The Seattle Kraken’s winning streak ended at eight games with a 4-1 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.
Despite both the Kraken and Lightning arriving from ‘out east’, and the Seattle club returning from a seven-game road trip, both teams clearly had their skating legs on Monday afternoon at Climate Pledge Arena.
The Bolts were the sharper of the two, creating multiple scoring chances while out-shooting the Kraken 15-6 in the 1st period. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was the lone man to light the lamp with a tip-in at 18:43.
Andrei Vasilevskiy started in net for Tampa while Philipp Grubauer earned the nod for Seattle.
— Goalie Martin Jones earned a day off after being named the NHL’s 1st Star of the Week ending January 15th. “Jonesy” went 3-and-0 with two shut-outs, a goals against average of 1.67 and a save percentage of .933.
Stake Out the Break Out
What appeared to be subtle adjustments by the Kraken coaches against the Lightning break-out paid dividends in the second period, at least in the fact Tampa had trouble moving the puck out of their own end and didn’t get their first shot on goal until seven minutes were gone. And that came off an offensive zone faceoff for the Bolts after a Seattle gloved-puck infraction.
Kraken head coach Dave Haskstol deferred credit, suggesting the Lightning break-out issues were more the simple result of an improved Seattle forecheck, which actually resulted from the Kraken’s improved break-out at the other end.
“You have to have the confidence and communication to make an extra play down low (in your own end),” Hakstol pointed out. “That can buy you a little bit of space, and if you can make that small share inside, now you can find the second play and get going north and we did a little better job of that in the second. That resulted in a little bit more offensive zone time. If you can get through the neutral zone with some pace and speed you can you have a forecheck. If you don’t have that, then it’s a free puck and a free breakout for the other guys.”
Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play through two periods, which was great news for the Kraken considering Seattle came into the game with the second-worst penalty kill in the NHL, while the Lightning came in sporting the 2nd best power play at just under 30%. The Bolts have been producing at closer to 40% over their last ten games.
The 2nd period ended with Grubauer absolutely robbing Lightning forward Corey Perry on the doorstep along the left post with a right pad save.
The Kraken created some solid scoring chances in the 3rd period and the effort finally paid off.
2-1 Lightning – Even Strength – Vince Dunn (8), from Adam Larsson, 10:44
Off an offensive zone face-off, Dunn ripped a shot from the point that caromed through traffic.
The Kraken scrambled to find the equalizer but couldn’t solve Vasilevskiy. With two empty netters, the Bolts finished up the day with a 4-1 win.
The Lightning outshot the Kraken 31-23, the Seattle power play went 0-for-3, Tampa’s 0-for-2.
Seattle jumped a flight to Edmonton where they take on the Oilers on Tuesday evening.