Canucks’ comeback sinks Kraken in 6-5 shootout thriller

Leading up to the National Hockey League’s Christmas break, the Seattle Kraken defeated two teams they had never beaten before – the Winnipeg Jets and the St. Louis Blues. Unfortunately for the Kraken, they couldn’t make it 3-for-3 this week as the Vancouver Canucks defeated Seattle in a shootout, 6-5, at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena.

It was a disappointing loss for the Kraken as they led by two goals on three different occasions. However, Elias Pettersson sent the game into overtime with his second goal of the contest at 18:40 of the third period. The Kraken picked up one point in the standings with a regulation tie, making them 18-10-4 on the season, while the Canucks are 14-15-3.

“We have a one-goal lead in the last minute and half of the period,” said Seattle coach Hakstol. “We got one clear and then couldn’t get guys off the ice. They were tired and {Vancouver] took advantage. We have to do better with a two-goal lead.”

The game marked a career night for Vancouver’s Pettersson. Besides two goals and three assists in regulation, Pettersson had the game-winner in the shootout. Seattle goalkeeper Martin Jones appeared to make a leg save on Pettersson’s shot, but the puck somehow trickled underneath the goalie’s pads and into the net.

Moments before, Seattle’s Jordan Eberle had tied the shootout 1-1 when he fired a slap shot past Canucks’ goalie Spencer Martin. Eberle’s score kept the shootout alive (each team gets three shots) as J.T. Miller had earlier scored for Vancouver.

Ironically, Pettersson had missed the previous two games with an illness. In his game day press conference, Canucks’ coach Bruce Boudreau said that he didn’t know “how much stamina” Pettersson would have. The line of Pettersson, Andrei Kuzmenko and Lane Pederson (recently recalled from the minors) combined for ten points in the game.

The Kraken started the game strong, recording the first five shots on goal. Seattle opened the scoring when Jared McCann fired a shot from the blue line and probably surprised everyone in the arena, when the puck squirted past Martin and into the net.. McCann has now scored nine goals in the last 12 games, 15 overall.

The Canucks didn’t get untracked until they went on the power play midway through the first period. They had four shots on the power play, before scoring when Vancouver’s Pederson notched his first goal of the season.

When Seattle scored two quick goals early in the second period, it looked like the Kraken might be on their way to a blowout victory. The Canucks have been slumping, and some of their top players are rumored to be on the trading block. Oliver Bjorkstrand made it 2-1 at 3:28 on a pretty pass from linemate Jaden Schwartz (Bjorkstrand’s first goal since Oct. 29) and then Daniel Sprong scored 10 seconds later when he re-directed a shot by defenseman Adam Larsson. Those were the two quickest goals in the Kraken’s brief history.

Pettersson and Seattle’s Alex Wennberg swapped goals and the Kraken retired at the second intermission with a 4-2 lead.

Kuzmenko made it 4-3 in the third period, but then Sprong scored his second off a pass from Brandon Tanev to give the Kraken their third two-goal lead of the contest. However, Brandon Boeser’s power-play goal cut the lead to one again, 5-4.

Boudreau raised a few eyebrows when he pulled his goalie with 2:40 remaining in regulation. But the move worked, as the Kraken were only able to get the puck out of the zone once and were mostly hemmed in their own defensive zone. Finally, Petterson got the tying marker on a pass from Miller.

 “We’ll look at exactly what we did in the third period, and there’s a couple of things we have to do better,” said Hakstol. “We have to do better when we’ve got a two-goal lead. That’s a game we should be able to close out.”

The Canucks carried the play in overtime as well. Petterson, Miller and defenseman Quinn Hughes all hit the post and Jones, a Vancouver native, made some timely saves.

“They had a push, and they capitalized on their chances,” said Sprong, who now has ten goals after coming to Kraken training camp as an unsigned free agent back in September. “Sometimes that’s the way hockey goes.”

The Kraken are now idle until next Wednesday when they host the Calgary Flames at Kraken Pledge.


  • Daniel Sprong with a goal and an assist last night, has the most points of any player in the NHL, averaging less than 11 minutes of ice time in a game. Teammate Morgan Geekie ranks second with 12 points (4 G, 8 A) in 10:04 of average ice time while Ryan Donato is fourth with 10 points (7 G, 3 A) in 10:59 of average ice time. Boston’s Trent Frederic (who has 12 goals) is third.
  • According to the Hawks’ Insider website the 2024 Winter Classic game, an NHL outdoor game which usually takes place on New Year’s Day, will feature the Seattle Kraken hosting the . Vegas Golden Knights. The game will probably take place at Luman Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. The 2023 Winter Classic takes place on Jan. 2 when the Boston Bruins host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park. This marks the second time a Winter Classic game will be played at Fenway.
  • The Kraken are now 0-5-1 against the Canucks. Vancouver won its first game of the season (their eighth game overall) when they defeated the Kraken, 5-4, in overtime, Oct. 27 at Climate Pledge Arena. The win marked Bruce Boudreau’s 600th  win as an NHL head coach. Back in the 1970’s, Boudreau was an extra in the movie Slap Shot, probably the most well-known (and popular) hockey movie ever. Boudreau’s apartment was also used in the movie as star Paul Newman’s apartment.
  • The Canucks had lost six of their last eight home games heading into last night’s game. Two of those losses were to Winnipeg and St. Louis, who the Kraken defeated the following night in Seattle.
  • First Period
  • S- Jared McCann (Matty Beniers, Carson Soucy) 7:01. V- Lane Pederson (Elias Pettersson, Andrei Kuzmenko) 17:17.
  • Second Period
  • S- Oliver Bjorkstrand (Jaden Schwartz) 3:28. S- Daniel Sprong (Adam Larsson, Morgan Geekie) 3:38. V- Pettersson (Luke Schenn, Andrei Kuzmenko) 8:09. S- Alex Wennberg (Bjorkstrand, Will Borgen) 13:29.
  • Third Period
  • V- Kuzmenko (Pederson, Pettersson) 5:13. S- Sprong (Brandon Tanev) 6:17. V- Brock Boeser (Pettersson, Quinn Hughes) PPG 8:52. V-Pettersson (J.T. Miller) 18:40.
  • Overtime
  • No scoring.
  • Shootout
  • S- Ryan Donato miss
  • V- Andrei Kuzmenko miss
  • S- Daniel Sprong miss
  • V- J.T. Miller score
  • S- Jordan Eberle score
  • V- Elias Pettersson score
  • Shots on Goal- Seattle 36, Vancouver 37
  • Penalty Minutes- Seattle 11, Vancouver 7
  • Referees- Graham Skilliter, Corey Syvret. Linesmen- Ryan Galloway, Caleb Anderson Three Stars- 1. Elias

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