It wasn’t the same play, but the same result.
In Thursday night’s game against the New York Rangers, the Seattle Kraken’s Jordan Eberle came down the left wing, drew two defenders, and then passed across to Justin Schultz, who wristed a shot home for a 3-2 overtime victory.
Last night the Kraken and the Los Angeles Kings went into overtime tied, 2-2. Again, Eberle came down the left wing on a breakaway. Teammate Brandon Tanev was on the right side, but this time Eberle elected to shoot. He lofted a shot that went over the right shoulder of Kings’ goalie Cal Peterson. Same result: a 3-2 overtime win for the Kraken before a lively crowd at Climate Pledge Arena.
“Just trying to find a way to score,” said Eberle when asked about his decision to shoot instead of pass. “We obviously haven’t had success in overtime this year and last year. We put a lot of work and emphasis into it. “
The fans were treated to a fast-paced game that featured solid goaltending, fine defensive plays and some outstanding individual offensive efforts. And as the Kraken headed into the 100th game in team history, Seattle fans for perhaps the first time, noted the standings. The Kraken trailed the second-place Kings by only two points in the Pacific Division.
Los Angeles still has a one-point lead as it picked up one point for a regulation tie. The Kraken improved to 10-5-3 (7-1-1 in their last nine games). The Kings, who’ve played three more games are 11-8-2.
The Kraken were playing their third consecutive overtime game, all at home. When Winnipeg scored 34 seconds into overtime last Sunday, it marked the Kraken’s third consecutive OT defeat. Kraken coach Dave Hakstol vowed the team would work on overtime situations (when each team has only three players on the ice) and practice paid off with two straight overtime wins.
“It was a different overtime tonight,” Hakstol said. “We didn’t have the puck a whole lot, but we defended really well. We didn’t give up anything threatening. We took advantage of their defenseman diving in as we punched the puck past them, and that creates the odd-man situation.”
Appropriately, Jared McCann scored the opening goal of the contest, his 100th career goal in the Kraken’s 100th game. McCann was the Kraken’s leading scorer last year and he now has a team-leading six goals this season despite missing three games with an injury.
At 4:42 of the first period, Eberle took a shot that hit the stick of Matty Beniers parked in front of the net. The disc ricocheted to McCann on the right side who fired it home.
The game wouldn’t see another goal until just under a minute left in the second period. The Kraken had trouble clearing their zone and eventually, Phillip Danault fired a shot that appeared to hit off Seattle goaltender Martin Jones and into the net.
The Kraken began the third period on the power play but it was the Kings who would score their first short-handed goal of the season at 35 seconds. Danault sent teammate Trevor Moore on a break and he flicked a wrist shot thru Jones’ legs for a score.
The King’s only lead of the game would last a mere 18 seconds. Darren Sprong took a lead pass from Justin Schultz and blasted a shot from the left circle.
“That can really flip momentum,” said Hakstol of the Kings’ goal and the Kraken response. “That can be a switch on the game, and the fact the next power play group went out there and was able to answer was really important. That was obviously a huge part of the game to get it back right away.”
Both teams had opportunities to net the game-winner in regulation. McCann hit the post and then Jones made a big save at the other end on Jaret-Anderson Dolan when he came out of the net to cut down the angle.
“I think it’s important to play these games and feel comfortable,” Eberle said. “I think we’re doing a better job of that. You know, once you get into the postseason a lot of games are close. You have to feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations, and this is just a good test to do that.”
The Kraken conclude a six-game homestand (they’re 3-1-1 so far) when they host the San Jose Sharks, Wednesday night, Thanksgiving Eve. Last night’s contest marked the first of five consecutive games against Pacific Division opponents. Seattle faces division leaders Vegas, Anaheim, and Los Angeles on its next road trip.
- With a goal and an assist, Eberle ties Andre Burakovsky for the team lead in points. Both have 15. The Kraken have 13 players who’ve scored at least eight points this season. Oliver Bjorkstrand, the game’s number-three star was competing in his 400th NHL game
- Martin Jones has defeated the Los Angeles Kings twice this season – including Seattle’s first win of the year against the Kings in their second win of the season. In the 2020-21 season, Jones defeated his former team six times. Jones began his career with the Kings and backed up Jonathan Quick on LA’s Stanley Cup championship team in 2015. He was traded to the Boston Bruins for Milan Lucic, currently with the Calgary Flames. Jones didn’t have time to enjoy any of the Italian restaurants in Boston’s North End as he was immediately shipped to the San Jose Sharks for draft choices.
- Phillip Grubauer suited up as backup goalie, the first time Grubauer’s been in uniform since Oct. 22 when he was injured in the third period in a game against the Colorado Avalanche. Jones relieved Grubauer in the final ten minutes and was the winning goaltender despite making only one save. Grubauer could start Wednesday night against San Jose.
- Defenseman Justin Schultz has been involved in four of the last six Kraken goals. He had two assists last night after scoring two goals, including the game-winner in Thursday’s game against the New York Rangers. The Kraken signed Schultz as a free-agent from the Washington Capitals, as an offensive-minded defenseman and quarterback on the power play.
- The Kraken own the second-best winning percentage behind Vegas in the Pacific Division and fifth-best in the Western Conference.
- Los Angeles’ Brandon Lemieux was placed on injured reserve prior to the game. Lemieux, known as a super pest like his father, former NHLer Claude Lemieux, didn’t win any friends on the Kraken when he jumped the smaller Yanni Gourde in the final minute of the game in Los Angeles. In 245 career NHL games, the 6-1, 215-pound forward has registered 63 points (31-32=63) and 438 penalty minutes.
- Scoring Summary
- First Period
- S- Jared McCann (Matty Beniers, Jordan Eberle) 4:42.
- Second Period
- LA- Phillip Danault (Viktor Arvidsson) 18:52.
- Third Period
- LA- Trevor Moore (Danault, Matt Roy) SH 0:53; S- Daniel Sprong (Justin Schultz, Beniers) PPG 0:53.
- S- Eberle (Schultz) 2:23.
Shots on Goal- Los Angeles 29, Seattle 29.
Penalty Minutes- Los Angeles 6, Seattle 2.
Referees- Dan O’Rourke, Steve Kozari. Linesman- Jonny Murray, Michel Cormier
Three Stars- 1. Jordan Eberle 2. Jordan McCann 3. Oliver Bjorkstrand