FINAL in OT: Seattle Kraken 3, Colorado Avalanche 2 — Series tied 2-2
There was a very good vibe in the Climate Pledge Arena and the Seattle Kraken either created it with their confidence, rode the wave built by the crowd, or utilized a little combination of both. They came out flying against the Colorado Avalanche in Game-4 of this opening round series.
There was a determined desperation from the home team, knowing that a loss would put them down 3-1 in the series with Game-5 coming on Wednesday night in Denver.
By the time the first period was over the Kraken had outshot the Av’s 18-8 and outscored them 2-0. The hits came from both teams early and often and with remarkable vigor. Good old fashioned hockey violence. The good kind.
The one exception was Colorado defenseman Cale Makar’s late hit on Jared McCann after the puck went out of play at the 8:24 mark. McCann missed the rest of the period while Makar would get generously booed the rest of the night.
The Kraken would make Makar pay with a power play goal.
Kraken Goal Scorers
1-0 Kraken – Even Strength – Will Borgen (1) from Adam Larsson and Brandon Tanev, 3:56
Borgen ripped a one-timer from the top of the left wing circle.
2-0 Kraken – Power Play – Daniel Sprong (1) from Justin Shultz, 10:09
‘Spronger’ took a step after taking a pass and scored with a wrist shot from the left circle through a screen, post and in.
You didn’t really think the defending Stanley Cup champions were going to go down easily did you?
The hitting was ferocious, some of the scrums after the whistle rather nasty; just good ole fashioned playoff hockey.
The Avalanche were opportunistic. Despite being outshot 30-14 through two periods, Colorado managed to tie the game. The first goal came on a 3-on-2 rush with none other than superstar Nathan MacKinnon leading the charge. Mikko Rantanen finished it off from the slot after Kraken backchecker Alex Wennberg overskated his man and the puck.
The tying goal came 5-minutes and 2-seconds later with Seattle D-man Borgen in the penalty box for holding. Rantanen ripped home a wrister from the right wing circle with just two seconds remaining in the Kraken penalty kill. It was the first power play goal of the series for the Avalanche in nine tries. It was Rantanen’s second goal of the game and his 5th of the series.
Endless drama. Nail biting rampant. The Kraken exerted themselves as the period moved on, creating Grade-A scoring chances in the 2nd half of the period. Goalies Philipp Grubauer of the Kraken and Alexandar Georgiev of the Avalanche were both tested often enough. Georgiev made a huge glove save with just less than five minutes remaining.
Tied 2-2, NHL fans in Seattle were given their first ever opportunity to witness sudden death, Stanley Cup Playoff overtime.
3-2 Kraken – Power Play – Jordan Eberle (1) from Jaden Schwartz and Daniel Sprong, 3:00
Eberle converted from the bottom of the left wing circle after a rebound hit a skate and caromed his way.
— Shots on goal finished 43-22 in favor of the Kraken. Power plays: Colorado 1-for-3, Seattle 2-for-5
Kraken 3 Stars:
1) Jordan Eberle – Scored the biggest goal in Kraken history with the overtime game winner. 3 shots-on-goal, 2 hits, 2 blocked shots.
2) Adam Larsson – Led the team in ice time at 26:49, had 7 hits, 4 blocked shots, 2 shots on goal and an assist.
3) Daniel Sprong – Tallied a goal and an assist in just 10:28 of ice time. 4 shots on goal, 2 hits.