The Seattle Kraken picked up a 3rd period game winner from Alexander Wennberg and held on to beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night. The Kraken are now 5-0-and-2 in their last seven games and hopped into sole possession of 4th place in the Pacific Division.
Just when we were starting to get concerned about Spokane native Kailer Yamamoto’s production for the Kraken, he flipped a switch. His opening volley in this game to give the Kraken a 1-0 lead over the Flames was his 4th goal in his last seven games. adding to just three goals he had over his first 29.
The tally came off a blocked shot/pass in front of the Kraken net at the other end by Adam Larsson. His partner Vince Dunn picked up the carom and took a hit on the left wing boards just as a delivered a 90-foot pass to Yamamoto for a breakaway. The former Spokane Chief star skated in and went low blocker on Jacob Markstrom at 2:24.
The Flames took advantage of a fortuitous bounce and a bad Kraken decision to tie the game less than six minutes later. With Brian Dumoulin in the penalty box for delay-of-game, it took just seven seconds for Calgary to notch their goal on the power play.
Off some slop following a left wing circle face-off, the puck ended up on Jamie Oleksiak’s stick in front. The big Seattle defenseman turned it over on a clearing attempt and a combination of Flames attackers made him pay. Nazem Kadri was the man who eventually shovelled the puck home after a deke move by Yegor Sharangovich.
Seattle goalie Chris Driedger, getting his first NHL start since May 1, 2022, was hung out to dry on the quick transition and dragged out of position.
A flat footed start to the period led to one Kraken shot-on-goal in the first seven minutes with three for the Flames. The physicality stepped up a bit, but much of it came after whistles.
Winger Tye Kartye had Seattle’s best scoring chance at the 7:04 mark off a Flames neutral zone turnover, but his powerful shot off the rush was handled blocker side by Markstrom.
With 5:51 remaining Driedger faced his biggest test, staring down Elias Lindholm and robbing him on a great scoring chance point blank.
No goals were scored with the Flames boosting their overall shots-on-goal advantage to 20-14 through 40-minutes.
Special teams played a big part in this game, not because the Kraken took advantage of multiple power play opportunities — they didn’t capitalize at all — but because they gained momentum off some excellent penalty killing.
That included a brief 5-on-3 advantage for Calgary in the 2nd half of the 2nd period, and an early 3rd-period holding call against Seattle’s Brandon Tanev.
Just 2:10 after that final successful PK, the Kraken took the lead for good. Alexander Wennberg notched his 5th goal of the season with helpers to Jared McCann and Will Borgen. Wennberg fired it from the left wing circle off the rush past an off-balance Markstrom.
The rest of the period went quickly, with end-to-end action and Driedger making some big saves along the way.
Shots on goal ended up 37-21 in favor of the Flames. Power plays: Seattle 0-for-2, Calgary 1-for-4.
Kraken 3 Stars:
1) Chris Driedger – 36 saves in his first NHL start since May of 2022.
2) Vince Dunn – Beautiful, difficult assist on the Kraken’s opening goal. 21:09 in total ice time.
3) Adam Larsson – Picked up an assist on the first goal with a blocked shot. Led team with 24:08 in ice time.
Recent Kraken Of Interest:
— Simmer’s Holiday 9: Hot Kraken Back At It, Scotty Bowman, Lying PR