FINAL: Edmonton Oilers 6, Seattle Kraken 4
Seattle remained in an NHL Western Conference wild card spot with 83 points while the Oilers jumped three points ahead of them with 86.
The scoring came about in startling fashion in this one when Evander Kane fired a seemingly harmless wrist shot from the top of the left wing circle that beat Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer to give the Edmonton Oilers a 1-0 lead just 1:35 into the game.
It was eerily reminiscent of the Oilers 7-2 victory over the Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on December 30th when the visitors scored three times in the first 3:55 of the match, driving Grubauer out of the game. It was also a slightly disturbing reminder of the uneven 1st period played by the German netminder at home in a loss to the Ottawa Senators just nine nights ago.
As legendary former college hockey coach Jack Parker once said at Boston University … “they should change the name of the game to goalie.”
((Kid you not, just as I wrote that line, Grubauer came out of this game and was replaced by Martin Jones at the 6:30 mark of the 2nd period. Grooby did not remain on the bench. It turns out Grubauer was (non-Covid) ill.))
Needless to say, it’s the one position on the ice that can consistently win or lose you a hockey game.
Kraken Goal Scorers:
1-1 Tied – Even Strength – Jaden Schwartz (17) from Vince Dunn and Matty Beniers, 6:34
Schwartz, in tight on Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner, got a piece of an off-balance half-slapper from Dunn in the high slot.
— With the assist, Dunn stretched his consecutive games scoring streak to 12, adding to a career high and franchise record.
— The Oilers re-took the lead ten minutes later on a re-direct five-hole by Kailer Yamamoto on the doorstep.
— The 2nd period started much the same way the 1st did, although this time it was Kane scoring at the 43-second mark on a shot Grubauer didn’t have a chance on. They would add a goal later by Zach Hyman.
3-2 Oilers – Even Strength – Jordan Eberle (16) from Jared McCann and Adam Larsson, 4:07
Eberle spun off a check in the left wing circle, found time, and fired a shot five-hole on Skinner.
4-3 Oilers – Even Strength – Oliver Bjorkstrand (16) from Yanni Gourde and Jamie Oleksiak, 14:18
Bjorkstrand unleashed a rocket snapshot that froze Skinner and beat him glove side.
— Just after a successful Edmonton penalty kill, Kane finished off his hat trick going high glove on Jones on a 2-on-1.
— Connor McDavid scored late; his 58th goal of the season.
6-4 Oilers – Even Strength – Eeli Tolvanen (15) from Morgan Geekie and Jamie Oleksiak, 19:12
Tolvanen took a soft pass in traffic in the slot and wristed it low-blocker.
— The Kraken outshot the Oilers 37-23. Power plays: Edmonton 1-for-3, Seattle 0-for-2.
— With the loss, the Kraken are now just one game above .500 on home ice.
— Seattle heads to Dallas to take on the Stars on Tuesday night.