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Seattle Kraken Season 21/22


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Five questions facing Seattle Kraken

Grubauer's impact, center production with Gourde out among unknowns

by Nicholas J. Cotsonikast 
 
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1. How good will they be?

The Vegas Golden Knights set the bar high in 2017-18, when they won the Pacific Division, finished fifth in the NHL, and made the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season.

Comparisons are inevitable. In some ways, that's good. The Golden Knights serve as inspiration. After the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21, defenseman Jamie Oleksiak said, "You look at the success Vegas had, right? I think we can kind of follow the same mold."

But this is a different situation, a different team. The Kraken must set their own course.

"I think there's an opportunity for success, and I think it's important for us to achieve success as we're growing as a team," coach Dave Hakstol said. "That's not easy. It's not going to be an easy task. That's not a comparison to anybody that's done it before us. That's just what our standard is going to be."

 

2. How does Dave Hakstol turn this roster into a team?

When the players take the ice for the first time in training camp Sept. 23, they will not have played together before. They won't know the system. Roles will not be defined.

Hakstol must bring them together as a team before the regular-season opener at Vegas on Oct. 12, teaching the system and figuring out combinations. Along the way, the leadership group must emerge and the players must bond.

One reason the Kraken hired Hakstol is that he had a strong plan leading up to camp. He planned to reach out to players and build relationships as quickly as possible ahead of time.

"We have to grow and become comfortable with the details of the system all together," Hakstol said. "That's from the ground up. Everybody's starting from the same spot on Day One."

 

3. Can Philipp Grubauer be another Marc-Andre Fleury?

Not only was Fleury the face of the franchise for Vegas after the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, he put up what was at the time the best goals-against average (2.24) and save percentage (.927) of his NHL career in their inaugural season, a big reason why the Golden Knights accomplished so much.

Grubauer was Seattle's prize in free agency, signing a six-year contract July 28. He went 30-9-1 with a 1.95 GAA, a .922 save percentage and seven shutouts in 40 games (39 starts) for the Colorado Avalanche last season and was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the best goalie as voted by NHL general managers.

"I think it's incredible to be part of something new and make history in terms of playing the first-ever game and being part of that group and doing the same thing Vegas did," Grubauer said. "That's the goal."

 

4. What will the defense pairs be?

The top four defensemen seem to be Vince Dunn, Mark Giordano, Adam Larsson and Oleksiak. Does Hakstol pair Dunn with Larsson and Giordano with Oleksiak? Does he put Dunn with Oleksiak and Giordano with Larsson?

Then it gets interesting with Will Borgen, Dennis Cholowski, Haydn Fleury, Jeremy Lauzon and Carson Soucy on the roster. Do Fleury and Soucy become the third pair? Who is the seventh defenseman? Do the Kraken keep eight defensemen? Do they use their surplus to make a trade?

 

5. Do they have enough firepower up front, especially at center?

The Kraken selected center Yanni Gourde from the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the expansion draft, but he is expected to miss the first two months of the season after having shoulder surgery.

Seattle's other options at center include Nathan Bastian, Morgan Geekie, Calle Jarnkrok, Marcus Johansson and Alex Wennberg.

No one on the roster scored more than 17 goals last season, though eight forwards hit double digits: Gourde (17), Wennberg (17), Joonas Donskoi (17), Jordan Eberle (16), Jared McCann (14), Jarnkrok (13), Mason Appleton (12) and Colin Blackwell (12).

Jaden Schwartz scored eight goals for the St. Louis Blues last season but has scored at least 19 goals in a season five times.

Edited by Brewin Flames
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  • Brewin Flames changed the title to Seattle Kraken Season 21/22
  • 2 weeks later...

Seattle Kraken open with 5-3 preseason win over Vancouver Canucks

 

 
 

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The concourses of the Spokane Arena were jammed. The merchandise lines snaked through the crowds, causing bottlenecks as fans filed in for their first glimpse of the Seattle Kraken.

 

There seems to be little doubt about the popularity and reach of the NHL's newest franchise, even when playing 300 miles away from home.

 

"It was unbelievable to be honest. I mean, I'm from the East Coast so I've never been out here. It just goes to show how exciting hockey is, how much it's growing," Seattle's Ryan Donato said. "Coming in here and seeing all the Kraken jerseys and how everything's growing so fast, it's truly awesome to be a part of."

 

Seattle made its debut on Sunday night with a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks in the preseason opener for both teams.

 

With Seattle's home arena putting the finishing touches on its construction, the Kraken have taken their first preseason on the road to three junior hockey venues in the state.

 

Spokane was first up, and the 10,208 fans were treated to the Kraken rallying from a 2-0 deficit thanks to three goals in the second period and Morgan Geekie's two goals in the third period.

 

Riley Sheahan scored the first preseason goal in Kraken history at 2:32 of the second period off an assist from Nathan Bastian. Jared McCann and Donato added power-play goals in the second period for Seattle.

 

It wasn't quite like the preseason debut Vegas had in 2017, when it scored nine goals against Vancouver. But the "home" fans went home happy.

 

 

"It's great to be back in a full building," Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. "We've all missed that for a long time. To be able to do it here was great."

 

There was necessity related to Seattle's decision to trek across the state for its first game. The home arena for the Kraken -- Climate Pledge Arena -- is still a couple of weeks from completion and Seattle's first home game is Oct. 23 against the Canucks.

 

But there was also a specific outreach behind the decision to play in Spokane rather than keeping all the Kraken's preseason games in the Puget Sound region. The Kraken envision themselves a brand for the entire Pacific Northwest and their regional broadcasts will have games being shown throughout Washington, but also into slivers of Northern Idaho and Western Montana.

 

Playing in Spokane was a way to acknowledge that segment of the fan base, and a way to help establish a connection with the area.

 

"Tonight is validation that our market isn't just the Seattle DMA. The amount of people wearing Kraken merchandise, the sincere enthusiasm, there couldn't be a better place to start," Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said shortly before puck drop. "This is just magnificent. It's heartwarming. It's stirring and I feel emotional just walking that concourse."

 

While the Kraken will play their final two home preseason games in the Puget Sound area, there could be opportunities in the future for Seattle to take its product on the road in the preseason.

 

Alaska has been a market the Kraken have specifically focused on -- including promoting donations to help reinstate the men's hockey program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Kraken games will be broadcast throughout Alaska, and landing that territory as part of their broadcasting rights was a big win for the franchise.

 

"We hope that through these three games that our partners and us raise, targeting the half a million dollars, that's how you build relationships. Going up to Alaska and supporting the effort to save the Seahawks hockey program, that's how you build support," Leiweke said. "Easiest way to do it is winning, but there's other things that are also fundamental to the mission."

 

For the first night, the focus was on Spokane and giving a jolt to a normally sleepy Sunday night in the Lilac City. At Lord Stanley's, a recently opened hockey bar downtown, fans packed every table of the restaurant several hours before the game.

 

While there were NFL games on the TVs and a handful of fans in Seahawks jerseys, Kraken logos and gear dominated -- with the exception of two fans in Red Wings jerseys. And even in the midst of a Sunday afternoon filled with NFL games, TVs were also tuned to the Boston-Washington NHL preseason game.

 

"Just kind of crazy seeing people for the first time again," McCann said. "Some of us haven't seen them in a long time. So it's great."

Edited by Brewin Flames
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Pre-season game # 5

 

Michael Stone had a goal and an assist for the Calgary Flames in a 4-1 preseason win against the Seattle Kraken at accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington, on Saturday.

 

Byron Froese gave the Flames a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal with 17 seconds left in the first period, and Stone made it 2-0 at 3:01 of the second period.

 

Glenn Gawdin scored shorthanded at 8:42 to increase the lead to 3-0 before Vince Dunn cut it to 3-1 on the power play at 9:50 of the second.

 

Connor Mackey scored at 11:06 of the third period for the 4-1 final.

 

Daniel Vladar made 23 saves on 24 shots for Calgary. Chris Driedger made nine saves on 13 shots for Seattle.

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The NHL’s newest franchise takes the ice for the first time in a regular season game Tuesday night, when the expansion Seattle Kraken is released against the Vegas Golden Knights, until now the league’s newest team and one the Kraken would like to emulate: Vegas advanced to the Stanley Cup finals in its inaugural 2017-18 season and has made the playoffs in all four years of its existence.

 
 

Will the Kraken have similar success? 


Wait, ESPN?: Yes, the NHL is back on the cable-sports giant for the first time since 2004 under the league’s new television contract, in which ESPN and Turner Sports replace NBC as the league’s main television partners. The new deal runs for seven years and is worth $635 million annually to the league.

 

How can I watch?: The Kraken’s debut in Las Vegas starts at 10 p.m. Eastern and will be televised by ESPN and streamed on ESPN Plus.

 

So what is a Kraken?: The Kraken is a mythical sea beast of Scandinavian folklore that combines the most menacing aspects of the octopus, giant squid and crab, and its use by Seattle’s NHL franchise is a tip of the hat to that area’s nautical culture.

 

The team’s logo is a callback to the Seattle Metropolitans, who became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup in 1917 before folding in 1924.

“Release the Kraken!” became a catchphrase thanks to the 2010 “Clash of the Titans” remake.

 

Where will the Kraken play?: Climate Pledge Arena reopens later this month after a three-year renovation of the stadium formerly known as KeyArena, which previously was home to the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics, the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and numerous minor league hockey teams. The stadium will seat 17,100 for hockey. The finishing touches still are being applied to the stadium, and Seattle opens the season with five straight road games before finally christening the refurbished stadium Oct. 23 against Vancouver.

 

Who is the Kraken’s coach?: Dave Hakstol led the Philadelphia Flyers to playoff appearances in two of three seasons from 2015 to 2018 before being fired two months into his fourth season. He most recently was an assistant for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

 

Hendrix Lapierre, previously a long shot to crack the Caps’ lineup, has dazzled in the preseason

 

Who are the Kraken’s top players?: In July, Seattle cobbled together its roster in an expansion draft involving every other NHL team except the Golden Knights, who were exempt from losing a player in exchange for forgoing a share of the expansion fee the Kraken paid to the league. Seattle also had a two-day window immediately preceding the draft to sign other teams’ pending free agents. The roster includes:

  • Mark Giordano, defenseman: Named the Kraken’s first captain, the 38-year-old Giordano comes to Seattle after spending 15 seasons with the Calgary Flames, the past eight of them as their captain. The three-time all-star is only two seasons removed from winning the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman.
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  • Yanni Gourde, center: Gourde, a third-line stalwart of the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, had shoulder surgery just before the expansion draft and isn’t expected to suit up until next month. When he does, he is expected to give the Kraken a nice two-way presence. Gourde has scored 13 goals in the past two playoffs, including what would prove to be the game-winner in Game 7 of last season’s Eastern Conference finals.
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  • Philipp Grubauer, goaltender: A finalist for the Vezina Trophy last season, Grubauer became available in free agency after failing to agree to terms with the Colorado Avalanche. The Kraken signed him to a six-year, $35.4 million contract in July. Last season, Grubauer became the 10th goaltender in NHL history to record 10 or more consecutive postseason victories.
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  • Chris Driedger, goaltender: Driedger spent six-plus seasons in the minors before finally cracking an NHL lineup with the Florida Panthers in 2019-20. He went 14-6-3 last season with a 2.07 goals against average and .927 save percentage, and the Kraken thought highly enough of him to sign him as a free agent ahead of the expansion draft and give him a three-year, $10.5 million contract. He gives the Kraken a nice combination in net.
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  • Jamie Oleksiak, defenseman: Standing 6 feet 7, Oleksiak has earned his “Big Rig” nickname thanks to his size and physical presence. But he also had nine points (five goals, four assists) in the Dallas Stars’ run to the 2020 Stanley Cup finals.

What about the Kraken’s coronavirus situation?: Hakstol said Monday that five Kraken players — Oleksiak and forwards Jared McCann, Joonas Donskoi, Marcus Johansson and Calle Jarnkrok — are in the NHL’s covid protocol. None of the players practiced Monday before departing for Las Vegas, but the team hopes Johansson, Donskoi, Oleksiak and McCann will be able to play Tuesday night, according to the Seattle Times. (Jarnkrok will miss the game.)

Players enter the NHL’s covid protocol if they exhibit symptoms, test positive or are a close contact of someone else who tested positive. Vaccinated players can return after successive negative tests. At the start of training camp, General Manager Ron Francis said all of the Kraken players had been vaccinated.

 

What does the betting market think of the Kraken’s chances?: DraftKings sportsbook has assigned the Kraken +4000 odds to win the Stanley Cup in its initial season — a 2.4 percent implied probability — which is the same or better odds than 11 other NHL teams. DraftKings puts the odds of the Kraken making the playoffs at -130, a 56.5 percent chance.

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First game in NHL History....Seattle Kraken Game # 1

 

VEGAS 4 SEATTLE 3

 

Max Pacioretty led the charge for the Golden Knights. He scored two goals, including the first of the game and another marker in the second period that put then Golden Knights up 3-0. He later assisted on the game-winning goal.

 

Mark Stone also had a big night with three assists. The Vegas forward had 21 goals and 61 points in 55 games last season.

 

Ryan Donato scored the first goal in the Kraken’s franchise history. At the time it only reduced Vegas’ lead to 3-1, but Jared McCann and Morgan Geekie also scored to tie the game at 3 before the Golden Knights ended the comeback bid.

 

Philipp Grubauer saved 26 of 30 shots for Seattle. He was one of the league’s top goaltenders last season with a 30-9-1 record, 1.95 GAA, and .922 save percentage in 40 games with Colorado.

 

Robin Lehner saved 28 of 31 Kraken shots. With Marc-Andre Fleury no longer with the Golden Knights, Lehner is the clear number one goaltender in Vegas.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Brewin Flames
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Well, if there was no kicking motion on the Knights' GWG, then suppress completely the grey area and allow absolutely all goals scored with the skate.

 

Seattle got robbed on that one.

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Game # 2 Seattle 4 Preds 3

 

 

Kraken get first win, hold off Predators

Tanev scores twice, McCann, Wennberg each has goal, assist for Seattle

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Independent Correspondent
 12:16 AM
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NASHVILLE -- The Seattle Kraken got the first win in their history when they defeated the Nashville Predators 4-3 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

 

Brandon Tanev scored two goals, Alex Wennberg and Jared McCann each had a goal and an assist, and Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves for the Kraken (1-1-0).

 

"I feel like it's just big for the franchise," Wennberg said. "Obviously, it's so new and to get that first win, I feel like it's a big accomplishment. I don't know if we celebrate it any differently, I think it's just really good for the team and for us as an organization. It's just like, 'Hey, that's the first one.' Hopefully there's many more to come and that's where we're aiming at."

 

 

Mikael Granlund had a goal and two assists, and Juuse Saros made 22 saves for the Predators (0-1-0).

 

Wennberg gave Seattle a 3-2 lead at 9:54 of the second period, shooting into an open net at the right post off a pass from Alex Barre-Boulet, who was playing his first game with the Kraken after being claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

 

 

Tanev added an empty-net goal to make it 4-2 at 18:39 of the third period, but Granlund cut it to 4-3 with 40 seconds remaining after Grubauer couldn't control a rebound.

 

"[Little details] and energy and the emotion that he brings to our team, not only on the ice, but on the bench as well," Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said of Tanev. "Those things are extremely important, so it was nice to see him get rewarded. Right at the end of the power play, scores a big goal for us off of the face-off and then is able to finish it with the empty netter."

 

Eeli Tolvanen gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 3:18 of the first period following a face-off win by Granlund.

 

"I thought in the first period we didn't get off to the start we wanted," Nashville coach John Hynes said. "I thought in the second period there were more pockets of how we wanted to be able to play, and then I really liked the third period where we were able to get to our game.

 

So I think there's some things we can take out of the first. The penalties don't help, where you wind up having to kill so much right off the bat."

 

McCann tied it 1-1 at 15:27 of the first on a wrist shot from the point on the power play, and Tanev scored another power-play goal on a rebound to make it 2-1 at 17:33.

 

"It's huge," McCann said of the first win in Kraken history. "It's something we'll always remember. We've got the puck right now and are going to do something nice with it. Every guy on this team deserves to be here. I'm just proud to be a part of this."

 

Roman Josi tied it 2-2 at 4:36 of the second period with a one-timer from the point during a 5-on-3.

 

Nashville outshot Seattle 13-1 in the third period.

 

"I feel like we didn't get enough (offensive) zone time," Josi said. "Especially in the neutral zone, we didn't get it in as much as we would like to. Once we were in there, we were in there for a short time and they got back out.

 

I think in the third we obviously got more pressure and was more the way we wanted to play, but I think the first two periods (we) couldn't get in enough in the offensive zone and were playing too much defense."

 

NOTES: Seattle is an expansion team playing its first NHL season… Predators forward Philip Tomasino was minus-1 and had one shot on goal in 10:34 of ice time in his NHL debut.

Edited by Brewin Flames
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Game # 3 Seatlle 1 Blue Jackets 2 OT

Patrick Laine scores in OT, Blue Jackets beat Kraken 2-1

 
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Patrik Laine wins it for the Blue Jackets in OT

Patrik Laine nets the OT goal, giving the Blue Jackets a 2-1 win over the Kraken.


ByAP
 
6 hours ago
 

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- — Patrick Laine scored at 2:16 of overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-1, come-from-behind win over the expansion Seattle Kraken on Saturday night.

 

Eric Robinson scored, and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 19 shots for his second win for the Blue Jackets, who are off to a 2-0-0 start.

 

“I thought we were a lot more plugged into this game,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “It was a grind, but structurally we were better in a couple of areas we addressed as a group. You had to fight for your ice out there.”

 

Brandon Tanev scored for Seattle. Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves.

 

The game was scoreless until Tanev beat Merzlikins at 14:37 of the second period. It was Tanev's team-leading third goal of the season, and he gave the Kraken their first 1-0 lead.

 

Robinson pulled Columbus even at 10:07 of the third, scoring high over Grubauer. Gregory Hofmann picked up the assist, his first NHL point.

 

In the 3-on-3 overtime, Laine fired a laser from the right circle, giving Columbus its first overtime win on the season.

 

“It felt awesome," Laine said. "It’s always nice to get the OT winner, but here seeing the fans for the first time when I score like this, it was a good feeling.”

Grubauer, a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2020-21, started his third straight game since heading West from the Colorado Avalanche.

 

“Obviously it’s not the result we wanted," Tanev said. “These are important points early on in the season.

 

You take some good away from that game. There’s some stuff we didn’t like, but at the end of the day we come out here and get as many points as we can.

 

“Ultimately it’s a learning experience for our group, and we’ll be moving on from this.”

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Game # 4

 

Seattle 1 Flyers 6

 

Flyers spoil Hakstol's return in 6-1 win over Kraken

 
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Philadelphia pummels Seattle 6-1

Six different Flyers score as Philadelphia beats the Seattle Kraken 6-1.


ByAP
Updated: 7 hours ago
 

PHILADELPHIA -- — The final months of Dave Hakstol's time coaching the Flyers came with angry fans chanting “Fire Hakstol! Fire Hakstol!" With this kind of lopsided score in his return, Philly fans might just throw out a welcome mat.

 

Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny scored, Carter Hart stopped 24 shots and the Flyers spoiled Hakstol’s return to Philadelphia with a 6-1 win over the Seattle Kraken on Monday night.

 

“We were out of sync, we couldn’t put ourselves back on the right track,” Hakstol said. “And that’s the end result.”

Joel Farabee, Derick Brassard, Ryan Ellis and Justin Braun also scored for the Flyers.

 

Carson Soucy scored the first goal in four games for a Kraken defenseman in team history. The previous three were each decided by one goal.

 

Hakstol was hired by the Flyers in 2015 right out of a college job at North Dakota and fired in December 2018 after he went 134-101-42, coaching the third-most games in franchise history behind Fred Shero and Mike Keenan – and the most for the Flyers without winning a playoff series.

He couldn’t win in his return with Seattle, either.

 

The Flyers scored three times in the first period and treated the Kraken like a run-of-the-mill expansion franchise, not as an instant contender, such as the Vegas Golden Knights.

 

Gritty even got in on the fun and pie-faced some dude in an octopus costume, his tentacles waving in the air like eight green flags of surrender.

“We've got a good group here. We have fun at the rink,” Hart said. “But we know when it’s time to go to work.”

 

Hakstol caught up with some of his former players at the morning skate and had brief conversations before moving on to prep his current team. Only three years later, just nine players remain from his final game in Philly.

 

“It’s different seeing him on a different team when you had him for so long,” Konecny said. “It’s pretty cool for him to have that job now and step in as a head coach again. Hopefully, it goes well for him, just not tonight.”

 

Done.

 

Giroux scored a one-timer off a give-and-go for his second goal of the season and Konecny buried one from the slot. Brassard scored his first goal as a Flyer off his own rebound, and soon the only thing expanding in Seattle was its deficit.

 

Ellis added his first goal as a Flyer on a shot that not even Shawn Kemp could block and it was 4-0 in the second. Braun made it 5-0 and chased Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer with 11:11 left in the second.

 

Hakstol was never more welcome in Philly.

 

“We’ve got a lot of great memories here and good friends, and obviously as you get to this time of day it kind of flips right to the competition of the game tonight,” Hakstol said before the game.

 

Hakstol moved to Toronto as an assistant and is now tasked with trying to move the needle in Seattle. The 53-year-old Hakstol was a surprise choice as Seattle’s first coach, at least to those outside the front office.

 

Hakstol always said he wanted to coach again, and the Kraken are counting on him to have the success he failed to find in Philly.

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Game # 5

 

Seattle 2 Devils 4

 

Devils deal Kraken 4-2 loss ahead of Seattle's home opener

 
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Jared Mccann (Kraken) with a Powerplay Goal vs. Devils, 10/19/2021


ByAP
Updated: 6 hours ago
 

NEWARK, N.J. -- — Rookie Dawson Mercer and Damon Severson scored first-period goals and Jonathan Bernier made 27 saves, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 4-2 win over the expansion Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night.

 

The Devils won their second straight to start the season. Seattle slipped to 1-3-1 on its five-game road trip ahead of its much-anticipated home opener against Vancouver on Saturday night.

 

“We battled hard tonight, we had a push to get back,″ Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. ”We just ran out of time, ran out of gas."

 

Jimmy Vesey added a goal and Pavel Zacha scored into an empty net with 20 second left to seal the win.

 

“I liked our ending," Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “The way we played the third, we will win a lot of games. I thought we defended well.”

 

Riley Sheahan and Jared McCann scored for Seattle. Joey Daccord made 28 saves.

 

Mercer opened the scoring at 5:02 of the first, knocking the puck past Daccord, who was in net in place of expected starter Chris Driedger who was put on injured reserve after playing part of Monday’s 6-1 loss at Philadelphia. Tomas Tatar and Ryan Graves registered assists.

 

“It was great. I saw the saucer pass coming and it worked out in the end,″ Mercer said. “I took it all in.”

 

Ruff was happy for his rookie's accomplishment.

 

 

 

Severson made it 2-0 at 6:42 of the first with his first goal of the campaign, with assists going to Graves and Jack Hughes. Severson said he enjoyed the crowd's enthusiasm throughout the game.

 

“Tonight was great from the puck drop, fantastic for the fans," he said. “And we got the win.”

 

Hughes was ridden hard into the boards by Seattle defenseman Jeremy Lauzon shortly after New Jersey’s second goal and didn’t return. Devils forward Mason Geertsen fought Lauzon after the play.

 

“Emotions were running high," Severson said. "We were standing up for ourselves.”

 

Ruff said Hughes was day-to-day and would be re-evaluated on Wednesday.

 

The Kraken cut the deficit to 2-1 on a goal by Sheahan midway through the second period. The former Penguins forward fired a rebound past Bernier at 10:05. Assists went to Adam Larsson and Vince Dunn.

 

Vesey restored the two-goal lead for the Devils at 14:48 of the second. Andreas Johnsson and Colton White assisted on Vesey’s first goal with New Jersey.

 

“He had a real good game for us," Ruff said of Vesey, who won a job on a training camp tryout. ”He put a lot into camp where there's a lot of stress battling young players."

 

Seattle appeared to make it a 3-2 with just over three minutes left in the second. But an apparent goal by Alex Wennberg was ruled to be offsides after a challenge by the Devils.

 

The Kraken cut the deficit to a goal, scoring on a 5-on-3 at 14:48 when McCann converted for his third goal of the season. Mark Giordano and Yanni Gourde assisted.

 

“We had pushback when we got down" said Giordano, the Kraken captain. ”We just couldn't find a way to get that extra goal. We have to find ways to generate more."

 

The teams played a spirited first with the Devils dominating and outshooting and visitors 14-7. New Jersey had a power play in the closing seconds and Devils captain Nico Hischier tipped a shot past Daccord as time expired.

 

 

The contest had a feisty tone throughout.

 

Seattle’s Brandon Tanev fought New Jersey’s Michael McLeod 2:27 into the game in front of the team benches.

 

Ryan Donato of Seattle also had a scrap with Jonas Siegenthaler of New Jersey late in the middle period.

 

Former Islander Jordan Eberle had a breakaway 15 minutes into the first but was denied by Bernier.

 

Giordano said the page would quickly turn to the home opener in Seattle on Saturday. He also said his squad was looking to valuable practice time.

“Playing in front of family and friends in our building, it's going to a be a special time," he said. ”Getting home and a week of practice is going to go a long way for this team."

 

SEASON DEBUT

 

Seattle center Yanni Gourde, who won the Stanley Cup the past two years with the Tampa Bay Lightning, made his Kraken debut on a line with Jaden Schwartz and former Islander Jordan Eberle.

 

KRAKEN BREAKDOWN

 

Seattle has eight players selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, six in the second round, two in the third round, three in the fourth round and one in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.

 

SCRATCHES

 

The Kraken scratched defensemen Will Borgen and Haydn Fleury, and forward Alex Barre-Boulet. Former Rangers player Colin Blackwell has yet to play a game for the Kraken because of a lower-body injury. Forward Calle Jarnkrok, who was in COVID protocol to start the season, also has yet to play a game for Seattle. … The Devils scratched forwards Frederik Gauthier and Marian Studenic and defenseman Christian Jaros.

 

 

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Game # 6 Home Opener

 

Seattle 2 Vancouver 4

 

Expansion Kraken fall in home debut 4-2 to Vancouver

 
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1:47
 

Kraken drop home opener to the Canucks

 

The Seattle Kraken get denied their first home win against the Vancouver Canucks.


ByAP
Updated: 2 hours ago

SEATTLE -- — Bo Horvat and Conor Garland were not interested in letting the home debut of the Seattle Kraken turn into an all-night celebration.

 

 

Instead, they helped add a little fire to the burgeoning Pacific Northwest rivalry between Vancouver and Seattle by crashing the Kraken's party.

 

“It was loud. They got rockin' there, especially when they scored," Horvat said. "But I thought we did a great job keeping our composure and not letting it get to us and responding.”

 

Horvat scored his second goal of the game on a power play with 7:08 remaining, and Garland scored on a breakaway three minutes later as the Canucks spoiled the home debut of the Kraken with a 4-2 win on Saturday night.

 

Garland assisted on Horvat’s first goal in the second period, and then scored his third of the season to give Vancouver a 3-2 lead and ruin a celebratory night with the Kraken playing their first home game in their new $1 billion arena.

 

Justin Dowling added an empty-net goal for Vancouver in the final moments that sent disappointed Seattle fans to the exits, and capped a successful six-game road trip for the Canucks (3-2-1) to begin the season.

 

“Everyone was excited about tonight,” Horvat said. “It was exciting to play in the first game here and the fans were loud tonight and it made it that much more easy to get up for this game."

 

Vince Dunn scored the first goal in Climate Pledge Arena in the closing seconds of the first period, and Mark Giordano gave Seattle a 2-1 lead with his first goal of the season early in the third period. But Seattle couldn’t hold a third-period lead for the second time in its six games.

 

“It was electric in there, then we got the lead in the third, and it stings," Giordano said. "There's no other way to put it right now. It stinks to lose the way we did."

 

Thatcher Demko was excellent in goal for Vancouver with 29 saves. He kept the Canucks in the game in the second period when Seattle controlled most of the action but was unable to score.

 

Philipp Grubauer made 22 saves for Seattle.

 

“We had in my mind probably three or four Grade-A chances after it was 2-1, so I like that mentality out of our group,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “It didn’t work out tonight, but we’re not going to do anything other than look at the things we can fix and keep pushing on the areas that we were pretty darn good in.”

 

Opening night under the roof of the reconstructed billion-dollar arena was three years in the making, but even longer for sports fans in the Seattle region who have desperately waited for a winter sports team to return after the departure of the SuperSonics.

 

Fans were lined up outside Climate Pledge Arena hours before the puck drop and most were in their seats before the Kraken took the ice for warmups.

 

Most were in Kraken jerseys, although a few Canucks fans made their way inside the building for the first matchup of a budding rivalry between neighbors.

Those in Seattle blue had to wait for the final seconds of the first period to finally erupt.

 

After an extended stretch of possession in the Vancouver zone, the puck was cycled to Dunn. With the period about to end, Dunn flicked a wrist shot past Demko with 4.6 seconds left for the first goal in the new building.

 

But Demko was not interested in letting the night become one big party for Seattle. Demko was terrific in the second period, especially a sequence late in the period denying Calle Jarnkrok, and barely 60 seconds later stopping Mason Appleton on a breakaway, reaching behind to keep the shot from trickling over the goal line.

 

“It felt like it was two games in a way ... and found a way to win the game in the third,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said.

 

Game notes


Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke announced before the game that the No. 32 was being retired by the team in honor of becoming the 32nd franchise and the 32,000 season ticket deposits received in early 2018 that helped lead to the awarding of the franchise. ...

 

Garland has eight points in his first six games for Vancouver after coming over as part of an offseason trade with Arizona. He's the first player with a season-opening, six-game point streak to start his tenure with the franchise.

 

 

Edited by Brewin Flames
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