be,” Wennberg said. “Obviously, we’re finding ways to lose the game. We have the lead right now and again it’s a third period where we give away some goals. I mean, we've got to find something here.

 

We've got to step up and take responsibility for what’s going on.”

 

Buchnevich’s power-play goal off a slick no-look pass from Ivan Barbashev at 5:30 of the third period gave St. Louis the lead.

 

It was the second consecutive third-period comeback for the Blues, who scored twice in the final minute to beat Dallas on Sunday. St. Louis has an NHL-best 13 comeback wins this season.

 

“Even when we’re down going into the third, we’re pretty confident,” Thomas said. “We started to push our game in the second. … Pretty special group in there that fights back, and then our special teams coming up with big goals.”

 

Thomas’ goal at 1:29 of the third tied it 1-all. Torey Krug extended his point streak to six games with an assist.

 

“It’s nice to get the lead, but then when things happen and you get bad bounces or whatever it is, you've got to just stay with it and keep pushing,” Blues coach Craig Berube said.

 

“I think our guys are good at that. I mean, it’s something we talk about a lot, because if you want to be a real good team, you've got to be able to come back in games.”

 

Wennberg’s fourth of the season gave the Kraken a 1-0 lead with five minutes left in the first period. It broke a 12-game scoring drought for Wennberg going back to Dec. 3.

 

“Just frustrated,” Driedger said. “You never really feel happy after losing a game. It’s a team effort and I don’t think anyone is satisfied without getting two points. So, we’re just in one of those stretches where we've got to figure out a way to win.”

 

PANDEMIC PLAY

 

The Blues are without five players due to COVID-19 protocols as F David Perron was added to the list Tuesday. He joined F Vladimir Tarasenko, F Brayden Schenn, D Colton Parayko and D Scott Perunovich.

 

“We were missing a lot of guys and all the guys who came in … it’s not easy to come in and play,” Husso said. “They played well.”

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Game # 37

 

Seattle 1 LA 3

 

Adrian Kempe, Phillip Danault lead Kings past Kraken 3-1

 

Phillip Danault zips in his second goal of the match to seal Kings' the victory over the Kraken.


ByAP
3 hours ago
 

SEATTLE -- — Adrian Kempe scored his 17th goal of the season early in the first period, Phillip Danault scored twice and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Seattle Kraken 3-1 Saturday night for their fourth straight win.

 

Los Angeles won for the sixth time in its past seven, jumping to a 2-0 lead while clamping down on defense.

 

“They caught us off guard a little bit. They played very hard and they played the right way,” Danault said. “They were a tough team to play today and I thought we battled well and then we scored some big goals.”

 

Seattle lost its ninth straight and has dropped 12 of 13. Marcus Johansson scored on a power play in the second period, but the Kraken were limited to 18 shots on goal against Cal Petersen.

 

Petersen won his fourth straight start and made a handful of key saves despite Seattle second-lowest shot total of the season.

 

Chris Dreidger made 19 stops but lost his second straight start. Dreidger started Thursday’s 2-1 loss in St. Louis.

 

“Something’s got to change here. I mean, it’s completely unacceptable to drop nine in a row,” Dreidger said. “I mean, there’s no other way to put it.”

 

Kempe grabbed the rebound of Alex Iafallo's shot 4:06 into the game, maneuvered around Dreidger and scored. He's reached a career high in goals 38 games into the season after scoring 16 goals in 81 games in 2017-18. The 25-year-old has four goals in the past six games.

 

“For us he’s a great example of being patient with development,” Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. “It would have been easy for us to turn our back on him at some point when it wasn’t going good and he on us as well, but stuck with it and over time he just got better and better.”

 

Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead when Danault chopped a rebound past Dreidger 4:10 into the second period. Mikey Anderson had the initial shot out of midair that Dreidger saved, but Danault was able to get his stick on the rebound.

 

Danault and added an empty-netter in the last minute. He’s got nine goals in 36 games after scoring five in 53 games last season with Montreal.

 

“You play well defensively as a team it brings the offense and then you find the blue paint,” Danault said. “A good grind but a couple good goals.”

 

Seattle answered on the power play after Matt Roy was called for a double minor for high sticking. Johansson was stopped on a breakaway earlier in the period, but he scored his fourth of the season and third on the power play to pull Seattle within 2-1.

 

Mark Giordano’s shot from the point was tipped by Calle Jarnkrok, and Johansson finished off the goal.

 

The Kraken briefly thought they had pulled even late in the second period when Ryan Donato’s shot appeared to beat Andersen, momentarily setting off the ferry horn siren. video review showed the shot clipped Andersen’s shoulder and the crossbar but stayed out.

 

“It’s hard losing hockey games when you’re in a stretch like this,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “But at the end of the day we got to look at it, we got to find a way to get a little bit more out of our group.”

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Game # 38

 

Seattle 3 Hawks 2

 

Kraken snap 9-game losing streak, beat Blackhawks 3-2 in SO

 

ByAP
Updated: 10 hours ago
 

SEATTLE -- — After a month of increasing frustration, it seemed fitting that Joonas Donskoi, who had yet to score all season, was the one to finally snap the Seattle Kraken's losing streak.

 

Ryan Donato scored the tying goal early in the third period, Donskoi scored the deciding goal in the shootout and the Kraken snapped their nine-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

 

Donato scored at 2:02 of the third period to pull Seattle even at 2. Donato scored in the second round of the shootout and Donskoi — stuck without a regulation goal this season in 38 games — scored the winner past Marc-Andre Fleury.

 

“Sometimes during that streak, it felt like no matter how hard we tried, we were not able to get wins and then the pressure starts to building," Donskoi said. "I think getting that win out of the way now, it's a little bit of a relief and I'm sure we're going to get some energy from this moving forward."

 

It was Seattle’s first win since Dec. 14 at San Jose, first home win since Dec. 3 against Edmonton and first time this season coming back to win when trailing entering the third period. The Kraken are 1-16-1 when trailing after two periods.

 

Seattle goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 25 saves. He was asked to make just six in the third period and overtime combined.

 

“We were really close in the last couple of games,” Grubauer said. “We didn’t get that bounce, where maybe today got that bounce.”

 

Fleury was the best player on the ice for most of the day and did everything possible to get Chicago into the shootout. Fleury made 35 saves and had 14 in the third period alone.

 

Fleury robbed Jared McCann with a terrific glove save on a power play opportunity early in the third. Fleury later stopped McCann on the first regulation penalty shot in Kraken history after McCann was tripped on a breakaway by Riley Stillman.

 

Alex Wennberg hit the post in the final seconds of overtime for Seattle.

 

“It’s unbelievable sometimes. Actually today I was just sitting on the bench watching the replay like, ‘What is he doing out there?’' Chicago's Dominic Kubalik said of Fleury. ”It's unbelievable. I'm not saying I'm expecting it's going in but somehow ... he was amazing. He gave us the point."

 

Both the goals Fleury allowed were partly the result of his defensemen. Vince Dunn’s goal in the second period deflected off Stillman. Donato’s equalizer early in the third period came when Fleury made the initial save but was taken out by Caleb Jones, allowing Donato to score on the rebound.

 

“I was thinking pass right away, but you only get so many chances in a game where you’re in the clear and you have tons of time and space to get a good shot off,” Donato said.

 

Kubalik scored his ninth of the season on a breakaway at 12:06 of the second period to give Chicago the lead. Donato lost the puck in Chicago’s zone, and Erik Gustafsson was able to find Kubalik open with a long stretch pass behind the Seattle defense.

 

Chicago capitalized on a power play later in the second. Patrick Kane’s slap-pass was tipped by Kubalik and Grubauer made the initial save. But the puck fell to Brandon Hagel in the scramble with an open net.

 

EXPANSION STREAKS

 

Seattle avoided becoming the fourth expansion team since 1991 with a losing streak of at least 10 games.

 

San Jose lost 13 straight during the 1991-92 season. Ottawa had losing streaks of 11 twice and 14 games during the 1992-93 season. And Atlanta had losing streaks of 10 and 12 games during the 1999-2000 season.

 

Game notes


Seattle claimed F Karson Kuhlman off waivers from Boston and placed F Morgan Geekie on injured reserve.

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Game # 39

 

Seattle 3 Sharks 2

 

Win streak: Kraken take 2nd straight by beating Sharks 3-2

 

ByAP
Updated: 3 hours ago
 

SEATTLE -- — Carson Soucy and the Seattle Kraken didn't let a sluggish, uninspired start linger beyond 20 minutes. Thanks to their turnaround, the Kraken have a win streak for the first time in nearly two months.'

 

Soucy had the first two-goal game of his career, Calle Jarnkrok scored in the third period and the Kraken beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Thursday night.

 

Seattle overcame a sloppy start, including giving up Tomas Hertl's 21st goal of the season just 38 seconds after puck drop on the first shift of the game.

 

The expansion Kraken won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 27 and 29 at Florida and Buffalo. Seattle snapped a nine-game losing streak with a shootout victory over Chicago on Monday.

 

“It’s hard to say when you come out slow after a win last game, but I think we just looked at ourselves and said that’s unacceptable as a team,” Soucy said.

Soucy scored at 4:18 of the second period and again at 8:25. Jarnkrok added what turned out to be the game-winner at 6:27 of the third.

 

Seattle has won both matchups against the Sharks in its inaugural season.

 

“I give our guys a lot of credit to be able to step up in the second and third period and find a way to get it done when we weren’t at our best,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said.

 

Timo Meier, who scored a franchise-record five goals in San Jose’s previous game, continued to find the net with a power-play goal midway through the third that made it 3-2.

 

San Jose spent much of the third period on the power play but could not find an equalizer. Seattle killed off two more penalties after Meier's goal, but San Jose had one more chance after Mason Appleton was called for hooking with 1:07 left.

 

Despite a fourth power play in the period, the Sharks couldn’t tie it with a 6-on-4 advantage in the final minute after goalie Adin Hill was pulled.

 

“We got a good start and took the lead, but after the first, we stopped playing,” Hertl said. "They were all over us, they managed the game better and we couldn’t find a way. It’s a tough loss because everybody knows what is coming, the last five games before the break.”

 

Seattle goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 22 saves and it was one of his stronger performances as he turned away a number of dangerous chances for the Sharks. His best save was a glove stop on a breakaway by Meier early in the second.

 

Hill made 16 saves for the Sharks.

 

Soucy’s first goal was his first since Dec. 18. Soucy flicked a wrist shot past Hill on the blocker side and pulled Seattle even after a flurry of San Jose pressure around the Kraken net.

 

The goal seemed to flip the ice and the Kraken had the better chances as the period progressed. Ryan Donato appeared to give Seattle a 2-1 lead at 6:48, but San Jose challenged the play for offside and the goal was waived off after video review.

 

Less than two minutes later, Soucy flipped another wrist shot past Hill and Seattle had a 2-1 lead. Jarnkrok’s 100th career goal off a great pass from Morgan Geekie behind the net made it 3-1.

 

“We started off flat but we noticed it this time and we took advantage of the opportunity to say, ‘Hey ... let’s go change the momentum of the game,’” Donato said.

 

Grubauer also got some help from his goal posts. Erik Karlsson had an open net in the first period but his tipped shot hit the post and Grubauer covered. During a San Jose power play in the second, Brent Burns’ shot from the point was tipped by Logan Couture but hit the post and stayed out.

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Game # 40

 

Seattle 0 Blues 5

 

Husso sharp, Bozak gets shorty as Blues beat Kraken 5-0

 

ByAP
Updated: 2 hours ago
 

SEATTLE -- — Ville Husso stopped 27 shots, Tyler Bozak scored short-handed and the St. Louis Blues pounded the Seattle Kraken 5-0 Friday night.

 

The Blues have won two straight and five of six. Bozak and Brayden Schenn scored in the first period, and Pavel Buchnevich, Colton Parayko and Jordan Kyrou scored in the third. Parayko’s goal came on a penalty shot.

 

“I’m just feeling good right now, every time I get a chance to play, I try to get a win,” said Husso, who also was in the net for a 2-1 home win against the Kraken on Jan. 13. “There was a lot of blocking shots. I have to give credit to the defensemen and the forwards."

 

The Kraken were shut out for the second time this season and ended a two-game winning streak. Joey Daccord had 26 saves.

 

Both of St. Louis’ first-period goals came from its special teams.

 

Bozak put the Blues on the board with a short-handed tally at 5:54, finishing a 2-on-1 break with Brandon Saad for his second goal this season.

St. Louis made it 2-0 with Schenn’s power-play tally at 10:23.

 

Schenn found the rebound from David Perron’s shot and tucked it in for his eighth goal.

 

“Our special teams were really good in that first period,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “I thought we were energized and skating well and doing some good things. When you get a short-handed goal, it’s a huge lift. It’s all work-based."

 

Buchnevich, who returned on Friday from COVID-19 protocols, added an insurance goal for St. Louis just 24 seconds into the third period, his 15th.

 

Parayko was awarded a penalty shot at 7:40 when he was hooked from behind by Jordan Eberle. Parayko skated toward the right and lofted his shot over Daccord for his fifth. It was the first penalty shot by a Blues defenseman since Feb. 3, 1985.

 

Kyrou, who will be the Blues’ All-Star Game representative, made it 5-0 at 9:31 with his 15th.

 

Although the Kraken came from behind for their two wins earlier this week, defenseman Mark Giordano said they can’t count on that every time.

 

“At the end of the day, getting behind in this league, it’s way too hard to come back night in and night out,” Girodano said. "Especially against a team that’s as structured as they are.

 

They’re not going to give you anything if you don’t generate it. You saw that in the third period, they’re really good at shutting down anything off the rush.”

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Game # 41

 

Seattle 5 Panthers 3

 

Appleton, Grubauer lead Kraken to 5-3 win over Panthers

 

ByAP
Updated: 4 hours ago
 

SEATTLE -- — Maybe the Seattle Kraken need to be more diligent about following their game plan all the time. It's worked twice this season against the Florida Panthers, the top team in the NHL.

 

Mason Appleton scored his first goal in nearly two months 26 seconds into the third period, Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves, and the Kraken beat the Panthers 5-3 on Sunday night.

 

“For some reason we stick to the game plan when we played them," Seattle forward Yanni Gourde said. "We don’t do that against different teams. But tonight we did. Last time we played them we did. We were confident and we knew what to do against this team.”

 

Marcus Johansson, Gourde and Colin Blackwell all scored during Seattle’s three-goal second period, and Calle Jarnkrok added an empty-net goal in the final seconds.

 

The Kraken won for the third time in four games, and Grubauer continued his run of strong performances as two of Florida’s goals were bad bounces that ended in the Seattle net.

 

Grubauer has won his last three starts.

 

“That’s the biggest thing that I see is being able to just shrug off a goal against and move on to the next save,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “That’s been really important.”

 

Seattle swept both games this season against the Panthers, who entered the night tied with Tampa Bay for the most points in the NHL with 61.

 

Seattle beat the Panthers 4-1 on Nov. 27 in Sunrise, Florida, a loss that denied Florida a record-setting 12th consecutive home victory to start the season.

 

Anthony Duclair, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov scored for Florida. Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves, but saw his five-game win streak in net come to an end.

 

“We had to chase the game and on the road they are hard games to win when you're chasing the game,” Florida interim coach Andrew Brunette said. “We put ourselves in a real tough position.”

 

Appleton provided the game winner with a flick past Bobrovsky in the opening seconds of the third period as Seattle quickly transitioned out of its defensive zone. Appleton had not scored since netting a pair of goals on Nov. 29 in a victory at Buffalo.

 

Grubauer made 12 saves in the third period including a couple of terrific stops on Duclair and Huberdeau after Florida had pulled Bobrovsky for an extra skater.

 

“I don’t think we deserve to win this game, but I think we had a lot of good chances at the end to to tie the game at least,” Barkov said.

 

Duclair was credited with his 18th goal of the season coming in the first period when his shot was saved by Grubauer but deflected off the skate of Seattle’s Carson Soucy and into the Kraken net.

 

Huberdeau’s power-play goal pulled Florida to 3-2 at 12:32 of the second period and less than 90 seconds later, Barkov’s shot was deflected by Gourde and fluttered over Grubauer’s shoulder to pull the Panthers even at 3-3.

 

Seattle scored three times in the second period, including two goals 17 seconds apart, the fastest two-goal flurry of Seattle’s inaugural season.

 

Johansson pulled Seattle even at 1-1 off a great feed from Mark Giordano at 5:02. The Kraken flubbed a 5-on-3 power play attempt but Gourde’s slap shot just after the advantage ended gave Seattle a 2-1 lead.

 

And 17 seconds after that, Appleton’s shot hit the goal post, deflected in the air and off Colin Blackwell’s helmet and past Bobrovsky for a 3-1 Kraken lead. It was Blackwell’s fourth goal of the season and his most unconventional.

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Game # 42 

 

Seattle 2 Preds 4

 

Predators beat Kraken 4-2 for 3rd straight win

 

By AP
Updated: 2 hours ago
 

SEATTLE -- — Mattias Ekholm scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and the Nashville Predators beat the Seattle Kraken 4-2 on Tuesday night.

 

The Predators also got goals from Filip Forsberg, Luke Kunin and Matt Duchene in their third straight win. Roman Josi added two assists, and Juuse Saros made 32 saves.

 

“I just liked the fact we had a pretty gritty effort. We had to stick with it. It wasn’t an easy game,” Nashville coach John Hynes said.

Jared McCann and Adam Larsson scored for the Kraken.

 

Seattle entered with three wins in the last four games, one of the best stretches of its inaugural season, and the Kraken took an early lead when McCann scored his team-leading 16th goal on a 5-on-3 power play nine minutes in.

 

Nashville tied it 21 seconds before the first intermission on Kunin’s 10th goal, a one-timer from the top of the left circle.

 

Seattle again took the lead in the second, going ahead 2-1 when Yanni Gourde’s pass from behind the net found Larsson streaking in front with 7:39 left in the period.

 

Forsberg tied it 2-all about three minutes later, taking the puck the entire length of the ice on a rush and finishing with his 21st goal.

 

“That shot is unbelievable,” Ekholm said. “You could see the determination he had behind the net, skating out. No one was catching him and he just ripped one. There’s not too many players that can do that in this league.”

 

Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves for Seattle, and coach Dave Hakstol said the Kraken need more from their goaltender.

 

“The first goal, it’s a tough time, that’s a tough one, he’s got to stop that. The second one as well. He’s facing a good shooter, but it’s from the outside,”

Hakstol said. “Those are things that can push a team back on their heels. Not his best, and he’ll have to be better in Pittsburgh a few nights from now.”

 

The Predators took the lead with 3½ minutes left in the period. Ekholm came around behind the net and his wraparound shot deflected in off the skate of Seattle defenseman Vince Dunn.

 

Nashville added another power-play goal by Duchene with about four minutes to go in the third.

 

“I think this group has shown time in and time out it doesn’t matter the score, it doesn’t matter how many goals we’re down or up. We still fight, we’re in there battling,” Ekholm said.

 

“Obviously we’d like to jump up early, get a good lead and hold onto it, but sometimes it’s good for your group to go through different scenarios and emotions.”

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Game # 43

 

Seattle 2 Pens 1 OT

 

Larsson leads Kraken to first OT win, 2-1 over Penguins

 

ByAP
6 hours ago
 

PITTSBURGH -- — The Seattle Kraken picked up a rare road win — and made team history along the way.

 

Adam Larsson scored 1:17 in the extra period to give the Kraken their first overtime victory, 2-1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

 

“For us, it’s an enjoyable win, but one that we worked for,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “Our game didn’t change a whole lot from the drop of the puck all the way through the winning goal in overtime.”

 

 

 

Larsson, who scored in consecutive games for the first time in his career, then won it in the extra period to give Seattle its fourth win in six games following a nine-game losing streak.

 

Seattle picked up just its fifth road win of the season, improving to 5-11-2 away from him. The Kraken’s last road win came on Dec. 14 at San Jose, as they dropped their previous four games away from home.

 

Philipp Grubauer stopped 23 shots while helping the Kraken snap the Penguins’ six-game winning streak.

 

“Great job by everybody,” Grubauer said. “I don’t think they had too many crazy chances. We were playing really tight and didn’t give them a lot of room to make plays. Once we gave up that goal, we were right back at it.”

 

Evgeni Malkin scored his fourth of the season, a power-play goal at 8:41 of the third, but the Penguins had their season-best eight-game home winning streak end. Tristan Jarry made 27 saves for Pittsburgh, which has still won 17 of its last 20 games overall.

 

“In the third period, we beat ourselves,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We turned into a high-risk hockey team. It’s hard to win consistently when you play a high-risk game.”

 

McCann tied it at 16:04 of the third when he deflected Vince Dunn’s point shot behind Jarry. McCann played parts of three seasons with Pittsburgh, scoring 39 goals and 84 points in 141 regular-season games.

 

Pittsburgh traded McCann to Toronto during the 2021 offseason and he was eventually selected by Seattle in the expansion draft. McCann, who leads the Kraken in points, is two goals shy of matching his career high.

 

“I’m very thankful for this organization giving me a chance to play,” McCann said. “They brought my career back to life.”

 

Neither team scored a goal in the first two periods as Pittsburgh held a 20-9 advantage in shots. That included an 11-2 edge in the second period as Seattle went 16:57 without a shot through the end of the first and the beginning of the second.

 

Grubauer made a sliding pad save on Jeff Carter during a 2-on-1 with Evan Rodrigues. Later in the period, Pittsburgh pressured with a 91-second even-strength shift in the Seattle zone that resembled a power play, but the Penguins couldn’t capitalize.

 

The Kraken poured it on the rest of the way, outshooting Pittsburgh 18-4 in the third period and 2-0 in the overtime.

 

“One of the things I liked the most was we pushed a little bit in the third period, even at 0-0, without any risk to our game,” Hakstol said. “That’s a good characteristic for our team.”

 

EXPANSION SUCCESS IN PITTSBURGH

 

Seattle became the fifth expansion team in league history to win its first game in Pittsburgh, joining Los Angeles, St. Louis, Buffalo and Edmonton. Expansion teams are 5-13-9 all-time in their first road games against Pittsburgh.

 

“It’s a good win in this building,” Hakstol said. “It’s a hard place to win.”

 

GOING STREAKING

 

Larsson tallied a point in three straight games for the first time since February 2015 and equaled his career high for goals in a season.

 

Malkin missed the first 34 games of the season because of offseason knee surgery, but has four goals and 10 points in nine games. He has two goals and seven points during a six-game point streak.

 

PENS POWER PLAY

 

Pittsburgh has power-play goals in five of its last six games. The Penguins have converted in 10 of their last 12 overall with the man advantage.

 

PENGUINS CONNECTION

 

Three other Kraken skaters besides McCann — Riley Sheahan, Jamie Oleksiak and Brandon Tanev — and two Seattle executives — Ron Francis and Jason Botterill — also have ties to the Penguins.

 

 

Sheahan played 122 regular-season games with the Penguins, totaling 18 goals and 41 points. Tanev, who missed his 12th game with a torn ACL, was selected from Pittsburgh in the expansion draft, while Oleksiak had 25 points in 83 regular-season games.

 

Francis won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Penguins during the 1991-92 seasons, while Botterill was part of the franchise’s three most recent championships (2009, 2016-17) in a front office role.

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Game # 44

 

Seattle 2 NYR 3

 

Late goal by Miller lifts Rangers past Kraken 3-2

 

By AP
13 hours ago
 

NEW YORK -- — Defenseman K’Andre Miller scored with 34 seconds left and Igor Shesterkin made 40 saves, helping the New York Rangers beat the Seattle Kraken 3-2 on Sunday.

 

Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists for the Rangers, who improved to 14-4-2 on home ice.

 

Yanni Gourde tied the game with a power-play goal for Seattle with 1:08 left. The Kraken had pulled goaltender Philip Grubauer pulled for an extra skater.

 

But Miller put New York back in front when he rifled the puck past Grubauer for this third goal of the season, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

 

Despite being outshot 42-24 by the Kraken, the Rangers won for the 10th time in 15 contests.

 

Shesterkin, 21-5-2 this season, won for the eighth time in his last nine starts. In his last 16 starts, the Russian netminder has allowed two or fewer goals in 11 of them.

 

Zibanejad opening the scoring with his 17th goal on the power play at 11:46 of the first, one-timing a cross-ice pass from Artemi Panarin past Grubauer.

Zibanejad is on a scoring surge with 12 goals and 14 assists in his last 18 games.

 

Panarin, who leads the Rangers with 49 points, has points in seven out of his last eight games, with two goals and 11 assists.

 

Defenseman Jacob Trouba also assisted on Zibanejad’s 10th power-play goal of the season.

 

The Kraken outshot the Rangers 14-6 in the first.

 

Alexis Lafreniere put the Rangers ahead 2-0 with his ninth goal of the season at 4:23 of the second.

 

Kraken forward Jared McCann narrowed the deficit with his team-best 18th goal, beating Shesterkin at 7:17 of the second.

 

McCann scored for his fourth straight game and leads the expansion Kraken with 27 points overall.

 

Shesterkin made his best save of the third when he denied Marcus Johansson on a Kraken power play early in the period.

 

Grubauer, who made 21 saves, had stopped Miller on a breakaway late in the third to keep it a one-goal game at the time.

 

But Miller’s low shot in the waning seconds eluded the German-born netminder for the winning goal.

 

The Rangers had dropped two in a row, falling 3-2 to Minnesota on Friday following a 5-3 defeat at Columbus on Thursday. The Rangers squandered 2-0 leads in both defeats.

 

It was the first visit to Madison Square Garden for the Kraken, who had won two of three.

 

After beating the Kraken 3-1 in Seattle on Oct. 31, the Rangers had their only three-game losing streak of the season – with overtime defeats at Vancouver and Edmonton before a 6-0 defeat at Calgary on Nov. 6.

 

The Kraken fell to 5-12-2 on the road.

 

EXPANSION TEAM DEBUTS

 

Seattle became the 31st different franchise to play against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. ... Only the Winnipeg Jets (now the Arizona Coyotes) in 1979, the Tampa Bay Lightning (1992) and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1993) won their first road games against the Rangers as expansion teams.

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Game # 45

 

Seattle 2 Bruins 3

 

Final Buzzer: Bruins Hold Off Kraken

Boston takes a 2-0 lead, Kraken scratch back to get even at 2-2. But a second David Pastrnak goal is too much for Seattle to overcome

 
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BOSTON -- A two-goal deficit heading into the final period in Boston is a tough task for any team. The Kraken proved worthy and tied things with third-period goals from Joonas Donskoi and Mason Appleton. It marked Donskoi's first goal of the year, a long time coming for a player who has contributed 14 assists and starred on the penalty kill all season.

 

But a second power-play goal from Boston's David Pastrnak broke the tie with just over nine minutes remaining. Pastrnak's game-winning goal was from a deep angle. The shot went off Chris Driedger's glove and in. Boston held off a valiant Kraken squad to finish this tight game with a 3-2 win.

 

Driedger was brilliant in the first period of this showdown with an Original Six franchise, holding serve with several Grade-A saves against a potent group of Boston scorers.

 

"Chris made two or three saves in the first period that kept the game to zero," Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said after the game.

 

Plus, Driedger filled the role of penalty-killer extraordinaire on the Bruins' first power play of the night when Yanni Gourde was whistled off for boarding that was first called a major penalty of five minutes of man-advantage for Boston but, upon video review instituted in recent years, the on-ice officials reduced the penalty to a two-minute minor.

 

But a second-period Boston power play- tripping called on Marcus Johansson when it appeared Boston's Brandon Carlo was already falling when Johansson's stick dropped toward Carlo's legs - provided the game's first goal off the hot stick of Pastrnak, who opened the game's scoring with his 21st goal of the season and 14th since the beginning of January.

 

With the second goal Tuesday, he now has 13 goals in his last 10 games.

 

Driedger bounced back in the second period with more solid saves and the Kraken's defense-first system was operating efficiently by minimizing Grade-A chances by the Bruins. But a late turn of events - Riley Sheahan not controlling and clearing a puck in front of the net - led to Bruins forward Taylor Hall successfully taking a whack that evaded Driedger.

 

Hakstol said he didn't fault Driedger for the two middle-period goals. He explained that power-play goal was made possible by not clearing the zone when there was a chance. Hakstol said, "the key is to get your clears."

 

The second Boston goal was due to a "mistake on the puck." On the game-winning goal, the coach evenly said "he needs to stop the last one."

"I wasn't really happy with that third one I let in there," Driedger said. "It's pretty deflating. That one's on me, especially when we score two to get back in [the game]."

The Kraken goalie's last appearance was Jan. 15 in a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles. He finished the night with 23 saves.

 

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Appleton's equalizer

 

  • 00:25 • February 1st, 2022

 

Donskoi Snags First Goal in Kraken Blue

Donskoi found the right time for his long-awaited first goal for Seattle, bagging an unassisted tally just 42 seconds into the final period to cut the lead in half. The veteran forward cleaned up a loose puck in part pried loose from a pack of Bruins by teammate Alex Wennberg.

Later in the final period, Kraken forward Colin Blackwell sent a cross-ice pass in the Boston zone to former Bruin Jeremy Lauzon, who slammed a shot that was tipped into the net by Appleton. It was Appleton's fourth goal of the season and the type of goal Hakstol said is needed to find scoring in a tight game. Hakstol said he would have preferred more of what players and coaches like to call "greasy" or "ugly" goals in periods one and two.

"You have to find a way to generate offense, find a rebound, find a tip, create chaos," Hakstol said. "Just like we did in the third period."

 

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Donskoi nets 1st of the season

 

Tale of Two Power-Play Units

Driedger continued the stellar night in the middle period. He made quality saves on three shots during the Bruins' first power play in first half of the frame. The Boston man-advantage unit ranks sixth in the league with a 29 percent success rate and second-highest at home.

Mid-second period, the second Boston power play of the night was short-lived and less fortuitous for Seattle. The Bruins quickly set up and cycled at the Kraken end. Taking a pass from teammate Hall behind the Kraken goal, Pastrnak drilled a quick-release shot past Driedger.

On the Kraken side of the special-teams ledger, Seattle finished the night with no success on six power plays, managing just eight shots in 11:23 of man-advantage, which included 37 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage.

 

Driedger to the (First Period) Rescue

The Kraken turned in another solid game start Tuesday night in Boston, skating shift for shift with the Bruins. But Seattle head coach Dave Hakstol might take some issue with five Grade-A scoring chances perpetrated on Driedger, who was up to the task of keeping the game scoreless.

Some of Driedger's better saves foiled defensive star Charlie McAvoy plus forwards Charlie Coyle and Patrice Bergeron. That sort of game control is what teams need to win most nights in the NHL. In the end, it wasn't enough but did allow Seattle to tie this game and make a run at pushing it into overtime.

The final two minutes of empty-net play for the Kraken included some near-misses, but time ran out.

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Game # 46

 

Seattle 3 NYI 0

 

Grubauer, Kraken blank Isles 3-0 for franchise's 1st shutout

 

By AP
Updated: 6 hours ago
 

NEW YORK -- — Jared McCann had a goal and an assist, and Philipp Grubauer stopped 19 shots for the first shutout in franchise history as the expansion Seattle Kraken beat the New York Islanders 3-0 Wednesday night.

 

Mason Appleton had a goal and an assist and Vince Dunn also scored to help Seattle to its third win in seven games. Grubauer got his 19th career shutout and first since last May 12 against Los Angeles in the season finale while playing for Colorado.

 

“Great game from everybody," Grubauer said. "Without the guys in front of me, there’s no chance to do that. ... It feels good to get that one.”

The Kraken go into the All-Star break last in the Pacific Division at 15-27-4.

 

“Tonight was a real good hard-fought team win where they did their part,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. "Our guys did a really good job of being ready to play. I like the way we competed and skated.”

 

Semyon Varlamov had 28 saves and lost his third straight start for New York, falling to 3-9-1 this season. The Islanders have lost four of six and remained 17 points out of the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

 

The Islanders finished with their lowest shot total of the season.

 

“Too many turnovers, (we) got outcompeted, their will was a lot stronger than our will,” New York coach Barry Trotz said. “They wanted it more. Words don't mean anything, it's actions. ... To me it's one of the more disappointing games that I've coached as Islanders coach. It was quite disappointing. ... I didn't think our level of desire today was very good."

 

The Kraken got the game's first goal at 6:04 of the third. Former Islander Jordan Eberle got the puck behind the net and sent a pass out to McCann on the right side and he fired a shot from a sharp angle, sending the puck off Varlamov's-left shoulder and in.

 

It was McCann's career high-tying 19th of the season.

 

Dunn made it 2-0 just 2 1/2 minutes later as he got a pass from Mason Appleton above the left circle, skated through traffic and put backhander past a screened Varlamov on the blocker side for his fifth.

 

Appleton added an empty-netter in the closing seconds for his fifth.

 

After getting off to a slow start in the first period, the Islanders had only two shots on goal over the first 11 minutes of the second and were outshot 9-6 for the period.

 

Grubauer had a stellar save, sliding to his left to deny a one-timer by Zach Parise from the right dot with 6:51 left in the middle period.

 

Varlamov stopped Colin Blackwell in close 7:50 into the period, and then Blackwell's follow. The Islanders' goalie also had a nice save on Dunn's shot from between the circles with 3 1/2 minutes left in the second.

 

Seattle outshot New York 11-5 in the first period. The Kraken got the first six shots on goal of the game. New York didn't get its first attempt until Andy Greene's weak shot from the point at 6:37. The Islanders' second shot came on Brock Nelson's attempt from between the circles with 5:37 remaining in the period.

 

“That is the identity that you try to strive for," Eberle said. “We defend much like I like to make the comparison that (Islanders) did when I was here.”

 

STATS

 

McCann has three goals and four assists in his last six games. His assist on Appleton's goal was the 100th of his career. ... Seattle's Marcus Johansson also had an assist on McCann's goal, giving him five assists and six points in his last six games. ... The Kraken improved to 7-7-1 when scoring first, and 6-4-2 when tied after two periods. The Islanders fell to 1-2-3 when tied after 40 minutes.

 

SCHEDULING QUIRK

 

The Islanders finished a stretch in which they played 22 of their last 26 games at home. After beginning the season with 13 straight on the road, they opened the $1.1 billion UBS Arena on Nov. 20 and fell to 9-10-3 at their new home. After the All-Star break, New York will play nine of 11 on the road.

 

SEEING A FAMILIAR FACE

 

 

The Islanders honored Eberle with a video tribute during a stoppage in play in the first period and he received a nice ovation from the crowd.

 

Eberle skated to center ice, pointed to the stands to acknowledge the crowd and then pointed to his former teammates on the Islanders' bench. Eberle spent four seasons in New York, totaling 76 goals and 93 assists, before he was selected by Seattle in last summer's expansion draft.

 

“I have a big connection with this group," Eberle said. "Some of my best memories are and also some my worst (losing in the Stanley Cup semifinals twice).”

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Game # 47

 

Seattle 2 Arizona 5

 

Vejmelka stymies Seattle as Coyotes topple Kraken 5-2

 

By AP
Updated: 4 hours ago
 

SEATTLE -- — Throughout his rookie season, the Arizona Coyotes continue to gather information about promising young goaltender Karel Vejmelka.

 

They learned Wednesday night that Vejmelka can rebound from a bad performance and look terrific in the second half of a back-to-back.

 

Vejmelka made 34 saves, Nick Schmaltz scored twice including a clinching empty-net goal in the final minute, and the Coyotes beat the Seattle Kraken 5-2.

“He is capable of unbelievable performance," Arizona coach André Tourigny said. "So we were really confident to be honest today.”

 

Phil Kessel and Anton Stralman both scored as Arizona built a 3-1 lead, and Alex Galchenyuk added an empty-net goal with 1:37 left after Seattle pulled to 3-2.

 

The Coyotes rebounded from a lopsided loss in Vancouver a night earlier to knocked off Seattle for the second time this season.

 

The Kraken are the only team Arizona has beaten twice this season.

 

"I thought we did a good job making plays with the puck and holding on to it, and getting a little more traffic than we did last night in front of the net and create a little more chaos in their end,” Schmaltz said. “Obviously our goalie was really good tonight as well.”

 

Vejmelka was terrific most of the night and appeared on track for his second shutout of the season through two periods. Seattle rallied in the third as Colin Blackwell scored early in the period, and Calle Jarnkrok scored into an open net off a great pass by Yanni Gourde with 4:08 left.

 

But that was all Seattle would get. Both Kessel and Galchenyuk finished with a goal and an assist for the Coyotes.

 

Vejmelka also got some help with shots by Vince Dunn and Mark Giordano hitting the post in the first period and staying out. But when he needed to make a big save, Vejmelka was up to the task.

 

He robbed Gourde open at the back post in the first period and denied Jarnkrok later in the period, although Vejmelka took a quick glance at the goal to see if the puck slipped through.

 

His best save came midway through the second period when Vejmelka made a lunging stop on Jordan Eberle’s chance on a 2-on-1 break.

 

Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer made 22 saves but was left in a difficult position on the three Arizona’s goals he allowed.

 

“In reality, each of the three goals tonight we just, we weren’t sharp, we weren’t clean with the puck,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said.

 

Kessel scored his sixth of the season at 4:07 of the first taking advantage of a bad turnover by Adam Larsson and swerving around Grubauer to score. Schmaltz’s sixth goal came on a breakaway midway through the second period and beat Grubauer high on the glove side.

 

Blackwell scored 16 seconds into the third period for Seattle with a rising wrist shot, but the Coyotes’ two-goal advantage was quickly restored as Stralman flipped a backhanded shot past Grubauer at 1:52 of the third.

 

“There’s two key plays in the game for me. There’s the save (Vejmelka) made on the odd-man rush in the second period, and there’s that goal of (Stralman). I think those were key moments,” Tourigny said.

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Game # 48

 

Seattle 4 Ducks 3

 

Eberle, Kraken strike late to beat Ducks 4-3

 
dm_220212_DM_NHL_EBERLE_GOAL_default.jpg
 

By AP
4 hours ago

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- — Jordan Eberle scored with 1:42 remaining to give the Seattle Kraken a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.

Ryan Donato had two goals and Vince Dunn scored for the Kraken, who have won consecutive road games for the second time. Chris Dreidger made 24 saves.

 

“We didn’t necessarily have a great effort against Arizona, so we needed to come back,” said Eberle, referencing a 5-2 home loss to the Coyotes on Wednesday. “It’s just a big road win, and I think if we can get back to the way we were playing before the break, much like tonight, it’ll be different in the second half for this club.”

 

Isac Lundestrom scored twice and Rickard Rakell had a power-play goal, but the Ducks lost in their return from the All-Star break to end a 4-0-2 run. John Gibson made 23 saves, and Jamie Drysdale had two assists.

 

“I thought it was even,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “We had good execution mostly throughout. We had a bit of a brain cramp on the last goal, a couple of them, and it cost us the game.”

 

Eberle and Riley Sheahan caught Anaheim in a 2-on-1 rush, with Eberle scoring his 13th goal to get the win in a feisty affair. He ended a run of 22 games without a goal, and the relief was visible on Eberle’s face.

 

“This is definitely, I mean, one of the longer slumps of my career. Probably is the longest,” Eberle said. “I’ve played in this league a long time. You’re going to have times where the puck’s not going in. … Eventually they go in, and then they always seem to come in bunches, so just want to keep creating as much as I can.”

 

Eakins lamented the ease at which the Ducks allowed the Kraken to break through their ranks, with all five skaters displaying lackadaisical effort at best.

“A great reminder that every moment is critical in the game,” Eakins said. “We got to understand the clock, and we just can never let off our game, and we did that on that last goal.”

 

Lundestrom tied it up 2-all at 5:34 of the second, racing into the offensive zone with Derek Grant off a timely change as Troy Terry’s forecheck forced a turnover. Lundestrom chipped Grant’s pass on net where it hit the post and bounced in off Dreidger.

 

Rakell put the Ducks ahead 3-2 three minutes later, tipping Drysdale’s shot from the blue line as he was alone in front of Dreidger setting a screen from just outside the crease. Rakell scored for the third straight game.

 

Donato evened things up 3-all with 6:25 left in the second, burying a wrist shot from the high slot after Anaheim defenseman Josh Mahura’s pass went off referee Justin St. Pierre and was grabbed by Yanni Gourde.

 

The Kraken went in front two minutes into the game when Donato fired a blistering slap shot on a one-timer from Austin Czarnik, who made his debut for Seattle after being claimed off waivers from the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

 

Donato ended his own lengthy scoring drought, having picked up one goal in his previous 14 games.

 

“For me, I just try to stay levelheaded and not really worry about that and try to do all the small things right,” he said.

 

The Ducks responded 12 seconds later to tie it up 1-all. Lundestrom scored into an open net from the slot set up by Jakob Silfverberg’s backhand pass, with the 22-year-old Swede reaching 10 goals for the first time in his career.

 

Seattle took a 2-1 lead when Dunn scored his sixth goal with 5:19 left in the first. With bodies concentrated on the right side of the ice, Gourde found Dunn alone in the left circle.

 

“As much as you’re crossing your fingers and you’ve practiced hard, that’s a long time to be off,” Eakins said. “They had the luxury of already having a game underneath their belt. I liked our effort, but we don’t like the result.”

 

START ME UP

 

The Ducks’ quick response to the opening goal followed a lengthy and even fight between Anaheim F Nicolas Deslauriers and Seattle D Jamie Oleksiak off the face-off following Donato’s 10th goal. “I think that was one of the best fights I’ve seen, for sure, in a long time,” Eberle said.

 

An animated Deslauriers bellowed “Let’s go” to his bench following the scrap, and it had the intended result with Lundestrom’s immediate reply.

 

FIGHT OR FLIGHT

 

Ducks C Trevor Zegras had an assist, giving the electric rookie 33 points through 43 games. He also took a hard slash to the back of his right knee from Dunn late in the third period after they went at it to each draw roughing penalties.

 

Eakins didn’t have a problem with Zegras standing up for himself.

 

“I guess there is a time to stake away to maybe grab the power play and there’s a time to stick up for yourself. That young man is gonna get run at and he’s gonna get sticked, and I think it’s important for him to turn back sometimes and let them know he’s not going to accept that,” Eakins said.

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Game # 49

 

Seattle 2 Lefas 6

 

Marner reaches 400 career points, Leafs top Kraken 6-2

 

By AP
Updated: 6 hours ago
 

SEATTLE -- — Mitch Marner made sure to collect all the gear he could after joining some rare company.

 

Marner scored once and added two assists to reach 400 career points, and the Toronto Maple Leafs snapped a two-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over the Seattle Kraken on Monday night.

 

Marner became the second player from the 2015 draft to reach 400 career points, joining Edmonton's Connor McDavid. It came on Marner's 17th goal of the season that gave Toronto a 4-1 lead. He also assisted on Michael Bunting’s power-play goal in the first period and helped on David Kampf’s short-handed goal early in the third period with a beautiful drop pass on a breakaway.

 

“It’s pretty cool achievement,” Marner said. ”Obviously got to thank my parents and a lot of people around me. Without them, this isn't possible. So it's a moment I can get to share with them and got the puck, stick and stuff like that to be able to give to my parents and stuff like that to enjoy. It's just a cool moment.

 

Marner had an eight-game points streak snapped in Calgary last week in Toronto’s first stop on a three-game trip, but has 22 points in the last 11 games.

Bunting had a goal and assist and Auston Matthews added a pair of assists for Toronto. Jack Campbell made 23 saves.

 

Seattle’s Calle Jarnkrok scored his ninth goal of the season midway through the first period off a turnover in Toronto’s zone. Jared McCann added a power-play goal in the third period, setting a career-high with his 20th goal of the season.

 

“It’s obviously very special. It’s something I’ve worked very hard for,” McCann said.

 

The Maple Leafs showed their potency on the power play going 2-for-2 with the man-advantage after entering the day with the best power play in the NHL, converting on 30.5% of their chances.

 

Ondrej Kase scored on the power play in the first period, redirecting Bunting’s shot past Seattle starting goalie Philipp Grubauer. Marner’s power-play goal came at 9:15 of the second period off a rebound.

 

“I thought we were elite on special teams. I thought we had a real advantage, potential advantage coming into the game today and it played out that way. ... The execution of the players just was at a really high level today, especially the power play.” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said.

 

Alexander Kerfoot opened the scoring for Toronto at 3:56 of the first period, beating Grubauer up high on the blocker side after going the previous 12 games without a goal. Jake Muzzin capped the scoring with his second of the season at 18:19 of the third.

 

“You always want to score and contribute,” Kerfoot said. “I mean, I guess it’s always in the back of your mind, but it’s not like I was losing sleep over it or anything like that. You just want to contribute.”

 

Grubauer stopped eight of 11 shots in the first period before being pulled, with some bad luck on Bunting’s goal as it deflected off Seattle defenseman Vince Dunn and caught Grubauer moving the opposite direction.

 

Grubauer was replaced by backup Chris Driedger, who made 11 saves in the final two periods.

 

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said he made the goalie switch hoping to shift the momentum.

 

“At that point, you’re at a point where you give up another one and now you’re in a real deep hole. So really just wanted to change the momentum and try to push the other way,” Hakstol said.

 

WELCOME BACK

 

Seattle’s home building, Climate Pledge Arena, is built on the original site and under the original roof of the Seattle Center Coliseum that was constructed for the 1962 World’s Fair.

 

And the first hockey game ever played inside the building was an exhibition on Sept. 30, 1964, between the Seattle Totems of the Western Hockey League and the reigning Stanley Cup champion Maple Leafs. Toronto won the exhibition game 7-1.

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Game # 50

 

Seattle 3 Jets 5

 

Morrissey scores winner, Winnipeg beats Kraken 5-3

 

ByAP
Updated: 4 hours ago
 

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- — Josh Morrissey scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:10 left in the third period and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Seattle Kraken 5-3 on Thursday night.

 

The Jets won for the second consecutive night, following a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

 

“It’s huge,” Morrissey said. “Obviously, we know where we’re at in the standings, and we need points and wins right now. I’ve liked where our game has been at since we’ve come back from the break, for the most part, and it was an emotional win for us last night and (it was good) to rebound against a team that is coming in fresh and waiting for us here tonight.

 

“It wasn’t necessarily the prettiest game through and through for us, but it’s a huge win. We’re going to need to stack wins together if we’re going to go on a run here.”

 

Morrissey converted a perfect pass from Connor and beat Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer cleanly for the game-winner.

 

“He’s (Morrissey) back to being the player that we expected him to be,” said Jets coach Dave Lowry, who pointed out that Morrissey lost his father last season. “It was tough. But he is back and enjoying the game. He is having fun and playing the way that everybody expected him to play.”

 

Dominic Toninato, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler also scored for Winnipeg. Kyle Connor, who assisted on Morrissey's goal, added an empty-net goal at the buzzer. Eric Comrie stopped 20-and Dylan DeMelo had two assists.

 

Vince Dunn, Marcus Johansson and Jordan Eberle scored for Seattle. Grubauer made 24 saves.

 

Seattle tied the score at 3-all 7:02 into the third. Eberle tipped in a pass from forward Johansson from the crease.

 

“We created enough,” Eberle said. “I think the biggest thing is we gave up too much. We traded chances with a team that has a lot of fire power. I thought, at the start of the game, we started really well. We were on top of them and obviously, we had a couple big goals, and the short-handed one in the first, that really deflated us. That can’t happen. That’s on me, that’s on other guys.

 

“Then, they get one to tie it up and then, take the lead. We fought back and had opportunities to create, but at the end of the day we hung (Grubauer) too much out to dry. They had some good chances and that’s all stuff that we created and gave them.”

 

Wheeler, who had two points, gave Winnipeg a 3-2 lead at 11:54 of the second period when he converted a pass from Paul Stastny in front. Stastny stole the puck in the corner and immediately fed Wheeler.

 

The Jets knotted the score at 2-2 early in the second. Just getting out of the penalty box, Dubois fired a sharp-angled shot that beat Grubauer 1:45 in.

The Kraken took a 2-1 lead into the second period.

 

Winnipeg cut into a 2-0 deficit when Toninato scored a short-handed goal with just 13 seconds left in the opening period. With Dubois off for high sticking, Toninato converted a perfect pass from Adam Lowry into an open net with Grubauer pulled out of position.

 

Seattle had jumped out to a 2-0 lead. With Winnipeg defenseman Logan Stanley off for boarding, Dunn fired a slap shot from the point that beat a screened Comrie 3:21 into the game.

 

The Kraken followed that when Johansson beat Comrie from the slot at the 12:15 mark.

 

“The short-handed goal at the end of the first period, the early goal at the beginning of the second period obviously gave them a lot of life,” said Kraken coach Dave Hakstol. “That led to a good second period for them.”

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Game # 51

 

Seattle 1 Flames 2

 

Lindholm, Flames beat Kraken 2-1 for 9th straight win

  •  

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Elias Lindholm scored for the seventh straight game and the Calgary Flames beat the Seattle Kraken 2-1 Saturday night for their ninth consecutive win.

Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 22 shots while starting for the 14th time in 15 games. Lindholm, who also had an assist, extended his point streak to nine games with eight goals and seven assists during the stretch.

Calle Jarnkrok scored for Seattle, which has lost three straight. Philipp Grubauer finished with 35 saves.

Lindholm put the Flames ahead at 7:31 of the third period as he corralled the rebound off a shot by Chris Tanev in the slot, spun and sent a wrist shot just inside the goal post on Grubauer's blocker side. It was his 22nd of the season and came after Grubauer had made 32 saves in a row, bouncing back spectacularly after giving up a goal on the first shot he faced.

Markstrom's best save came four minutes into the second period when he slid across the crease with an old fashioned stacking of the pads to rob Jordan Eberle after he had been set up on a two-on-one by Alex Wennberg.

In keeping the score 1-1, Grubauer stretched out his pad late in the first to rob Flames leading goal scorer Andrew Mangiapane on a one-timer. He then stopped Mangiapane on another dangerous chance six minutes into the second, this time thrusting out his blocker to get a piece of the puck.

Grubauer also got some help from defenseman Adam Larsson five minutes into the third. Johnny Gaudreau's shot from 10 feet out with the net vacant was blocked by Larsson, who stuck out his leg to rob the Flames' leading scorer.

Coming into the night, Calgary had won five games in a row by three or more goals for the first time in franchise history. The Flames had outscored teams 37-13 over that stretch.

Calgary opened the scoring for the 31st time at 3:02 of the first period when Lindholm centered a pass to Tkachuk, cruising through the slot, before he beat Grubauer high on the glove side for his 24th.

Seattle tied it with 7:34 remaining in the period, taking advantage of a blunder by defenseman Noah Hanifin. Getting the puck behind the net and facing the boards, Hanifin blindly sent the puck into his own slot where there the only player there was Jarnkrok who quickly whipped a shot past a surprised Markstrom.

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Motte, Canucks send Kraken to fourth straight loss, 5-2

 
ss_20220222_004056505_1895799_default.jp
 
Game # 52 
 
Seattle 2 Vancouver 5

ByAP
Updated: 3 hours ago
 

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- — Tyler Motte and his linemates have earned the trust of Vancouver Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau.

Now, the fourth line is transforming that trust into confidence on the ice — and putting up points in the process.

 

Motte had a goal and an assist, and the Canucks beat the Seattle Kraken 5-2 on Monday night.

 

Motte's linemate, Juho Lahmikko, chipped in with two assists and Matthew Highmore rounded out the line’s production with another assist.

 

“When we’re playing with confidence and we’re rolling, it’s nice,” Motte said. “We play simple, we play hard and fast, create a few turnovers and we’re going to continue to generate a little bit of offense. I think, for us, it’s making sure we’re taking care of the d-side of it, too. We’re not giving them much there.

 

“I’ve got to be honest with you, it’s fun playing with those guys.”

 

The trio takes direction really well, Boudreau said.

 

“They do what you ask them to do and they can all skate,” Boudreau said. “They pressure, pressure, pressure. Where they used to just hold their own, now they can score some goals and that makes them even more valuable in my mind.”

 

Travis Hamonic, Vasily Podkolzin, Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson also scored for the Canucks. Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller also had two assists apiece.

Jared McCann, who was playing in his 400th NHL game, and Mark Giordano scored for the Kraken, who lost their fourth straight game.

 

Vancouver, which was coming off a 7-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, is 6-3-1 in its last 10 games.

 

Thatcher Demko stopped 25 of 27 shots for the Canucks. Kraken goalie Chris Driedger made a season-high 41 saves. Vancouver’s 46 shots was also a season high.

 

Pearson scored into an empty net with 92 seconds left. The goal drew chants of “Bruce, there it is!” from the crowd in tribute to Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau.

 

Seattle got a chance to cut into the deficit late in the third period when Vancouver’s Matthew Highmore was called for interference. The best shot of the man advantage came from the Canucks when Motte picked off a pass, orchestrating a two-on-one with J.T. Miller. Driedger made a pad save on Miller's shot.

Vancouver came into the final period on a power play after Alex Wennberg was called for slashing late in the second.

 

Horvat scored 35 seconds into the third. Miller sliced a pass to the Canucks captain from along the boards and Horvat sent a rocket past Driedger.

 

“The goal early in the third, that’s one we need a kill on,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “It’s a big difference, one-goal game than a two-goal game so that made it a little steeper hill to climb. That being said, we had some pretty good energy in the third period and we just weren’t able to get it within one.”

Vancouver was 1 for 4 with the man advantage. Seattle failed to score on four power plays.

 

The Canucks outshot the Kraken 18-4 in the second period.

 

Stationed at the side of the net, Podkolzin restored Vancouver’s lead 16:41 into the frame. Quinn Hughes’ initial shot hit Adam Larsson in the crease and Podkolzin quickly capitalized, batting in the lose puck to make it 3-2.

 

Hamonic scored his first goal of the season earlier in the period, the 200th point of his NHL career. The defenseman fired a shot between Driedger and the post to knot the score at 2-all.

 

Driedger said the second period wasn’t his team’s best.

 

“I don’t know exactly what happened, but they just outworked us out there,” he said. “I thought we actually had a pretty good first. We recovered well after that first one against, which is good to see. I thought we showed a little bit of resilience in the first, score two goals to take the lead. We just needed to keep that up and unfortunately we didn’t do that, didn’t have the answer.”

 

Seattle took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission thanks to Giordano’s short-handed score.

 

With Vince Dunn in the box for interference, the veteran defenseman beat Pettersson to a pass in the Canucks end and zipped up the slot, sending a shot in over Demko’s stick 14:26 into the frame.

 

Boudreau started Motte and his linemates Monday in a bid to get a better start.

 

“They could all skate and if we won the draw and got the puck deep, I knew they would just be hounding the puck really well and that’s what we hadn’t been doing in recent games,” Boudreau said.

 

Fans were still filtering into Rogers Arena when Vancouver opened the scoring just 11 seconds into the game.

 

Lahmmikko picked up the puck behind Seattle’s net and fed Motte from below the goal line. He jammed a wrist shot past Driedger and put the Canucks up 1-0 with his sixth goal of the year.

 

Motte’s goal was the quickest an NHL player has scored this season, topping the tally L.A. Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson scored in 12 seconds against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 1.

 

The Kraken drew level 3:12 into the game off a two-on-one rush. Marcus Johansson carried the puck up the ice and dished it to McCann, who was waiting back door for the easy tap-in.

 

McCann’s 21st goal of the season came against the team that drafted him 24th overall back in 2014.

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Zach Parise scores twice, Islanders topple tired Kraken 5-2

Game # 53
 
Seattle 2 NYI 5

ByAP
Updated: 4 hours ago
 

SEATTLE -- — Zach Parise scored twice and added an assist, Brock Nelson scored for the third straight game, and the New York Islanders opened their road trip with a 5-2 win over the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night.

 

New York won for just the second time in the last six games, jumping out to an early lead and overwhelming the Kraken, who were playing their third game in four nights. Seattle has lost five straight.

 

Parise had his first multigoal game since Jan. 14, 2020, when he was playing for Minnesota against Pittsburgh.

 

“His numbers aren't staggering the last couple of years, but it’s the other parts of this game that are so valuable,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said.

 

Kyle Palmeri scored his fourth goal in his last four games and Casey Cizikas added his fifth of the season after a rebound off the end boards as the Islanders built a 4-0 lead.

 

Mathew Barzal was a nuisance all night and assisted on Parise’s goal late in the first period. Barzal played four years of junior hockey for the Seattle Thunderbirds, leading them to the Western Hockey League championship in his final season.

 

“It seemed like he was pretty excited to be back here in Seattle, a lot of Thunderbirds jerseys with ‘Barzal’ on it,” Parise said. “He was flying right from the beginning.”

 

Nelson’s goal at 8:53 of the first period was his team-best 18th of the season and just the second time in the last 13 games the Islanders scored first.

 

Parise’s first goal was initially waived off for goalie interference, but the Islanders challenged the call and it was overturned on video review.

 

Parise added an empty-net goal with 1:58 left.

 

Ilya Sorokin made 23 saves and was barely tested for the first 30 minutes of the game. When Cizikas gave the Islanders a 4-0 lead at 10:33 of the second period, the Kraken had just six shots on Sorokin.

 

“We didn’t have a lot of energy early, and we needed to somehow give ourselves that injection of life with something early offensively,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “And we couldn’t find that.”

 

Meanwhile, Seattle goaltender Philipp Grubauer was peppered with shots from the start and made 31 saves. Grubauer posted the first shutout in franchise history earlier this month in a 3-0 win over the Islanders in the last game before the All-Star break.

 

"We weren’t killing plays quick enough and it’s tough to break the puck out when you can’t do that,” Seattle forward Yanni Gourde said. “Once we got going and were better in structure and got the puck in the (offensive) zone, we can see how much better of a team we are.”

 

Gourde scored unassisted off a faceoff for Seattle late in the second period for his 11th goal of the season and Riley Sheahan scored early in the third period, thanks to an awkward bounce off the end boards. The Kraken had two great chances from Morgan Geekie and Vince Dunn moments later that were saved by Sorokin.

 

“He made a couple of huge saves,” Trotz said. “It was probably a difficult game for him because he didn’t have a lot of work for the first 30 minutes, and then the last 20 or so we gave him a lot of work.”

 

CHARA RECORD

 

Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara tied the NHL record for most games played by a defenseman when he took the ice in the first period. Chara appeared in his 1,651st game, tying him with Chris Chelios for most games by a defenseman.

 

Chara, who will turn 45 next month, debuted during the 1997-98 season with the Islanders. He also played with Ottawa, Washington and spent 14 seasons with Boston.

 

Chara got the assist on Parise’s empty-net goal.

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Game # 54

 

Seattle 2 Bruins 3 OT

 

Jake DeBrusk scores twice as Bruins top Kraken 3-2 in OT

 

By AP
Updated: 3 hours ago

SEATTLE -- — Jake DeBrusk's response to being elevated onto the top line for the Boston Bruins was his first multigoal game in more than two years.

DeBrusk scored his second goal of the game 33 seconds into overtime and the Bruins beat the Seattle Kraken 3-2 on Thursday night.

 

“I’ve gotten some puck luck the last little bit, so it’s been trending in the right direction,” DeBrusk said. “So I was really excited.”

 

Boston opened a lengthy road trip with its third straight win and welcomed Brad Marchand back from suspension. DeBrusk scored off a fluky bounce in the first period and beat Seattle goaltender Philipp Grubauer on the short side from a tight angle on the first shot of the extra period.

 

DeBrusk was added to the line with Marchand and Patrice Bergeron for the first time this season ahead of Thursday's game. His last two-goal game came on Jan. 9, 2020, against Winnipeg.

 

David Pastrnak scored his 28th of the season and 20th in the last 23 games early in the second period to give Boston a 2-1 lead.

 

Marchand returned after sitting the past six games, the result of roughing and high-sticking on Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry on Feb. 8. It was the second suspension this season for Marchand, who spoke after the morning skate on the need to stay out of trouble, knowing the punishments could be more severe going forward.

 

In this game, Marchand was a model citizen. He played nearly 22 minutes, had seven shots and avoided any trips to the penalty box.

 

“I was happy with his game,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Obviously, look at the details of it tomorrow when we go through the video part of it, but on the surface I thought he looked good.”

 

Boston goalie Linus Ullmark made 25 saves.

 

Mark Giordano and Jordan Eberle scored for Seattle. Grubauer made 36 saves, the second-most this season, and was terrific until giving up DeBrusk’s overtime goal.

 

Seattle has lost six straight.

 

“We played our (butts) off tonight for 60 minutes, bottom line. Tough way to a lose a hockey game,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “Proud of our effort.”

 

Seattle took a 1-0 lead on Giordano’s second short-handed goal in the last three games. Seattle spent most of the first period on the penalty kill after committing four penalties, including a four-minute double minor on Adam Larsson for high sticking.

 

Seattle survived being short-handed, but Boston was able to pull even on a fluky bounce. Erik Haula’s pass from behind the net deflected over the goal. Seattle’s defenseman Jeremy Lauzon tried to swat it out of midair, but didn’t make clean contact and the puck fell into the crease, and DeBrusk poked it into the net.

Lauzon was selected by Seattle from Boston in the expansion draft.

 

“I told him I owed him a couple of beers,” DeBrusk said. “He's a good friend of mine.”

 

Boston took a 2-1 lead on Pastrnak’s one-timer off a clean cross-ice pass by Charlie McAvoy, but the Kraken caught the Bruins in a change and Eberle finished off a 3-on-1 with a backhanded flip at 13:19 of the second to pull Seattle even.

 

It was Eberle’s 15th of the season and just his third since Dec. 6.

 

“The big picture is we’ve lost six row. I mean that’s unacceptable,” Eberle said. “But we got to find a way to keep with it. ... We’re playing better. We just got to find a way to play on our toes. We've got to be aggressive.”

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Game # 55

 

Seattle 1 Sharks 3

 

Reedy, Gadjovich, Dzingel get 1sts as Sharks beat Kraken 3-1

 

By AP
Updated: 4 hours ago
 

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- — Scott Reedy and Jonah Gadjovich each scored his first NHL goal, Ryan Dzingel got his first with San Jose, and the Sharks beat the Seattle Kraken 3-1 Sunday night.

 

San Jose goalie James Reimer had 39 saves, including 17 in the first period, when the Kraken outshot the Sharks 18-4.

San Jose beat expansion Seattle for the first time in three tries.

 

“We found a way.” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “I don’t think it was our best performance by any means. But, at this time of year, to get two points and find a way, that’s the biggest thing.”

 

Morgan Geekie scored for the Kraken, which lost its seventh straight. Philipp Grubauer had 21 saves.

 

Reedy’s first NHL goal at 7:15 of the second period broke a 1-1 tie. He started the day with San Jose’s AHL affiliate, the Barracuda, and was playing in his sixth career NHL game. Reedy got the puck at the top of the circle off a faceoff and fired a shot past Grubauer.

 

“It’s an emotional moment for me, just thinking about everything that went into it and getting to this point,” Reedy said. “In this building, too, in front of all the fans. And my family is watching back home. It’s actually my mom’s birthday, so (it’s a) little birthday present for her. Special moment.”

 

Gadjovich got his first, on the power play, with 5:23 left in the third to push the Sharks’ lead to 3-1.

 

Dzingel’s goal with 2:41 left in the first was his first since being claimed off waivers last week from Toronto. He scored four goals in 29 games for Arizona before being traded to the Maple Leafs.

 

Geekie tied it 9 seconds later on a backhander for his fourth goal. It snapped a 20-game scoreless streak going back to Dec. 11.

 

“It definitely weighs on you for sure,” Geekie said. “I think I’ve kind of established myself as far as growing my game and turning into a 200-foot player. If I can continue to play both ends of the rink, and the chances keep coming, I think it’s going to keep going the way it’s going.”

 

The Sharks were 0 for 3 on power plays, all in the third period.

 

“We did what we had to do in the first period, that’s the kind of start you have to have when a team’s on a back-to-back, we did everything other than come out of the first period with a lead,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said.

 

“You’re not going to be as dominant three periods in a row as we were in the first period but even taking out the six minutes of penalty killing time in the third period, we didn’t generate as much as we wanted to, but we were still going.”

 

FERRARO UNDERGOES SURGERY

 

Sharks defensemen Mario Ferrero underwent surgery Sunday to repair a fracture in his lower left fibula at Kaiser Permanente in San Jose, the team said. The typical recovery time for this injury is six to eight weeks.

 

CHALLENGE

 

Seattle's Calle Jarnkrok scored at 4:04 of the second period but it was overturned after officials called Marcus Johansson for interfering with Reimer.

 

 

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Game # 56

 

Seattle 4 Preds 3

 

Kraken snap 7-game skid with 4-3 win over Predators

 

By AP
Updated: 3 hours ago
 

SEATTLE -- — Colin Blackwell scored the go-ahead, short-handed goal in the third period and the Seattle Kraken snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night.

 

Blackwell’s goal came a little more than three minutes into the third, and was the first short-handed tally of his career.

 

Blackwell started his NHL career with the Predators, making his debut for the team in 2018 and playing 33 games for Nashville over two seasons.

 

“That one felt good. A team I used to play for, those ones always feel good,” Blackwell said. “That one definitely sticks out there for this year.”

 

Blackwell also had an assist during a second-period scoring binge for the Kraken as Alex Wennberg, Calle Jarnkrok and Yanni Gourde had goals in a span of 2 minutes, 39 seconds. It was the fastest three-goal span for the first-year franchise.

 

“It’s a great feeling, obviously,” Wennberg said. “And it was great, too — it’s three different lines that go in and score. So that’s good for the team as well, you have everyone chipping in and doing their part.”

 

Chris Driedger had 19 saves for his fifth win for Seattle, which won for the first time since Feb. 11 at Anaheim. But the Kraken trailed 2-0 before their big second period.

 

Matt Duchene had two goals for Nashville, Philip Tomasino also scored, and Roman Josi had two assists, giving him 500 points for his career. Juuse

Saros stopped 27 shots.

 

After a relatively quiet first period during which Nashville took a 1-0 lead, the second featured a flurry of offense from both teams.

 

Nashville took a 2-0 lead with 13:06 to go in the second period on a power-play goal by Duchene.

 

It took only 29 seconds for Seattle to answer. On a rush up ice, Marcus Johansson’s cross-ice pass gave Wennberg an easy score.

 

Just a minute and a half later, Jarnkrok tied the game at 2 as Jordan Eberle’s pass from just behind the net found Jarnkrok at the top of the crease.

 

It took one more minute for the Kraken to take their first lead of the game as Gourde flipped it in on another rush up ice after a nice assist from Blackwell.

Duchene tied it with about 5 ½ minutes left in the period with his second goal, a shot on an open net as Driedger was caught out of position.

 

The Predators opened the scoring with 6:47 left in the first. Michael McCarron’s pass from behind the net found Tomasino at the top of the crease for a 1-0 lead.

 

“To be honest, I don’t think we deserved to win really tonight,” Josi said. “I thought our first (period) was OK, was pretty even. But the second, they had a long push, obviously scored those three goals, and then we had a push toward the end. But our third period just wasn’t good enough.”

 

Game notes


Josi reached 500 points in 732 games, the fifth-fastest defenseman in the last 25 years. He's also the fifth defenseman from the 2008 draft to reach the mark, the most of any draft class in history. ...

 

The Predators reassigned D Matt Tennyson to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. ... Jarnkrok is the fourth Seattle player to score against the team he was selected from in the Kraken’s expansion draft.

 

SHORT-HANDED SUCCESS

 

The Kraken have scored three short-handed goals in the last five games, and killed off 18 of the last 20 penalties faced. “We kind of switched it up recently to be very aggressive. I think we’ve been doing a good job of that,” Blackwell said.

 

“Any time you can frustrate their top guys and put a lot of pressure on them and make it hard on them, it’s very beneficial for us and makes a long night for them.”

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Game # 57

 

 

Alex Ovechkin scores 764th goal, Capitals beat Kraken 5-2

  •  

By STEPHEN WHYNO

AP Hockey Writer

 

WASHINGTON (AP) When Alex Ovechkin lost the puck, Tom Wilson picked it up and finished off a highlight goal reminiscent of his younger days as an elite scorer.

Saturday night provided another reminder about how Ovechkin has been one for a long time - and he isn't slowing down.

Ovechkin took another step toward tying Jaromir Jagr for third place on the NHL career goals list, picked up two assists for a three-point game and led the Washington Capitals past the Seattle Kraken 5-2 for their second consecutive win on the heels of three consecutive losses.

Washington's longtime captain scored on the power play for a second consecutive game, his 34th goal of the season and 764th of his career. He's two back of tying Jagr, one of only two players between him and Wayne Gretzky.

"It's just nonstop," said Wilson, who scored his 18th goal of the season. "He just has a drive that I've never seen before, and it shows in his game. He just keeps going, and he's a machine. When he's playing like that, you just try and complement him any way he can and get him the puck because he's a force to be reckoned with."

The Capitals have now won two in a row at home after losing their previous six games in Washington.

Conor Sheary had two goals, including an empty-netter, to reach 100 in his career and Dmitry Orlov also scored for Washington, which looks to have righted the ship after losing 14 of its first 22 games in 2022.

"We're starting to see some good signs of the kind of hockey we want to play down the stretch here," defenseman Nick Jensen said. "There's a lot of good things, a lot of good signs, but we've got to keep getting better and keep building. Not everything is perfect right now, but it's going in the right direction."

The Capitals looked like their early-season selves with the top line of Ovechkin, Wilson and Evgeny Kuznetsov clicking and Vitek Vanecek looking poised and confident in net. Vanecek made 29 saves, allowing goals only to Joonas Donskoi in the first period and Colin Blackwell 58 seconds into the second.

"He plays with a lot of confidence," Sheary said of Vanecek. "It's fun when he backstops us and makes big saves and gives us some momentum."

Of course the climate around the U.S. capital has changed plenty since the fall, and there were small reminders inside and outside the arena of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. A handful of demonstrators stood outside an entrance with a Ukrainian flag and a sign reading, "Ovechkin supports Putin," while another from New Jersey held up a sign during warmups referencing the long connection between the Capitals captain and the Russian president.

The fan, who identified himself as Roman and said he was from Ukraine and currently lives in New Jersey, caught the attention of Kuznetsov, who appeared to be yelling toward him from the ice. A day after Capital One Arena clarified its policy that political signs are not allowed but flags can be brought in as long as they are not on sticks or poles, he was asked by security to put his poster away but did not have it confiscated.

Nothing more came of the demonstrations. Fans chanted, "Ovi! Ovi!" after his goal just as they did the other night and have countless times during his 17-year career as the face of the franchise.

Mark Giordano, the former face of the Calgary Flames franchise and now with Seattle, became the 364th player to skate in 1,000 regular-season NHL games.

"It was an up and down journey for me to get into this league, but I feel like I put a lot of hard work and a lot of years in and definitely a milestone that I've been looking forward to," Giordano said. "I feel a huge sense of accomplishment, to be honest."

The Kraken lost for the eighth time in nine games, but coach Dave Hakstol was not displeased with his team's effort.

"This group hasn't gone downhill," Hakstol said. "They haven't gone away. I liked the response. I really liked our work ethic throughout the entire 60 minutes."

 

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Game # 58

 

Seattle 2 Canes 3

 

Necas breaks scoring drought as Hurricanes top Kraken

 

By AP
Updated: 6 hours ago
 

RALEIGH, N.C. -- — As Martin Necas skated back toward the Carolina Hurricanes bench, he mockingly brushed something off his back.

 

This slump had ended.

 

“It was just the feeling at the moment,” he said of his reaction.

 

Necas scored with 9:38 remaining to give the Hurricanes their first lead of the game in a 3-2 win over the Seattle Kraken on Sunday night.

 

“I was trying to not count the games I haven’t scored,” Necas said. “Through my career, I never really waited that long for a goal.”

 

Necas had gone 18 games without a goal, last scoring Jan. 15. He found the puck as it bounced near a cluster of players, falling away from the crease as he fired a shot for his ninth goal of the season.

 

“I just saw guys celebrating,” Necas said. “I actually didn’t see the puck go in the net.”

 

By ending the longest scoring drought of an NHL career that has spanned parts of five seasons, he’s now tied for the team lead with five game-winning goals.

 

“If you’re going to come out of it, that’s the kind of goal you want to get,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said.

 

Nino Niederreiter and Tevuo Teravainen scored second-period goals on power plays for the Hurricanes, who stretched their home-ice points streak to 11 games. Antti Raanta made 28 saves.

 

The Necas goal was the biggest because of who scored it.

 

“We need everybody scoring and feeling good,” Teravainen said.

 

Alex Wennberg and Calle Jarnkrok scored for Seattle, which has lost on back-to-back nights to begin a five-game road trip. Phillipp Grubauer stopped 30 shots, but lost his eighth straight (0-7-1).

 

The Kraken have lost nine of their last 10 (1-8-1).

 

“There’s a lot of good things, but we don’t get the results we want,” Wennberg said. “I felt like we had momentum in the game and we were pushing.”

 

Wennberg opened the scoring just 3:12 into the second period, marking the Kraken’s first power-play goal in eight games. Niederreiter countered for the Hurricanes about four minutes later.

 

It took the Kraken just 66 seconds after that to go back ahead when Jarnkrok took advantage of a Carolina turnover and converted it into his second goal in the last three games.

 

Teravainen tied the score with 2:38 remaining in the second period, just four seconds into a power play.

 

Seattle has allowed a goal on four of its past five penalty-killing situations across two games.

 

“We’ve got to win the special teams battles,” Wennberg said. “It just came down to that.”

 

Still, Seattle managed only nine shots in the third period.

 

“When we got the lead, I think we played pretty smart,” Raanta said.

 

GAMES THEY PLAY

 

Terravainen, a left wing, appeared in his 500th NHL game, with the last 385 with Carolina.

 

“Of course 500 games, it’s pretty cool,” he said. “Hopefully get a little more.”

 

Meanwhile for the Kraken, defenseman Mark Giordano was fresh off a milestone, perhaps embarking on another. He was on the ice again a night after playing in his 1,000th game in Washington.

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