FINAL: Seattle Kraken 4, Arizona Coyotes 2. Seattle will begin its first ever Stanley Cup Playoff series in less than two weeks. Their opponent is unknown as battles among the higher seeds continue. Regardless, Seattle will be the lower seed and start the postseason on the road.
The Seattle Kraken faced a much better prepared Arizona club Thursday night, compared to the mildly interested Coyotes team that got shellacked by the Kraken 8-1 on Monday.
The visitors should have been motivated for this one for at least two reasons. One, showing some pride after getting blown out and then hanging around Seattle for three days, and two, the basic desire to play spoiler. The Kraken entered this game looking to wrap up a trip to the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win.
The Coyotes could also play with added confidence with their number-one goalie going. Karel Vejmelka got the start against Philipp Grubauer for Seattle.
Seattle started quickly with two Grade-A scoring chances in the first 20-seconds of the 1st period, before the rest of the initial 20-minutes turned a bit sloppy. Arizona seemed reluctant to fire pucks when given the opportunity while Seattle couldn’t seem to get things clicking down low.
That changed in the final minute.
Kraken Goal Scorers:
1-0 Kraken – Even Strength – Jared McCann (38) from Jordan Eberle and Matty Beniers, 19:36
A takeaway by Beniers behind the net leads to a sweet passing play in front where McCann taps in.
2-0 Kraken – Even Strength – Vince Dunn (14) Unassisted :28
On a brief scramble after Dunn’s slot shot snuck through Vejmelka, Coyotes D-man Patrik Nemeth tapped the puck into his own net.
3-0 Kraken – Even Strength – Jordan Eberle (19) from Jared McCann, 5:52
Beniers tied up three Coyotes in the left wing corner allowing McCann to find Eberle alone in the low, left circle.
— 22-year-old, 2018 5th-overall pick Barrett Hayton put the Coyotes on the board with a wrister from the right circle.
4-1 Kraken – Even Strength – Matty Beniers (23) from Jordan Eberle and Jared McCann, 3:37
McCann stole a puck, moved it, and Eberle found Beniers for a breakaway. He snapped one low post and in.
— Seattle outshot Arizona 31-27. Power plays: Arizona 0-for-2, Seattle 0-for-4
— Seattle took care of themselves and each other in this one, dropping the mitts twice and eclipsing Arizona’s physicality all over the ice.
Kraken 3 Stars:
1) Jordan Eberle – A goal, two assists.
2) Jared McCann – A goal, two assists.
3) Matty Beniers – A goal and an assist. In a season of balanced scoring, the top line dominated in the clincher.