It’s a game the Seattle Kraken simply couldn’t give away. And they didn’t. They closed it out.
The home team at the Climate Pledge Arena had the better legs — the Pittsburgh Penguins were playing the second half of a back-to-back after losing in Vancouver 5-1 Friday night — and the Seattle lads held a 2-1 lead after two periods.
Fourth line stalwarts played a key part again for Seattle, with Daniel Sprong finding Morgan Geekie on a 2-on-1 at 18:33 of the 2nd period to give the Kraken the lead for good.
That, after Seattle’s Jordan Eberle had tied the game at 11:20 of the second period. That, after two Seattle goals had been overturned minutes before, one for offside, another because the puck had been played by a high stick.
In between those two, the Penguins took a 1-0 lead on a Jake Guentzel breakaway goal off a Jamie Oleksiak turnover.
Confused? Here’s the timeline in a stack.
Kraken 2nd Period
8:09 Ryan Donato, 1-0 Kraken. DISALLOWED
10:05 Jake Guentzel, 1-0 Penguins
11:17 Andre Burakovsky, 1-1 Kraken DISALLOWED
(after clock was rewound back to the point of the puck being played by a high stick)
Seattle and its crowd were relentless. Despite the fact that only one of their three goals scored over a 2:11 span actually counted, the home folks were undaunted.
18:33 Morgan Geekie, 2-1 Kraken
The Kraken had the stronger legs as the game progressed. Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith was tested often in the third, Seattle’s Martin Jones not so much. At least not in terms of Grade-A chances, and not until the inevitable push in the closing minutes.
Pittsburgh pulled the goalie following an icing call and an offensive zone faceoff with 2:07 remaining. They used their time-out to strategize with another O-zone draw coming up after a stoppage with 1:47 left.
Jaden Schwartz buried an empty netter with a minute remaining.
Pittsburgh outshot Seattle 33-30.
Seattle gets two days off before starting a three-game road trip in Calgary on Tuesday. After a stop in Minnesota, the Kraken will see these Penguins again in Pennsylvania next Saturday night.