Seattle Kraken, Oliver Bjorkstrand

Kraken’s Strong Start Swept Up in Hurricanes Whirlwind Offense

For the second straight game, the Seattle Kraken spent Thursday night in the throes of overtime. Only, this affair would end sans celebration. 

Against the Carolina Hurricanes bounteous, quantity-over-quality style of offense, Seattle devoted a good portion of regulation weathering the storm and not much else, despite being opportunistic early.

“You gotta keep pushing,” Oliver Bjorkstrand said of how his team mishandled their strong start. “It’s only a one goal lead (in the 3rd) and with how (Carolina is) on the attack, when they get in the zone just hammering pucks at the net, you gotta give it back to them.”

Despite not recording a shot on goal until seven minutes into the first period, the Kraken secured a two-goal lead by way of Bjorkstrand and Devin Shore. Bjorkstrand converted a solo rush to open things, cutting to the slot between three Hurricanes before rifling home his 2nd goal of the season.

Shore weaponized a breakaway, controlling a puck out of midair, barely onside, and finishing beautifully on Carolina goalie Freddie Andersen. It was the first goal as a Kraken for the 29-year-old veteran of 424 NHL games.

As the game progressed, the Kraken tired and puck management muddled. Any possession established in the offensive zone was converted quickly back into transition by Carolina.

After two or three legitimate Kraken scoring chances in the 2nd period, the efforts to add to their goal total waned.

“It seemed like we were fighting the puck at certain times,” Bjorkstrand elaborated, “just small details we need to be better about.” 

When it became clear the Kraken’s offensive endeavors were inevitably fruitless, attention shifted to preserving the lead, which they accomplished through the first forty minutes of the game. When they took their foot off the gas, the Hurricanes took advantage, unleashing a whopping 65 unblocked shot attempts by the end of the night. Carolina dominated the third period in all areas of the game and Seattle’s worn down defense gave up the game-tying blow from Jesperi Kotkaniemi with four-and-a-half minutes remaining.  

Another Kraken Overtime

A tepid overtime period ensued for the Kraken. While Seattle controlled possession for a majority of the extra five minutes, they failed to use it to their advantage and with ten seconds remaining Martin Necas unleashed a powerful wrist shot from the high slot to win it. 

This 3-2 loss, just two nights after Jordan Eberle won an overtime game in Detroit for the Kraken with less than five seconds on the clock.

Although the Hurricanes scored twice in regulation while swarming, they were largely unable to generate scoring chances in the highest danger areas of the ice. Joey Daccord, in his first back-to-back starts of the season, acknowledged his defensemen’s success as crucial to his own. 

“I felt pretty good out there, we knew that their game plan was a lot of shots, pucks and bodies, so I think we were ready for that,” Daccord said. “I think the guys did an incredible job boxing out, letting me see pucks, blocking a ton of shots.” 

Seattle’s performance was deserving of what they received, a single point in the standings, but it was a promising outing in terms of resiliency.  

Bjorkstrand is tied for the team lead in points with D-man Vince Dunn. Both have seven. Bjorkstrand has been the hottest Kraken lately, with six points over his last four games.

The Kraken are in Sunrise to take on the Florida Panthers on Saturday evening, 3 pm pacific.


— Kraken Goalie Joey Daccord Sets Saves Record In OT Loss