The Seattle Kraken entered action looking to take advantage of the team with the fewest number of points in the NHL and the league’s worst road record, the Columbus Blue Jackets. They would do just that, in methodical fashion, winning 3-1 and entering the nine-day All-Star bye week with a happy vibe.
Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins did his best to prevent it. He was the star of the show, preventing what could have been a blow-out. In a game Seattle felt they had to win, it got a bit dicey, with Seattle dominating possession and chances, but only finding themselves up 2-1 after two periods.
The first period was workmanlike. The forecheck was on its game and the Kraken outshot the Blue Jackets 12-4 in taking a 1-0 lead.
Kraken Goal Scorers:
1-0 Kraken – Even Strength – Morgan Geekie (5) from Brandon Tanev and Carson Soucy, 8:40
Simple 2-on-2 rush, Geekie took a pass in the high slot and ripped one top shelf on Merzlikins.
2-0 Kraken – Even Strength – Alexander Wennberg (10) from Jordan Eberle and Jared McCann, 8:33
The Blue Jackets lost coverage down low and Wennberg scored in tight on a sweet short feed from Eberle.
— It was Wennberg’s 78th career goal, coming in his 600th career NHL game.
3-1 Kraken – Even Strength – Eeli Tolvanen (10) from Oliver Bjorkstrand, 5:39
Skating in off a neutral zone turnover and using two defenders as a partial screen, he smoked a wrister high glove.
The goal took the pressure off Seattle, again, in a game they couldn’t afford to lose. From that point forward, Seattle simply played its game in all three zones and finished it off.
— Shots on goal finished 31-25 in favor of the Kraken. Both team finished 0-for-2 on the power play. The Kraken penalty kill has now killed off 17 consecutive opposing power plays.
— With the win the Kraken moved back into sole possession of 1st place in the Pacific Division with games in hand on their pursuers.
Kraken 3 Stars:
1) Alexander Wennberg – Game winning goal in his 600th game. Strong all around game. 3 shots on goal.
2) Eeli Tolvanen – His snipe took the pressure off in the 3rd period. Excellent forecheck all night. 3 shots on goal.
3) Philipp Grubauer – 24 saves, some of them of high quality, despite Columbus not having a lot of possession time.