On a night when the home folks at Climate Pledge Arena enjoyed endless drama and some late Kraken heroics, their team fell just a bit short in a shoot-out to the stalwart Los Angeles Kings 3-2.
Given their renewed confidence coming off back-to-back home wins, we expected an exciting, competitive tilt between the Kraken and the Kings and the two clubs didn’t disappoint.
Early on the pace was quick and the Seattle men had their hard hats on.
Although the forecheck didn’t result in a number of early Kraken shots, it did result in an oopsie-daisy goal from Seattle defenseman Adam Larsson. The “Big Cat” cut to the net along the right wing goal line and appeared to want to take the puck in behind the net. Instead, it slipped off his stick in slow motion and found its way through a tangle of legs and past goalie Cam Talbot for a 1-0 Seattle lead at 6:45.
Soon, LA started to take a consistent territorial advantage.
It paid off on the forecheck at the 13:32 mark when the Kings forced a turnover along the left wing boards and Trevor Moore was able to skate in alone and deke Kraken goalie Joey Daccord and tie the game. Moore finished on the backhand for his team-leading 14th goal of the season.
The tendency for the ice to tilt in favor of the Kings that we saw in the second half of the 1st period continued into the 2nd. At the point of the first TV time-out, with 12:39 remaining in the period, the Kings had outshot the Kraken 16-4 in the game and were going on their second power play of the night.
Young Seattle D-man Ryker Evans had gone to the box for a questionable interference call.
Just after the Kraken killed it off, their 17th consecutive successful PK on home ice, Seattle picked up its first power play of the night. They’d fail to click against the NHL’s 2nd-best penalty kill.
The Kraken earned a couple of scoring chances at 5-on-5 despite being dramatically out-shot for the second straight period, The big problem arose when Seattle D-man Will Borgen took an undisciplined roughing penalty in the neutral zone.
The late period PP for the Kings led to their go-ahead goal. The ‘Slovenian Fountain-of-Youth’ and LA captain Anze Kopitar snuck in behind Larsson and converted a tap-in on a nice feed cross-crease by young winger Quinton Byfield.
2-1 Kings. Shots after two periods in their favor 29-9.
The early stages were cautious for the Kings, or maybe it just looked that way as the Kraken turned up the pressure. The first six minutes were marked by a decent forecheck from Seattle and four shots on goal … a lot compared to their earlier efforts.
Pressure needed to turn to desperation and a more active D-corps offensively: Standard operating procedure as time goes by when trailing in the 3rd period.
It happened. The Kraken cranked up the O-zone cycle with about eight minutes remaining and kept it going, but found it difficult to actually get pucks and traffic to the net. They swarmed, but failed to find the Grade-A chance.
Finally, a power play opportunity. Under duress, Kings D-man Mikey Anderson flipped the puck over the glass for a delay-of-game call with 3:40 remaining.
A wave of noise from the home crowd helped carry the power play. At 17:31 Oliver Bjorkstand ripped a wrister high-blocker on Talbot and tie the game. The Kraken had scored against the NHL’s 2nd best penalty killing unit.
A lot of bobbing and weaving both ways in the offensive zone, first the Kings and then the Kraken at the other end. After Vince Dunn got tackled going to the net and didn’t get a call, he took a frustration penalty with a wild slash against LA’s Phillip Danault.
The Kings 4-on-3 power play failed. The Kraken had a late rush with the crowd going nuts but couldn’t get a shot-on-goal.
SEA – Bjorkstrand – Glove Save – NO
LA – Moore – Glove Save – NO
SEA – Tatar – Backhand deke, pad save – NO
LA – Dubois – Shot, pad save – NO
SEA – Yamamoto – Shot, low glove – YES
LA – Kempe – Deke, forehand – YES
SEA – Wennberg – Shot, stick save – NO
LA – Kopitar – Deke, left pad save – NO
SEA – Shore – Shot, wide – NO
LA – Fiala – Deke, flub – NO
SEA – McCann – Shot, stick save – NO
LA – Byfield – Deke, hit the post – NO
SEA – Gourde – Shot, high glove – YES
LA – Kaliyev – Deke – YES
SEA – Beniers – Deke, forehand – YES
LA – Lewis – Deke backhand – YES
SEA – Tolvanen – Shot, high – NO
LA – Grundstrom – Shot, low glove – YES
Shots on goal for the game finished in favor of the Kings 38-19. Power plays: Los Angeles 1-for-3, Seattle 1-for-2.
Kraken 3 Stars:
1) Joey Daccord – Turned aside 36 shots through 65 minutes. Almost survived a nine round shoot-out.
2) Adam Larsson – Scored the opening goal and reached his 300th consecutive game. Played 26:33
3) Ryker Evans – The rookie D-man with an assist and points in the three straight games. Played 19:30.
— Kraken Trade With Avalanche For Tomas Tatar; Why He Matters