In two games with the Seattle Kraken this season, the Carolina Hurricanes have showed that they are one of the best all-around teams in the National Hockey League. The Canes (17-8-6) dominated the Kraken in their first meeting of the season with a 5-1 win on Oct. 17 at Climate Pledge Arena.
Last night, the Canes hung for a 3-2 victory at Raleigh’s PNC Arena. However, Carolina held a big territorial edge against the Kraken, outshooting their guests by a 39-17 margin, 17-3, in the first period. Carolina prevented Seattle from getting the puck into its offensive zone and when the Kraken did, they would often make one too many passes instead of shooting at the net.
Goalie Philipp Grubauer kept the Kraken in the game with a season-high 36 saves. Grubauer was a late addition to the lineup after Martin Jones had been announced as the starting goaltender earlier in the day. Conversely, the Kraken had a season low 17 shots on goal.“`
“(Caroilna’s) five-man pressure is outstanding and they were on it all the way through the majority of the game,” Dave Hakstol said. “With their sustained five-man pressure in the first period they were relentless on that. So we got caught with a couple of soft puck plays, a little bit slow in a couple of decisions, and that’s what that pressure can do to you.”
Carolina goalkeeper Pyotr Kochetkov came into the game on a hot streak, recording two shutouts in his last two games. Kochetkov’s now 8-1-4 on the season and the Canes have chalked up at least one standings’ point in their last nine games. The Kraken finish their Southeast road swing with a 1-3 record, 16-10-3 overall.
The Canes opened the scoring when Andrei Svechnikov stepped into the passing line to intercept a pass by Yanni Gourde. Gourde’s pass, intended for defenseman Carson Soucy, appeared to bounce off the stick of linemate Jared McCann. Svechnikov had two goals and an assist in the Canes’ first meeting with the Kraken this season. The Hurricanes made it 2-0 on Derek Stepan’s first goal of the season. That goal was set up by rookie Jack Drury’s centering pass.
The Hurricane increased their lead to 3-0 when Stefan Noesen scored on a penalty shot at 2:38 of the second period. Noesen was awarded a penalty shot after being pulled down by Kraken defenseman Adam Larsson as he came in on a breakaway. On the penalty shot, Noesen went wide to his left, cut to the center, and fired a slapper from 10 feet out.
Kochetkov had gone 156 minutes without allowing a goal but that streak ended at 11:36 of the second period. Gourde, on his 31st birthday, dropped a pass to Soucy at the blue line. The Kraken defenseman fired and Ryan Donato redirected the shot into the net. It was Donato’s fifth goal of the season
“I think in the second we were playing with speed, we created some chances,” the Kraken’s Darren Sprong said after the game.. “And in the third I think we really pressed. We felt the game could be ours. And that’s when we got (scoring chances).”
Despite being outshot by a wide margin, the Kraken clawed back into the game on Daniel Sprong’s third period goal. Sprong took a pass from Brandon Tanev and fired shot that Kochetkov had appeared to make the save on. The puck trickled through his pads and into the net.
Sprong’s goal came after Grubauer made a big save on Seth Jarvis. The Canes forward came from behind the net on a `wrap around’ and Grubauer sprawled to make the stop.
“Spronger’s goal is by just shooting the puck,” Hakstol said. “Which is something we didn’t do enough of tonight. (It) gave us a chance in the last 10 minutes.”
The Kraken pulled Grubauer from the net in the final minute and called a timeout with 26 seconds remaining after an icing call against the Canes. If the Kraken devised a set play at that point it went for naught as the Canes cleared the zone and time ran out before Seattle could put together another rush.
“We’re coming through a tough road trip (1-3-0). We knew what this stretch looked like,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “We’re disappointed. We’re going home with two out of the eight points, so that says that we all have to get back to Seattle and have a good day of practice and get ready to turn that around as we go into the Christmas break.”
The Kraken host the Winnipeg Jets, Sunday night at Climate Pledge Arena. Last month, the Hets defeated Seattle, 3-2 in overtime. The last overtime loss for the Kraken.
- The Kraken were once again without the services of their top offensive defenseman Justin Schultz. Schultz hasn’t played since he was rammed into the boards by Florida’s Ryan Lomberg last Sunday night. Lomberg, like Seattle’s Jamie Oleksiak, received a match penalty (intent to injure), but unlike Oleksiak, Lomberg was not suspended by the National Hockey League. The only plausible explanation for that might be that Oleksiak was called for a blow to the head on Washington’s Alexander Alexeyev. Schultz’s injury was a `lower body’ injury. Oleksiak has served his three-game suspension and should be back in the lineup on Sunday when the Kraken host the Winnipeg Jets.
- The Kraken fall to third place in the Pacific Division thanks to a third-period comeback by the Los Angeles Kings against the Boston Bruins. And for those who don’t pay attention to the standings until the beginning of the new year, have only five games remaining in 2022.
- Pyotr Kochetkov became the first Canes netminder since Kevin Weekes in 2003 to post back-to-back shutouts. His three shutouts in 11 starts have also now earned him a share of the league lead despite beginning the season in the minor leagues. Kochetkov’s scoreless streak of 1::51:16 is also a Carolina Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers record. The Hurricanes came into existence back in 1972 as the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association in the decrepit Boston Arena. A bit of obscure trivia: the Whalers’ first coach was longtime Boston University hockey coach Jack Kelley. His son, David Kelley, went on to create TV shows like Ally McBeal and Boston Legal which took place in Boston.
- The Hurricanes went into last night’s game with some key injuries. Sebastien Aho missed his third consecutive game with a lower body injury. Carolina has never had the services of Max Pacioretty, its big off-season acquisition from the Vegas Golden Knights, a hasn’t played all due to a torn Achilles tendon. Frederick Andersen, the Canes’ number-one goaltender is also out with an injury.
C- Andrei Svechnikov (unassisted) 10:10 C- Derek Stepan (Jack Drury, Calvin DeHaan) 17:16.
C- Stefan Noesen (penalty shot) 2:08. S- Ryan Donato (Yanni Gourde, Carson Soucy) 11:26.
S- Darren Sprong (Brandon Tanev, Will Borgen) 9:14.
Shots on Goal- Seattle 17, Carolina 39.
Penalty Minutes- Seattle 4, Carolina 4.
Referees- Garrett Rank, Mitch Dunning. Linemen- Brad Kovachik, James Tobias
Three Stars- 1. Stefan Noesen, C. 2. Andrei Svechnikov, C 3. Derek Stepan, C.