Seattle Kraken, Ryan Donato

Kraken Dominate Predators 7-2, Playoffs Close

Forget the Kraken “Goaltending controversy” as Philipp Grubauer returned from illness to start this one while Joey Daccord was sent down to the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the American Hockey League. It was fun while it lasted; Daccord earned three of a possible four points in his back-to-back starts.

As expected, Juuse Saros got the nod once again at the other end.

We spelled out just how tight the Western Conference playoff standings would be should the Predators win this game. Instead, Seattle essentially played the perfect road game.

The Kraken would jump on the board first with the same goal scorer who opened the scoring Thursday night.

Kraken Goal Scorers:

1st Period

1-0 Kraken – Even Strength – Daniel Sprong (19) from Ryan Donato and Brandon Tanev, 3:13

Donato took the puck hard to the net and Sprong cashed in on the rebound. Nashville attempted to overturn the goal due to goalie interference but the review failed.

2-0 Kraken – Power Play – Eeli Tolvanen (16) from Jared McCann and Oliver Bjorkstrand, 17:37

Off a cross-ice feed, Tolvanen had plenty of time to set up and rip home a wicked wrister top shelf.

Seattle set a franchise record by holding the Predators to just one shot-on-goal in the 1st period. Seattle outshot Nashville 13-1.

2nd Period

3-1 Kraken – Even Strength – Eeli Tolvanen (17), Unassisted, 17:16

Saros came out of his crease to play a puck away from Bjorkstrand to prevent a breakaway, but he sent it straight to Tolvanen on the left wing boards who knocked it down and fired it into the empty net.

3rd Period

4-2 Kraken – Even Strength – Adam Larsson (7) from Jared McCann and Vince Dunn, 3:37

One-time wrist shot from the bottom of the right wing circle on a feed from McCann down low.

5-2 Kraken – Even Strength – Matty Beniers (20) from Vince Dunn and Jordan Eberle, 8:13

Odd man rush, Beniers worked a give-and-go with Dunn and scored from the right wing circle.

6-2 Kraken – Even Strength – Jared McCann (35) Unassisted, 10:47

McCann picked off a pass at the Nashville blueline, skated in alone and smoked one top shelf, gloveside.

7-2 Kraken – Even Strength – Oliver Bjorkstrand (17) Yanni Gourde, 12:35

Off a rebound from another odd-man rush, Bjorkstrand swatted a puck in near the right post.

— Tyson Barrie scored in the 2nd period for Nashville, Matt Duchene early in the 3rd.

Seattle outshot Nashville 39-16. Power plays: Seattle 1-for-4, Nashville 0-for-3

Seattle set an NHL record for the most points obtained in the standings for a 2nd-year franchise with 88 points. (and counting)

Kraken 3 Stars:

1) Eeli Tolvanen – Two goals against the team that waived him in December. Four shots on goal. Big impact when the game was still close.

2) Jared McCann – Two assists earlier and then his 35th goal of the season as the game got out of hand.

3) Daniel Sprong – Scored the opening goal for the second straight game. Leading the 4th line magic.

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.