Kraken When Not Coming From Behind
Not scoring the first goal of a hockey game has not really been a problem for Seattle this season. In fact, in 26 games, they’ve scored the first goal 13 times and given it up 13 times heading into Sunday. The problem lately has been the frantic come-from-behind hockey we’ve seen from Seattle as they’ve trailed after two periods the last four games. They’re 0-3-and-1.
Sunday evening against the Florida Panthers, Seattle scored first, with Matty Beniers lighting the lamp just 64-seconds into the game. Seattle is 10-2-and-1 when scoring first this season.
Seattle played a strong first period in general, with Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky making a couple of ten-bell saves to hold it to just 1-0 Kraken after one.
Early Turning Point
Pivotal moments, even key turning points, can come in the 1st period of hockey games. A big one for the Kraken against the Panthers was the penalty kill after Yanni Gourde went off for goalie interference at the 2:54 mark with Seattle up 1-0. Martin Jones made some huge saves, the club dodged some bullets, literally, and the PK managed to be successful.
Did it matter that the Panthers scored the next goal near the midway point of the second period? Nope, because by that time, the Kraken were well into the ebb and flow of the game, with the goalies a both ends making huge saves.
In fact, after Seattle retook the lead 91-seconds after Florida scored, Bobrovsky was forced to make three incredible saves to keep it a one-goal game. The Kraken were in it to win it, up 2-1 after two.
Going Hard for 60
You can go months without stumbling across a minor penalty for playing-with-a-broken-stick. This game had two of them; Gustav Forsling for Florida in the 1st period and Jared McCann for Seattle in the third.
The Kraken killed off the McCann penalty, gained some momentum, and scored twenty seconds later to take a 3-1 lead.
There was an ugly penalty sequence later with Panthers forward Ryan Lomberg getting a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a hit from behind on Justin Schultz. The Kraken would score on the perpetual power play.
Seattle outshot the Panthers 32-26 with Seattle going 1-for-6 on the power play, Florida 0-for-3.
Kraken Goal Scorers:
1-0 Kraken – Even Strength – Matty Beniers (11) from Jared McCann, 1:04
Panthers forward Eetu Luostarinen lost control of the puck in his own zone, McCann tipped it back, and Beniers stepped into a one-timer.
2-1 Kraken – Even Strength – Andre Burakovsky (10) from Yanni Gourde and Oliver Bjorkstrand, 9:05
Off a Panthers D-zone turnover, the Kraken worked the right wing boards and then found ‘Burkie’ open in the circle.
3-1 Kraken – Even Strength – Jordan Eberle (7) from Will Borgen and Beniers, 7:15
Eberle set up in the slot deflected home Borgen’s point shot.
4-1 Kraken – Power Play – Daniel Sprong (6) from Alexander Wennberg and Burakovsky, 15:09
A one-timer from the left wing circle, short side on Bobrovsky.
5-1 Kraken – Even Strength (empty net) – Yanni Gourde (4) Unassisted, 17:22
Gourde outraced Aaron Ekblad to a loose puck and chopped it into the empty net.
Seattle 3 Stars:
1) Martin Jones – Kept the Panthers off the board early and made many key saves throughout.
2) Matty Beniers – Opened the scoring and added a third period assist; led the team with five shots on goal.
3) Jordan Eberle – A goal and three shots on goal. Six goals in his last five NHL games against the Panthers.
— Seattle plays the Lightning in Tampa on Tuesday.