The Seattle Kraken went from looking like a club lacking confidence as they stumbled through the 1st period, to a powerhouse rush and forecheck team for stages of the 2nd and 3rd periods. Ultimately it was all for naught as they lost their 7th game in a row (0-5-and-2) to the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime 4-3.
The starting netminders were Andrei Vasilevskiy and Philipp Grubauer
Grubauer made a series of big saves to keep the games scoreless during an early Tampa power play, including a sterling glove save on an off-speed one-timer from Nikita Kucherov as he attacked from the right wing circle.
Moments after the Kraken finished going 8-for-8 on the penalty kill this homestand, the Lightning jumped on the board at even strength with a beautiful tip-in by Anthony Cirelli in front. He redirected Nick Perbix’s slapper from the right point at 9:28.
An ensuing Seattle power play didn’t generate a shot on goal.
Some slop very late in the period ended up in the back of the Kraken’s net. Seattle forward Eeli Tolvanen had trouble handling the puck in the slot of front of Grubauer. After he and his teammates got their signals crossed and coughed up the biscuit, a quick set of Tampa passes led to Kucherov, the NHL’s leading scorer, potting his 18th goal and 45th point of the season at 19:16.
Shots-on-goal for the period ended up 13-4 in favor of the Lightning.
“Turbo” Brandon Tanev got the crowd involved quickly with a huge hit on Tampa forward Michael Eyssimont in behind the Lightning net. Eyssimont’s helmet went flying as he landed on his back. Tanev followed it up with more hard work along the boards.
Not long after that, Tampa Bay got away with a slash on Kraken forward Jared McCann as he broke in on a near breakaway. Undaunted, Seattle developed some sustained pressure and picked up a goal to get the faithful even more excited.
Unfortunately for those Climate Pledge Arena patrons, the Devin Shore tip-in goal at 3:37 was reviewed and correctly called offside. No goal. Kailer Yamamoto had crossed the blueline well ahead of the puck on the left wing.
But the momentum had swung and the Kraken kept coming.
Oliver Bjorkstrand snapped a three-game pointless streak with a seeing-eye wrister from the right circle that found its way over Vasilevskiy’s glove. 2-1 at 9:52.
Seattle kept pouring it on and found the equalizer at 12:23. The “Big Rig” Jamie Oleksiak, who had a shot deflect wide earlier in the shift, found plenty of time and space and a gap between Vasilevskiy and the near post with a one-timer from the top of the left circle.
The feistiness picked up, thanks to Tanev and Vince Dunn, and the hits kept coming.
However, at 14:49 of the period, the two crossed the line and put the Kraken shorthanded following a chippy exchange in behind the Seattle net. The two went to the penalty box with just one Lightning player, Eyssimont, and Tampa went to the power play.
Seattle killed it off and started the 3rd period with a carry-over power play of their own. Unfortunately in the closing moments, Grubauer went down with a lower body injury on a Lightning shorthanded chance and was replaced by Joey Daccord to start the 3rd period.
It took just 14-seconds for the Kraken to take a 3-2 lead. McCann ripped home his 13th goal of the season through a screen from the top of the left wing circle.
The Kraken dominated zone time for most of the next seven minutes, but it was the Lightning scoring next.
On a perfectly executed rush, Kucherov gained the Kraken zone, passed to the trailer Cirelli as Nick Paul, the first forward into the zone, headed to the net. Cirelli fired a hard pass down low and Paul tipped it in.
3-3 at 7:09.
Both teams had chances as time ticked along. The final TV time-out occurred with exactly five minutes remaining. Shots on goal were 29-24 in favor of the Lightning. In the final five minutes the Kraken added two more.
Seattle had a 4-on-3 power play for 1:45 that carried over from late in the 3rd period, They had chances but couldn’t click. After Tampa killed it off and following a stoppage of play, the OT went to 3-on-3. On the Bolts first possession, the NHL’s leading scorer Kucherov scored on a 2-on-3 rush to win it at 3:12.
He finished with two goals and an assist.
Shots on goal ended in favor of Tampa Bay 30-29. Power plays: Tampa Bay 0-for-2, Seattle 1-for-5.
Kraken 3 Stars:
1) Jordan Eberle – Two assists, a hit and a shot. Key playmaker all evening.
2) Brandon Tanev – His physical play made all the difference and spurred his club. 4 hits and a shot-on-goal.
3) Jared McCann – A goal on one shot. Number-19 played exactly 19-minutes.
— The “Simmer’s Morning Skate with Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper …