Seattle Kraken, Adam Larsson

Kraken 4, Islanders 1 – Strong Work

Appearing to live out a New Year’s resolution, the Seattle Kraken played one of the most complete hockey games we’ve seen from them in awhile, handing the visiting New York Islanders a 4-1 loss.

The Kraken marked their men, completed their checks, and solved Ilya Sorokin, one of the best goalkeepers in the National Hockey League.

There weren’t overly dramatic changes from Seattle head coach Dave Hakstol heading into this one, but he did juggle the lines around the insertion of newcomer Eeli Tolvanen into the line-up while replacing Morgan Geekie.

Tolvanen was snagged by Seattle off waivers from the Nashville Predators on December 12th and was playing his first game for the Kraken. He scored the club’s second goal of the night with an absolute rocket from the right wing circle.

The “bottom six” forwards took command for the Kraken while the Islanders, the 6th stingiest team in the NHL in terms of goals against, kept Seattle’s top two lines off the board.

The other big news in the win was the simple fact Seattle scored a power play goal after scoring just two the entire month of December. They went 2-for-30 during the stretch with the man advantage.

Martin Jones was steady in net, giving up a second period goal to Isles star Matt Barzal after he snuck past big D-man Jamie Olekisiak, took a pass and tucked the puck 5-hole. It was Barzal’s 100th NHL goal in his 400th game. He’s well known to the local hockey audience having played four years with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League.

Kraken Goal Scorers

1st Period

1-0 Kraken – Even Strength – Adam Larsson (4) from Ryan Donato and Daniel Sprong, 9:53

Larsson stepped into a one-timer in the slot on a wraparound feed from Donato.

2nd Period

2-1 Kraken – Power Play – Eeli Tolvanen (3) from Vince Dunn and Jared McCann, 3:58

Tolvanen absolutely wired a one-timer, short-side, glovehand on Sorokin, who barely twitched.

3-1 Kraken – Even Strength – Oliver Bjorkstrand (5), from Jamie Oleksiak and Yanni Gourde, 13:04

Bjorkstrand buried a rebound off an Oleksiak shot past a helpless Sorokin.

3rd Period

4-1 Kraken – Even Strength (empty netter) – Brandon Tanev (7), from Vince Dunn and Yanni Gourde, 19:25

Hit the empty net with a hard shot from just inside the Isles blueline on the right wing boards.

— Seattle outshot New York 35-19.

“Simmer in 60” Postgame
Kraken 3 Stars:

1) Kraken special teams – Seattle went 1-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.

2) Vince Dunn – Two assists, great representative of a very fine performance by the entire D-corps.

3) Eeli Tolvanen – Wired a shot for his first goal with Seattle. Had two shots on goal in 12:13 of ice time.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.